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Friday, April 16, 2010

The Reiki Digest waka-thon continues...with a new challenge!

By Beth Lowell
Contributing Editor

The waka has a 1,300 year recorded history and naturally, as anything with such a long history, it went through some changes. The most well known use of waka was as secret messages between lovers. Throughout its history, the rules for what was acceptable in waka changed – including form, subject matter, and tone. Its popularity declined and rose again, often gaining popularity in new segments of society with each incarnation. Waka writing was a popular pastime and rose from entertainment to art in the royal court. In the spirit of writing poetry as entertainment, last year The Reiki Digest encouraged writers to start a waka, writing the first two lines, or finishing one that was started.

This waka, for which Janet Dagley Dagley wrote the first two lines and Beth Lowell the last three, appeared in last year’s Waka Fest:

pink blossoms rain down
gently guided by the breeze
ten thousand farewells
the silence of the morning
blooming softly in my heart

Recently a writer’s group in Wiscasset, Maine, tried their hand at this exercise. Here are their results:

The first two lines were contributed by Jackie Lowell. Her complete waka is here:

The flowers blossomed
Colorful in shades of pink,
Lasting a short while
Until spring showers arrived
And washed away their beauty.

Jackie Lowell

Submissions from the rest of the group follow:

The flowers blossomed
Colorful in shades of pink,
Muted, supplanted
As orange ribbons cried out
For Whiteville's fallen miners.

Ron Conant

The flowers blossomed
Colorful in shades of pink.
A honey bee lit
On a delicate petal
Ignoring the pink to dine.

Mary Rose Pray

The flowers blossomed
Colorful in shades of pink.
They attracted bees.
Summon the Queen, Lucinda,
I want to buy some honey

Mary Ann Moore

The flowers blossomed
Colorful in shades of pink,
Complementing the green grass,
Reminding me of gardens
From my youth and years long past.

Beth Rowe

The flowers blossomed
Colorful in shades of pink
They glowed throughout spring.
Delighted with their fragrance,
I picked some to take inside.

Janet Morgan

As we kick off week two of the Waka Challenge, we again invite you to write the first two lines of a waka, or finish one that someone else has started. Who’ll go first?

You can post your waka, or parts of waka, as comments to this post on our web site, or email them to editor @


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