Gogyohka, a Five Line Poem

The first snow perhaps the first freezing temperatures have gone. Until late November the salvia were blooming blue and Gerber daisies were full of warm colors.

Here’s a go at composing a gogyohka.

the autumn rose
dry leaves resist the wind
bruised seed cases
recall the bloom
recall the bud

© 03-12-20

Gogyohka (go-gee-yoh-kuh)

This poetic form was developed by Enta Kusakabe and means a “five-line poem” in Japanese. In that they may resemble the tanka or the cinquain.

The format is mainly five lines, however, four, or six lines are allowed and employs a free-verse style that seldom rhymes.

Each line is one breath in length.

These poems are usually untitled.

Obscured Moon, hay(na)ku

Obscured Moon, hay(na)ku

eclipses —

light tricks

and the moon

© ’20

Notes Hay(na)ku

  • A poetic form created in 2003 by poet Eileen Tabios
  • Is a 3-line poem with one word in the first line, two words in the second, and three in the third
  • Rhyme is optional but rare
  • Multiple hay(na)ku that make a longer poem are fine
  • Also poets linking is easy and a fun activity



last longer

than cucumbers do



taste better

than cucumbers too

Leaving the Winter Woods

Leaving the Winter Woods


the winter woods

light strikes all the way through

still darkness, shadows in plain sight —

fox barks


I copied Adelaide Crapsey, a twentieth-century poet, who wrote cinquain with 22 syllables in five lines as a 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 pattern. 

Her poems feel similar to Japanese tanka, another five-line form, and share a designed focus on imagery and the natural world.

A Northern Autumn, Cinquain

A Northern Autumn, Cinquain


bland carcasses — 

seeds have flown on the wind,

Monarchs  cruise in southern precincts —


c. Lemuel ’20

Instincts have to do with behaviors related to animals. Plants, bacteria and viruses exhibit tropisms or responses to the environment. In my imagination I can create a milkweed being no more attached to their seeds than a typical migratory butterfly would be to their eggs, Nemo and Marlin of “Finding Nemo” in the Great Barrier Reef notwithstanding.

I wrote this poem, as a cinquain, but for fun I adapted the form a little.

I relied upon Adelaide Crapsey, a twentieth-century poet who used a form of 22 syllables in five lines as a 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 pattern. Some say her poems are similar to Japanese tanka, a five-line form, and share a designed focus on imagery and the natural world.

North 38th Parallel, Haibun

North 38th Parallel, Haibun

I make my circuit — a walk under wind-stripped oaks and maples. Then, over the little path, it twists through thickets of bare trees and hummocks once profuse with bloom. See, the dry creek is covered with a tarp. Leaves are ankle deep already.

After dinner I watch a waning sun light shadows that disappear into dark corners. I leave the porch for cheery fireside chair, my radio tuned to the “weekend”;   music,  hot tea,  and day old zucchini bread.


the evening fox —

of the hedgerow world