the permanence of henna ~ gogyohka | RIVRVLOGR

Source: the permanence of henna ~ gogyohka

Ken shares an amazing poem using a Gogyohka which is a five-line, untitled, Japanese poetic form. Unlike tanka (5/7/5/7/7 syllables), Gogyohka has no restrictions on length. (

Here are the rules for this poem from

Five rules of Gogyohka by Enta Kusakabe (1983)

  • Gogyohka is a new form of short poem that is based on the ancient Japanese Tanka and Kodai kayo.
  • Gogyohka has five lines but exceptionally may have four or six.
  • Each line of Gogyohka consists of one phrase with a line-break after each phrase or breath.
  • Gogyohka has no restraint on numbers of words or syllables.
  • The theme of Gogyohka is unrestricted.

the permanence of henna

the direction
of our inclinations
holds no pattern
carefree, the actions we take
the permanence of henna

©2020 Ken Gierke

I like this form. It’s unencumbered with few restrictions other than writing phrases in each line. It’s super creative!

Let me know in the comments if you would like to see this form added to our ever-growing list of accepted syllabic poetry forms.

32 thoughts on “the permanence of henna ~ gogyohka | RIVRVLOGR

    1. LOL! For poets who write freestyle poetry even the five or six lines might be too restrictive… but, it would open the door to some new creativity. Thanks for sharing, Ken. I like new forms. ❤


        1. Free style poetry is really just prose… that’s not bad, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like there is so much more skill involved in syllabic poetry. Remember, if you want to write prose you can choose the Haibun, too. However, this gogyohka will help new poets get started, I think. You’re a pro already, Willow. 😀 ❤


Comments are closed.