Air, dew damp, strikes cheeks
Cold with predawn loitering.
Dark sky frames dark hills.
"Awake" cries nagging seagull.
Sun rises later than she.
Copyright ©2004 Lisa A. Joseph
"Waka, also known as tanka or uta is the ancestor of haiku. In my research on the arts of Heian Japan, I learned that this form was used for contests, in which one person might start the first three lines and others had to come up with the last two, or one poem must be answered by a new one. Lovers frequently sent messages using this poetic form, often using imagery from nature. As a courtly entertainment, it is extremely well suited to spur-of-the moment topics, in fact, several of the poems below were written in response to topical challenges. I have included the occasional note to provide context. "
"October 14, 2003 - Outlands Bardic e-list challenge to write a poem of twelve lines or less including the words "air," "cold," "dark," "awake," and "sun," with extra points allowed for also including "seagull," the favored bird of Mistress Guernen Cimarguid of the Outlands." -- Makiwara no Yetsuko
The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).