Watching the World Burn—Choka

The chickens find voice

In even palest fire.

One simple moment

Plays an entire lifetime

Slipping and sliding

Between buzzings of two worlds.

Powerline, a silver

And black streaming reflection,

Watches the world burn.

Storm broken and hissing sparks

Lights the leaves like candles.


Choka is a long Japanese poem that alternates lines of 5 and 7 syllables. The poem must end with at least two 7 syllable lines in a row. If you want to learn more about choka or other syllabic poetry forms, you can visit Word Craft Poetry #TankaTuesday at:

Dirty Dotted Words

Burning books of one’s free words.

A big bunch of these bad boys swept in their own ink.

Oozing ink like sap from a green log ablaze.

They smoke like weeds of bad taste.

Like nicotine teeth from green wood flame.

 Burned on wet clay hills suspended as fat forest fires.

Violent mineralized meaning burning bright

The dirty dotted chunks of information.

September 21, 2017 On Toward Jackson

Your house lit in eclipse and fire and computer and couch and smoke.

On toward Jackson, phone calls and alarms and threats of return. You kept on.

News so abrupt and nonchalant and sociopathic and painful.

Drove on. Felt nothing. Continued to shop. Only when needed, you felt.

You saw him in soot and smoke and a black spot of death out there that day.

Out burning garbage in the yard under the pale light of the eclipse.

His fault. You knew it. Thought you knew it. You knew it.

It was all gone, the eclipse. And out there with new shoes. Out Jackson way.