Mirr, or: Off the wall

A Choka

swirling lava churns
heartburn rises in locked chest
I know the object
of my scorn mirrors the soul
let alone coarse thoughts
throat caught bursting overwrought
bloodshot inner eye
cannot see through burning tears
powerless it glares
angry at my reflection
faceless pathetic mocking


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€œmirrorโ€ 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!

83 thoughts on “Mirr, or: Off the wall”

  1. A devastating, hard-hitting reflective poem David! As my grandma would say, “Maybe it’s something you ate.” ๐Ÿ™‚
    Going back to that same mirror tomorrow, you may see a brilliant writer, honest, empathetic, and loving husband and father. As my mother would say, “You’ll feel better in the morning!”

  2. David, this poetic form intrigues me … I have yet to try it. Your words, this look in the mirror, dark reflection/s.

  3. Sometimes the toughest demons we face, are looking back at us in the mirror. We can be our own worst enemy at times. This poem but home David. Powerful writing my friend.

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