Playing With Lines Of Five #DVersePoets

Tanka – Deception

The vines have curled up

till she’s dressed within their arms.

Astonishing green,

to hide all the stress fractures

now spider-webbing beneath.


Kyoka –  Toil Of A Water Witch

Ginny Greenteeth waits,

washes out last week’s litter

from her pond weed hair.

Snatches a plastic bottle

like she would do a child.

Ginny Greenteeth is from English folklore, and depending on your region her name can change from Ginny, to Jenny, or a number of other nom-de-plumes. It’s also the name used to refer to pond weed, or algae covering a pond’s surface and obscuring the water from view. She apparently lurks below the cover of the pond weed waiting for passersby to wander too close, so she can drag them to their watery depths.  There are perhaps some waterways that wouldn’t be particular pleasant to skulk in these days.

Gogyohka – After The Storm

We eye the horizon like a child,

question our certainty that the crying is done.

Slowly, we return ourselves to the garden,

we peg the washing out while watching clouds,

remind ourselves not to trust a blue sky.



I’m uncertain if I did these forms justice, but I’ve had a go at all three. My Tanka, and Kyoka follow the 5,7,5,7,7 syllable count mostly because this was what I was most used to. I know it’s not technically correct, but it gives me a framework to fit into. If you have a favourite out of the three let me know in the comments below.


  1. Like you, I tackled all three; yours are super. I enjoyed the third one best, a lovely mix of melancholy, whimsey and hope.


  2. Liked all of them, for a beginner good to see all forms in a row, not that I totally understand the difference between them 🙂 I especially liked the Gogyohka, there was some .. majestic? Proud nostalgy? Like Aslan in Narnia or something like that from the first two lines, then a fitting and wise end, for I fear it’ll get worse before better. Not that anything is really so wrong. But need to look at that sky,,,


  3. Lots of fun with these – particularly liked the image of the witch ‘snatching the plastic bottle…like she would a child’ and never trust a blue sky is the kind of thing my mum would say (along with many other aphorisms to guide life along). So good.


  4. They are all so different, and I liked them all very much.

    I’m sure you’ve read The Wee Free Men, by Terry Pratchett – which features a guest appearance by Jenny Greenteeth?

    I particularly liked the last one, just because it was so grounded in reality, but also had an extra dimension.


  5. I enjoyed the way you played with lines of five, Carol, and the different topics and styles are so discernible. I especially love the folklore magic of Ginny Greenteeth and the way she tackles pollution, but I also love. ‘After the Storm’, a metaphor for a rocky relationship, in which the simple everyday task of pegging the washing out takes on a new meaning.


  6. Like all of them but ‘Deception’ has a really satisfying’turn’ in it – I know that’s really for Haiku but it works brilliantly here.
    So ‘Deception’ takes it for me.


  7. You did these forms more than simple justice …. you took them and made them beautiful examples of each form. Cannot choose a favorite!!!


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