A Choka in Memory of Absent Friends

A choka is a form of Japanese verse dating from the 6th through the 14th centuries. It consists of alternating lines of five and seven syllables, with a final seven syllables at the end. The length is, however, as many lines are necessary.

Mistress Sofya Gianetta di Trieste commissioned me to write a poem for the Memorial in celebration of the lives of the absent at the encampment of the Crown Province of Ostgardr on August 11. She has given me permission to publish it here the next day.

At the service of your honors, I am

Kikkawa-keikanshijin Michime, bearing a resemblance to M. Ana de Guzmán, OL

 A Choka in Memory of Absent Friends

Our dewdrop days are

fleeting, and all things must pass.

Each man, each woman,

is thought, action, memory.

From the coloring

of glass, to the making of

the perfect dumpling,

to the drumming that sets the

pace for dancing, to

the preparing of a great

field for War and for

the revelries afterwards—

all of the tasks and

accomplishments that make a

life, that touch our lives,

are sources of gratitude.

We enter life the

same way, depart differently.

It is not how we

depart that defines us, but

how we use the days

given to us in between,

from the first breath drawn

to the wisp of smoke on wind.

Let us raise our cups

and drain those swiftly dry for

all who’ve graced our lives. Kampai.