Love Notes from a Courtesan

aromatic steam
rises from a matcha bowl
waiting for your lips
to press against porcelain
sweet taste of jasmine flowers

our tantric dancing
trips the light of galaxies
we are earth and moon
cheek to cheek and face to face
inhaling each other’s breath

when we last parted
soft drumming of rain on leaves
was the only sound
the echo of your footsteps
already a memory

Kim M. Russell, 21st May 2020

Colour postcards show idyllic life in 19th century Japan ...
Image found on Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar: 5-Line Japanese Forms

Frank T is our host for today’s Meeting the Bar, where we are celebrating National Tanka Month, or NaTankaMo and focusing on three 5-line Japanese forms: tanka, kyoka and gogyohka

Frank reminds us that tanka enjoys a long history in Japan and has given us a background to the form. Similar to haiku, tanka consist of concrete images and similar line structuring, but they were written by a different range of poets, from courtiers to emperors, and were used to express love and devotion.

On the other hand, kyoka are more like senryu, a five-line form of parody poetry, exploring human nature, usually in as satirical a way as possible.

Gogyohka is a relatively new form of five-line poetry. Unlike tanka and kyoka, it has no structural requirements or thematic tendencies; it only needs to be written in five lines.

61 thoughts on “Love Notes from a Courtesan

  1. Beautifully done Kim, I love the warmth in this sequence and the gentle sounds brought in through ‘soft drumming of rain on leaves’ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So evocative, sensual and exotic; literally the perfection of Asian perspective. I liked “Our tantric dancing trips the lights of galaxies.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Computer packed up for a rest before I got to yours yesterday (working backwards).
    These have such an authentic Japanese-in-translation feel. My favourite is the third one though, which is the most earthy, to my mind. Lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

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