Arboreal Instruction: a #Kyoka-prose #haibun

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Thump! A branch fell from the maple beside the deck. It struck the lawn a foot away from the fire pit. One whole branch broke into three pieces and several shards of bark.

There were no leaves on the branch. Black rot exude throughout, and from the stump that remained from where it once grew out of the trunk. The rest of the tree thrives, even with the blight that she has endured for years.

There is a lesson here.


what no longer serves is

true survival

“Everything I let go of

had claw marks on it”


and Poets and Storytellers United’s Writers’ Pantry #31: Here comes August!

23 replies »

  1. Ohhhh… Haijin Sensei, you’ve taught me a new form! So, the Kyoka is a derivative of the 5/7/5/7/7 tanka, but with “most of the humor found either in placing the vulgar or mundane in an elegant, poetic setting or by treating a classical subject with common language or attitudes.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ky%C5%8Dka. Interesting!

    Also, it talks about a parody: A parody, also called a spoof, a send-up, a take-off, a lampoon, a play on, a caricature or a joke, is a work which is created to imitate, make fun of or comment on an original work—its subject, author, style or some other target—by means of satiric or ironic imitation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody

    Why is this piece not tanka prose? Is it because you’ve used a parody?

    I love the wisdom of the kyoka (tanka) portion. This last part: “Everything I let go of had claw marks on it” is so full of meaning!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Colleen.

      Regarding Tanka or Kyoka:

      To be honest: human confusion! When I wrote the Tanka, I somehow thought that, like haiku, Tanka required a nature reference. Since I didn’t have one, and since kyoka is to senryu what Tanka is to haiku, I classified my poem as Kyoka-prose.

      I can see it going either way. Since I used that quote in the last two lines, however, the five-lines verse has a tongue-in-cheek quality that seals the deal for my classifying it as kyoka.

      I’m happy that you liked it! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like the deeper meaning in this Frank. I’m getting the explanation of why you labeled it a Kyoka-prose. I stay confused with the nuances of these forms. I usually take the path that none of it is set in stone.


    Liked by 1 person

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