New Moon

I have done a Bussokusekika, a Japanese poetic form that follows the rules of tanka, except there are three seven syllable lines that end the poem for a 5-7-5-7-7-7. Bussokusekika is an ancient form of poetry, older than Tanka or haiku. It translates to footprints of Buddha.

New Moon
crescent thin against
the black night – overpowered
by the stars she sings
a faint song of undappled
water and hunting owls – she
is lonely in the darkness

33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Frank J. Tassone
    Jun 12, 2018 @ 15:53:23

    Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #9: Toni Spencer’s latest #Bussokusekika!


  2. willow88switches
    Jun 12, 2018 @ 16:11:13

    wow – this is superb! thanks for the intro to another Japanese form (briefly) –
    this slightly more room to play, with additional lines and count, makes for just enough to perhaps complete the incomplete – not closing the ripple, but allowing for another layer.

    there isn’t one word or phrase that I don’t really appreciate in this entire piece Toni. It’s truly amazing. I’m justing reeling with “singing a faint song of undappled water and hunting owls” – wow!

    yes, I must say, this is so rich and lovely and lush, for the echoing song …

    (btw, I wasn’t around for the intro to “rain words” but I really loved the wealth of possibilities …)


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 12, 2018 @ 16:24:35

      Thank you Pat. Well, you know, you can write a rain poem without being prompted! I think you would do it justice. I love these brief forms (as long as someone doesn’t try to screw around with them and modernize them) because it causes one to get rid of excess words, to cut down and cut back and cut away. Tyhank you so you much for your extreme kindness in this. It is a rare form that fell out of popularity a thousand years ago. But I like it.


      • willow88switches
        Jun 12, 2018 @ 17:41:34

        oh yes, I could write about the rain, but we’ve had far too much of it lately – only a short few days of sun, tomorrow more rain, and I’m a bit down in the hooves about rain right now … but maybe at another time. That really was a wonderful idea – that “rain word essences list” …. definitely something to keep in mind. 🙂

        I really like this “new/old” form – but you have to pardon me, I keep wanting to call it something like “the babushka form” …. just because … well … I don’t know. LOL – it definitely has merits, the form, not my re-naming. And I’m not a huge fan of Haiku, but when I do write it, I try to stick to its roots – and it is a very “zen” exercise, so in some ways, this really does appeal to me – with just a bit more room to maneuver.

        And wow, this is still, as I read it, just amazing. What a really great poem.


  3. Vivian Zems
    Jun 12, 2018 @ 16:20:13

    She may be lonely, but her song is filled with beauty and gives comfort. I like this form😊


  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jun 12, 2018 @ 16:21:14

    I miss the moon a little… summer is here with so little darkness. I go to bed in dusk and go up in daylight… love the way you used the form


  5. Laura Bloomsbury
    Jun 12, 2018 @ 17:31:58

    brevity is the discipline of the sword – thank you – I must put this aside to try sometime. a 7 syllable line – feeels like stretching right out yet its only two more.
    The ‘undappled water’ speaks volumes about stillness


  6. Victoria C. Slotto
    Jun 12, 2018 @ 21:41:15

    I enjoyed this and the new form. Thank you.


  7. Jim
    Jun 12, 2018 @ 22:09:15

    The Crescent Moon needs more star friends tonight. Here we tend to enjoy the full moon more. We watch it from the inside, both in the east and then later in the west.
    I think I would enjoy using the seven extra syllable count. I went through a phase of writing seven count line poetry. I still mainly keep it even, most time eight and once in a while ten.


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 12, 2018 @ 22:12:13

      I am glad you enjoyed this. Please keep the line count strict. Too many people screwing up these ancient forms, neither caring nor understanding

      Get Outlook for Android



  8. thotpurge
    Jun 12, 2018 @ 22:49:40

    undappled water and hunting owls.. beautiful!


  9. Sherry Marr
    Jun 12, 2018 @ 23:37:50

    Just beautiful.


  10. mhmp77
    Jun 13, 2018 @ 00:26:43


    she is lonely in the darkness

    The darkness can be menacing for many as one is more or less vulnerable to anything at all!



  11. Vandana
    Jun 13, 2018 @ 01:07:27

    What a beautiful yearning of loneliness despite being surrounded by stars.


  12. kim881
    Jun 13, 2018 @ 03:49:29

    Another form to try. I like the shape and sound of this, Toni, and I love the gentle image of the moon, lonely in the darkness.


  13. annell4
    Jun 13, 2018 @ 08:02:24

    I love this!! These is so much feeling in that she is “lonely in the darkness.”


  14. Kerry
    Jun 13, 2018 @ 09:20:34

    she sings
    a faint song of undappled

    That alone is poetry for me.. beautifully captured.


    Jun 13, 2018 @ 13:07:49

    Kind of spellbinding. I love the conjuring of owls.


  16. Charmed Chaos
    Jun 13, 2018 @ 13:57:53

    Beautiful words and a great form.


  17. Carrie Van Horn
    Jun 14, 2018 @ 13:43:56

    Lovely form…lovely words!!


  18. hedgewitch
    Jun 17, 2018 @ 10:03:39

    I am unable to figure out how to comment on your 55, Toni, so I came over here, which was nice, because then I got to read this excellent poem also. Your images in both are striking and original, and I appreciate your contribution to the 55 very much.There is just something about the moon….


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 18, 2018 @ 15:12:39

      Thanks for reading Joy. I had massive tablet problems so thank you for reading both poems. Yes there is something about the moon. I think I write about the moon on a regular basis. And it looks like my comment on your 55 disappeared! I loved your 55.


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