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Monday, April 11, 2011

Welcome to Waka Fest 2011!

By Beth Lowell
Photo by Buddy Don

Today marks the start of our annual Waka Fest here at The Reiki Digest! Waka Fest coincides with cherry blossom season and all month long we publish waka written by our readers. Last year, we received over 40 contributions from readers all over the world, meeting and surpassing our goal of at least one waka a day.

We're starting to establish a small library of articles about waka, the often neglected aspect of Reiki, so if you're new to The Reiki Digest or want to review more about this ancient form of poetry and how it was used during Usui's time, you can peruse these two articles published in 2009, Waka Rules! and Following the waka into Japanese history. Last year we included this interview with Beverly George, in which the poet talks about the difference in structure between eastern and western forms. We'll be including more articles about waka (called tanka in modern poetry) throughout the coming month.

This year we once again invite writers to share their waka with us over the next month. Our latest waka project will be to publish a book of waka poetry written by you, our readers. To get a jump on the process,
we'd like to collect all waka submitted during Waka Fest for inclusion in the book. If you would like to submit a waka for Waka Fest and do not wish that it be included in the book, please note that clearly in your email submission. All waka will be credited to their authors.

Writing a waka is simple. Each poem contains 5 lines. You may write in the established syllable count of 5/7/5/7/7 or, simply follow a format of short/long/short/long/long. keeping your poem to 31 syllables or fewer.

Here's one from last year following the 5/7/5/7/7 count:

Only I can choose
Moods and Attitudes I share
With Wonder and Joy
Life is always "WONDERfull"
Each moment in Joy, Enjoy!
By Rickie Freedman

And here's one following the short/long/short/long/long format:

Twilight
one June evening
I remember
clinking ice
and a low slung moon
By Beth Lowell


If you are an artist or photographer and are inspired to submit cherry blossom artwork, we welcome that as well.

To submit your waka or cherry blossom art work, please send it via email to: waka @ thereikidigest.com , and include the work "waka" in the subject line.

Happy writing!

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