“Promises,” #Gogyoka

Thanks to Ken Gierke, I’ve added the Gogyoka in English to our syllabic poetry forms, bringing the count up to ten.

The Gogyoka (pronounced go-gee-yoh-kuh) form is a five-line Japanese form with no restriction on length. Created by Enta Kusakabe in 1983, there are five rules:

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

Robert Lee Brewer from Writer’s Digest shares:

What constitutes a phrase in gogyohka?

From the examples I’ve seen of the form, the definition of phrase is in the eye of the beholder. A compound or complex sentence is probably too long, but I’ve seen phrases as short as one word and others more than five words.

So it’s a little loose, which is kind of the theory behind gogyohka. It’s meant to be concise (five lines) but free (variable line length with each phrase). No special seasonal or cutting words. No subject matter constraints. Just five lines of poetic phrases.

Robert Lee Brewer

So, using this week’s #PhotoPrompt image from my poetry challenge, I’ve written the simplest of forms – The Gogyoka in 5 lines, short phrases:

Image ©2019 Willow Willers

Promises

blossoms bring happiness
buds produce fertility, joy
peacock reveals beauty
vines promise longevity, perseverance
soul awakens from the lotus

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

Published by

Colleen Chesebro: WordCraftPoetry

Colleen M. Chesebro is a Michigan Poet who loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of syllabic poetry. A published author, Colleen is also an editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse, also found on wordcraftpoetry.com. Colleen’s mission is to bring the craft of writing syllabic poetry to anyone who thinks they can’t be a poet. Recently, she created the Double Ennead, a 99-syllable poetry form for the Carrot Ranch literary community at carrotranch.com. Colleen’s poetry has appeared in various anthologies and journals including “Hedgerow-a journal of small poems,” and “Poetry Treasures1 & 2” a collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on “Writing to be Read." Colleen published “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” which illustrates how to write various syllabic poetry forms used in her Tanka Tuesday challenges; and a collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories called, “Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” dedicated to the Summer Solstice. She contributed a short story called “The Changeling,” in the “Ghostly Rites Anthology 2020,” published by Plaisted Publishing House. Find Colleen at Word Craft: Prose & Poetry at wordcraftpoetry.com.

43 thoughts on ““Promises,” #Gogyoka”

  1. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. – Wexford Ireland – My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. . I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. Free Book Marketing, Music, Health, Book Reviews, Short Stories, Poetry and Humour. Find out more at https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/about-me/
    Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. says:

    lovely Colleen and very descriptive.. I like the format…♥

      1. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. – Wexford Ireland – My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. . I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. Free Book Marketing, Music, Health, Book Reviews, Short Stories, Poetry and Humour. Find out more at https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/about-me/
        Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. says:

        I can imagine Colleen but you showed us how..♥

          1. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. – Wexford Ireland – My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. . I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. Free Book Marketing, Music, Health, Book Reviews, Short Stories, Poetry and Humour. Find out more at https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/about-me/
            Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. says:

        1. willowdot21 – Berkshire – Female, wife, full time mother and Grandmother. I am not as happy go lucky as I used to be but I am still bubbling along on simmer! I have three handsome sons all grown and flown.The youngest married with a beautiful wife and two sons of his own. Eleven years ago I was working, running a home, driving and socializing then bang in a split second all that was gone. I had an accident at home. I broke my back, not for the first time, I had broken it 10 years previously as well. Unfortunately this time I had broken it really badly and it was truly messed up so I had to have two operations. I was told before each operation that the outcome could mean I spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. Still as some guy once wrote "I am still standing " yes "better than I ever was " not quite but with the help of a walking stick and as long as I do not stand or sit in one position for too long, I am still standing! Update I no longer use the walking stick . I had lots of friends before the accident but when things like this happen, you loose most of them. Their lives move on and mine stood still and so they left me behind ...I know that is just the way life is but it hurt and always will. Then I looked around and saw those who were still there for me, these friends are the roses in my garden they need to be tended well. They are the diamonds in the dust, I will of been married 50yrs plus this year . Pain and boredom are my enemies now, I have to find different ways to approach life, use my pain befriend it almost...yer right , well that is what they tell me at the pain clinic ROFLMAO ...... if only I could! I have found an outlet for my fears, frustrations and night terrors . I have started writing poetry if that name can be applied to my writing. I hope I do not come over as a moaning winger. I hope I am past all that. I also hope that you might see how the poetry is moving from very dark through the grey and hopefully in to light ?? I need to update this a little here. I have worked very hard over the years since my accident, I go to the gym regularly, I have a Pilates class and a core class once a week . The guys at the gym and my Pilates teacher cajoled, teased, bullied and encouraged me to abandon my walking stick! :) My back is no longer straight it is C shaped because of the injury and I have lost two and a half inches in height but my Pilates and Core teachers have helped me to stand up as straight and as strongly as possible. Pain and depression are still hanging on my arm but I have weapons to use against them and if I say so myself I cope well. I have made lots of new friends, real diamonds. I am also very grateful for all the support and help I have encountered here on Wordpress. Hugs and welcome to everyone who visits.
          willowdot21 says:

          Colleen, I love this new form and you have taken it and flown. There is one thing that I love more and that is how much imagination, beauty and poetry this photo has inspired.💜

          1. willowdot21 – Berkshire – Female, wife, full time mother and Grandmother. I am not as happy go lucky as I used to be but I am still bubbling along on simmer! I have three handsome sons all grown and flown.The youngest married with a beautiful wife and two sons of his own. Eleven years ago I was working, running a home, driving and socializing then bang in a split second all that was gone. I had an accident at home. I broke my back, not for the first time, I had broken it 10 years previously as well. Unfortunately this time I had broken it really badly and it was truly messed up so I had to have two operations. I was told before each operation that the outcome could mean I spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. Still as some guy once wrote "I am still standing " yes "better than I ever was " not quite but with the help of a walking stick and as long as I do not stand or sit in one position for too long, I am still standing! Update I no longer use the walking stick . I had lots of friends before the accident but when things like this happen, you loose most of them. Their lives move on and mine stood still and so they left me behind ...I know that is just the way life is but it hurt and always will. Then I looked around and saw those who were still there for me, these friends are the roses in my garden they need to be tended well. They are the diamonds in the dust, I will of been married 50yrs plus this year . Pain and boredom are my enemies now, I have to find different ways to approach life, use my pain befriend it almost...yer right , well that is what they tell me at the pain clinic ROFLMAO ...... if only I could! I have found an outlet for my fears, frustrations and night terrors . I have started writing poetry if that name can be applied to my writing. I hope I do not come over as a moaning winger. I hope I am past all that. I also hope that you might see how the poetry is moving from very dark through the grey and hopefully in to light ?? I need to update this a little here. I have worked very hard over the years since my accident, I go to the gym regularly, I have a Pilates class and a core class once a week . The guys at the gym and my Pilates teacher cajoled, teased, bullied and encouraged me to abandon my walking stick! :) My back is no longer straight it is C shaped because of the injury and I have lost two and a half inches in height but my Pilates and Core teachers have helped me to stand up as straight and as strongly as possible. Pain and depression are still hanging on my arm but I have weapons to use against them and if I say so myself I cope well. I have made lots of new friends, real diamonds. I am also very grateful for all the support and help I have encountered here on Wordpress. Hugs and welcome to everyone who visits.
            willowdot21 says:

            Thank you Colleen and it has such a lovely back story 💜

          2. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. – Wexford Ireland – My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. . I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. Free Book Marketing, Music, Health, Book Reviews, Short Stories, Poetry and Humour. Find out more at https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/about-me/
            Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. says:

            I agree Colleen..hugsxx

          3. willowdot21 – Berkshire – Female, wife, full time mother and Grandmother. I am not as happy go lucky as I used to be but I am still bubbling along on simmer! I have three handsome sons all grown and flown.The youngest married with a beautiful wife and two sons of his own. Eleven years ago I was working, running a home, driving and socializing then bang in a split second all that was gone. I had an accident at home. I broke my back, not for the first time, I had broken it 10 years previously as well. Unfortunately this time I had broken it really badly and it was truly messed up so I had to have two operations. I was told before each operation that the outcome could mean I spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. Still as some guy once wrote "I am still standing " yes "better than I ever was " not quite but with the help of a walking stick and as long as I do not stand or sit in one position for too long, I am still standing! Update I no longer use the walking stick . I had lots of friends before the accident but when things like this happen, you loose most of them. Their lives move on and mine stood still and so they left me behind ...I know that is just the way life is but it hurt and always will. Then I looked around and saw those who were still there for me, these friends are the roses in my garden they need to be tended well. They are the diamonds in the dust, I will of been married 50yrs plus this year . Pain and boredom are my enemies now, I have to find different ways to approach life, use my pain befriend it almost...yer right , well that is what they tell me at the pain clinic ROFLMAO ...... if only I could! I have found an outlet for my fears, frustrations and night terrors . I have started writing poetry if that name can be applied to my writing. I hope I do not come over as a moaning winger. I hope I am past all that. I also hope that you might see how the poetry is moving from very dark through the grey and hopefully in to light ?? I need to update this a little here. I have worked very hard over the years since my accident, I go to the gym regularly, I have a Pilates class and a core class once a week . The guys at the gym and my Pilates teacher cajoled, teased, bullied and encouraged me to abandon my walking stick! :) My back is no longer straight it is C shaped because of the injury and I have lost two and a half inches in height but my Pilates and Core teachers have helped me to stand up as straight and as strongly as possible. Pain and depression are still hanging on my arm but I have weapons to use against them and if I say so myself I cope well. I have made lots of new friends, real diamonds. I am also very grateful for all the support and help I have encountered here on Wordpress. Hugs and welcome to everyone who visits.
            willowdot21 says:

            It’s special isn’t it 💜

  2. Annette Rochelle Aben – Westland, MI – My life is ALL ABOUT being a COMMUNICATOR, so I write/publish books, (find my on Amazon) articles, essays, poetry, heck I love writing LETTERS. I am also a host/producer of internet radio shows; (find me on Blog Talk Radio) my own shows as well as shows that other people host. Since I was a little girl I have been a singer and fronted bands for years. People everywhere are wearing my jewelry and eating the food I create and sell. In my spare time I am a mentor/guide for others along their personal and professional paths. Thank you for joining me here and be sure to let me know what I can help YOU with!
    Annette Rochelle Aben says:

    Interesting and inviting!

  3. Margie – United States – I write poetry. I live in Colorado. I have a great family. I have some amazing friends, Life is exceptionally good!
    Margie says:

    Lovely poem, Colleen.

      1. Margie – United States – I write poetry. I live in Colorado. I have a great family. I have some amazing friends, Life is exceptionally good!
        Margie says:

        Most welcome, Colleen <3

  4. dgkaye – Canada – D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, writing from her life experiences and self-medicating with a daily dose of humor. Live Laugh Love and Don't Forget to Breathe!
    dgkaye says:

    Well done Sis. So many stories in those hands. <3

      1. dgkaye – Canada – D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, writing from her life experiences and self-medicating with a daily dose of humor. Live Laugh Love and Don't Forget to Breathe!
        dgkaye says:

        <3

  5. Oh wow, Colleen. This is great. I love the idea of five lines without the restriction of the syllables. You did a great job with yours.

  6. Your words are like a window on the henna design, and your last line is a great summation.

    1. Thanks, Ken! I was surprised at how difficult it felt to come up with meaningful phrase in this form… but once I did it, I realized how impactful this five lines are! I’m so glad you suggested the form! ❤️

  7. Deborah – South San Francisco, CA – I am a Wise Woman who has been on a spiritual journey for many years. My wisdom was not gained through a higher education but through the University Of Life and all the insight, knowledge gained through the pain of trials and tribulations on the path of weeping to healing. Though I have come a long way, I am not done yet! I still have much wisdom to gain, more growth through pain, and the beauty of spirit that come by continual shedding of the old to receive the new! Sweet Blessings!
    Deborah says:

    Really beautifully done Colleen! <3

  8. Thank you for the guidelines for writing gogyohka and your lovely example of the form. Writing in phrases seems close to creating a collage or a still life.

  9. D. Wallace Peach – 30 Miles beyond the edge of civilization, Oregon – I'm an adventurer in writing, peering under rocks in my garden for secret magic. I can't stop writing. My stories want to explode from my head. They demand my attention and surge from my fingertips faster than I can put them to paper. I love what I do.
    D. Wallace Peach says:

    That’s an interesting form with lots of flexibility. Beautiful poem about the nehndi symbolism, Colleen.

  10. Ah… I did miss this, but I saw it over at “Elizabeths” and added it to my own forms list.

    I like how you used it – very serene. Pairs well with the image.

    Looking forward to trying out this form… eventually.

    Kind of like a Tanka without a line space – though not everyone include it… and it’s that short as a breath thing too. Though I was reading about breathing techniques and some slow breathes can be quite long… 😉

      1. I was watching a Brain Games show where folks were learning to ‘breath up’ – This one gal wanted to hold her breath under water for more than half a minute. After learning the process… on the show she held her breath for 2 minutes! But the instructor said the record for holding one’s breath was up to 12 minutes! That’s one long breath! Could be at least a short paragraph 😉

        1. Ha, Ha, Ha, Jules! There is so little information on what constitutes a breath or a phrase. Knowing the Japanese and their intentions with poetry, I tend to think that phrase is a more accurate depiction of the length of words. Some Gogyoka are only a word or two making them a five-lined, abbreviated Haiku. Maybe that is the fun in the form—almost anything goes.

  11. bowmanauthor/bowmaneditor – Maryland, United States – At this stage of my life I am a fiction author and poet, but I wear many hats! With a 30+-year history and education in editing and publishing, as well as psychology, I have introduced Clasid Consultants Publishing to help writers of all media produce a better product. I am a firm believer that the meticulous high quality of the "old-fashioned" way of publishing, which took months and even years, CAN be accomplished with the new rapidity of our techno/change-o world. All it takes is a little knowledge and keeping an eye on the ever-changing publishing market. I have reasonable fees for coaching/ghostwriting, editing/rewriting, proofreading, full publication layout-and-design, and act as a publishing advisor. My main concern is that the written material be accurate, consistent, beautiful to behold, and interesting to read. I willingly do no-charge reviews on short stories and novels, as I hope you will check out my fiction selections on amazon.com and do a review for me. We all learn from each other, and our perceptions change and evolve with every life we touch. Let me know how I can assist you! I am an avid reader, musician (singer/piano/Celtic harp, guitar, sax), artist, and Advanced Clinical Psychological Hypnotherapist (A.C.P.H). I am an animal lover with a beautiful Turkish Angora Cat named Molly. I am an advocate and speaker for the Lupus Foundation (www.lupus.org), Women's Rights, and "How Not To Be A Victim," as well as esoteric subjects dealing with hypnotherapy, psychic dreams and visions, telepathy, angels, and unexplained phenomena. Sadly, I was widowed in 2018.
    bowmanauthor/bowmaneditor says:

    Beautiful imagery in poem and pictures in the blog!

      1. bowmanauthor/bowmaneditor – Maryland, United States – At this stage of my life I am a fiction author and poet, but I wear many hats! With a 30+-year history and education in editing and publishing, as well as psychology, I have introduced Clasid Consultants Publishing to help writers of all media produce a better product. I am a firm believer that the meticulous high quality of the "old-fashioned" way of publishing, which took months and even years, CAN be accomplished with the new rapidity of our techno/change-o world. All it takes is a little knowledge and keeping an eye on the ever-changing publishing market. I have reasonable fees for coaching/ghostwriting, editing/rewriting, proofreading, full publication layout-and-design, and act as a publishing advisor. My main concern is that the written material be accurate, consistent, beautiful to behold, and interesting to read. I willingly do no-charge reviews on short stories and novels, as I hope you will check out my fiction selections on amazon.com and do a review for me. We all learn from each other, and our perceptions change and evolve with every life we touch. Let me know how I can assist you! I am an avid reader, musician (singer/piano/Celtic harp, guitar, sax), artist, and Advanced Clinical Psychological Hypnotherapist (A.C.P.H). I am an animal lover with a beautiful Turkish Angora Cat named Molly. I am an advocate and speaker for the Lupus Foundation (www.lupus.org), Women's Rights, and "How Not To Be A Victim," as well as esoteric subjects dealing with hypnotherapy, psychic dreams and visions, telepathy, angels, and unexplained phenomena. Sadly, I was widowed in 2018.
        bowmanauthor/bowmaneditor says:

        💖

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