Tropical rainforest, or: Flowerpot

A Choka

slow drip of water
as though from tropical leaves
where jasmines blossom
moisture seeps into the soil
roots slowly absorb 
no pooling at the bottom
of the flowerpot
watering orchids with ice
helps them to grow strong
heads off overwatering
mimics their natural home


The most intricate Japanese Poetry form is the Choka, or Long Poem. The early form consisted of a series of katauta joined together. This gives a choice of form structures of 5/7/5/5/7/7โ€ฆ etc., or: 5/7/7/5/7โ€ฆ etc.

The Choka could be any total line length and indeed many exceeded 100 lines. Looking at this, it is easy to see why Poetic Historians believe the katauta is the original basic unit of Japanese poetry using either the 17 or 19 unit onji.

d’Verse Quadrille

The above choka is my take on dโ€™Verseโ€™s Quadrille challenge.

The Quadrille is simply a poem of 44 words (excluding the title), and it can take any form. This weekโ€™s challenge was to use the word โ€œiceโ€ in a Quadrille.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

52 thoughts on “Tropical rainforest, or: Flowerpot”

  1. I really enjoyed your choka, David, as jasmine and orchids are among my favourite flowers (after tulips), and will remember to water my orchid with ice in future.

  2. You take great and proper care of your special flowers
    The ice cubes are a perfect tip to keep these flowers healthy and strong
    A gracious form fertilized with dignified words, devoted to a plant of such refinement.

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