The Splash of Gray

Pick a single drop

Watch it roll down the window

Slanting on the wind.

It doesn’t bother the fly

On the window frame.

He won’t see the city streets,

But he can hear them

In the crashing window drops

Like so many cars

Fighting through the splash of gray.

And he won’t go out.

You think that’s the right idea,

In the house all day,

You would love to mimic him

As the wet world works.

You and he at home alone

Viewing the world through windows.


Windows from your room

Like the flash of blind insight

Written on the world.

A single stanza waiting

To link to the larger poem.


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:

Soul-crusher Boss-jerks—Keening practice

Generally, people-selves who pursue    Pure word-smasher degrees

love to find the clock-power to think    Through the word-quilts we read.

Often don’t spend think-juice searching   Soul-crushers word-smashers can work

Leaving word-smashers in the wind     Working for soul-crusher boss-jerks.


People-selves=us or we

Word-smasher=English Literature degree or English Literature major



Think-juice=brain power




Keening is the practice of combining two words to create a poetic replacement for a noun. It is a very old practice dating back to Anglo-Saxon poetry and possibly even before that. A good example is from the epic, Beowulf: instead of writing ‘ocean’ the poem uses the word ‘whale-road.’ But even though it is an ancient practice, people still do it today, but the most widespread use of keening is in vulgar insults where instead of using a person’s name, you might use a word such as dick-head, ass-face, or douche-nozzle. If you want to learn more about keening or any other poetry term, you can check out the Glossary of Poetic Terms at Poetry Foundation here:

Beowulf also used a form of poetry where lines were separated by cesuras that were marked by alliteration. I added the extra spaces between the alliterated words as a way to mark the cesuras a little better because this is not something we expect in our poetry anymore. I did use rhyme at the end of the lines although Beowulf and other early examples of English poetry did not use rhyme.