“Ghosts”…a choka for dversepoets pub

japanese ghosts

Japanese ghosts…..

Choka (long poem) is an ancient Japanese form of poetry that predates tanka and haiku.  It was very prominent in the great Man’yoshu of the 8th century, a collection of 4, 515 poems.  Gayle of Bodhirose’s Blog is hosting this wonderful form over at dversepoets.com.  Come read the submissions of choka over there.  It might choke you up.

Lady Nyo



Ghosts of lovers gone

circle my head in pale tones

grazing my body

with hands and lips now grown cool.

My loins slight response

barely encourages more

but lust knows its course

and demands my devotion

still calling forth attention.


In the past I knew

plump lips, rounded soft belly

blossom of my youth.

All of these circling ghosts

touched the filament

some of them the fundament!

Fast lusty dances

mouths and tongues greedy with joy

loins wrapped around loins straining.


Now, silence- alone,

all gone in the haze of time

spooks disturb my sleep

but still my skin remembers-

the scrap of a nail,

the caress of a soft hand,

teeth grasping a lip.


The flesh loses much regard

but memories surface still.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017



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38 Responses to ““Ghosts”…a choka for dversepoets pub”

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    The title “ghosts” together with those memories (I would almost call them phantom pains)… so well described, the dance of youth and those little things like lips and teeth, the nail.. Yes you’ve nailed it.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Thanks, Bjorn. I threw this one together, but had forgotten how wonderful this form is. I hope we have more chances at dverse to trot our choka stuff. Phantom pains….exactly!


  3. Bodhirose Says:

    This is great, Jane! Ghosts of past lovers and lust…what a great story…yes, I remember my own ghosts of those times. It was a full-on whole body experience!


  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    I have never really gotten into choka… and I wonder if I’m not really write more syllabled free verse


  5. ladynyo Says:

    lol! Well, Gayle, at least we have those ‘fond’ memories. These young folk today have missed the best sex and outré experiences of our times….today there is too many complications. Yep!! Full-on whole body experiences back then. Sigh.


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Bjorn….I don’t quite understand what you are saying here. I understand you have never really gotten into choka, but do you want to write more syllabled free verse or something else? Just need a little clarification…my brain today is mush. However, choka is a bit like haibun to me….so many possible expressions….almost like free verse to me….or just extended tanka. The rhythm is intoxicating, this gentle rocking back and forth in 5-7-5-7…I believe…the longer it’s sustained, the more brain wave particular comes into play….might be like the hyperarousal trance….theta wave. In any case, it’s like riding a bicycle….you never really forget how.


  7. Bodhirose Says:

    Right, Jane! Well it was during the heydays of the 60s you know…sex, drugs and rock and roll. Maybe we’ll address the other topics in other choka! 🙂


  8. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    Then I might have understood it correctly… I tried to end it with something like a proper tanka… and yes then it becomes a haibun… I like that way of looking at it.


  9. ladynyo Says:

    I’m cooking dinner right now Bjorn, but I will be over tomorrow to read. LOL! a proper tanka and then a haibun….a combination fish! LOL!


  10. ladynyo Says:

    Wooo. that will set tongues a’wag. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    No haibun this time…


  12. ladynyo Says:

    Nope…but maybe Halibut for dinner…. You will have to wait for Haibun Monday for your serving of haibun. LOL!


  13. Brian Says:

    Love the lilt and tilt of this poem. Very erotic and groovy.


  14. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! So far no raised eyebrows…..LOL! Thanks, dear friend. Loved your 100 word piece. Left a comment. Marvelous writin’.


  15. Bodhirose Says:

    Let ’em wag, Jane!


  16. ladynyo Says:

    And may they fall off.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Bodhirose Says:



  18. Brian Says:

    Crosses legs and whimpers. 😉


  19. kim881 Says:

    Erotic, sensual and not just about the ghosts of lovers 😉


  20. Grace Says:

    The skin has memories even if we forget at times ~ Enjoyed this one Jane ~


  21. Hélène/Willow Poetry Says:

    This is so sumptuously written. I brought me longing of youth and those loins, yes loins ….Happy New Year.


  22. ladynyo Says:

    Hello Helene! Happy New Year! Yes, loins…..rather a quaint word, neh?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Grace. Glad you liked it, and thank you for reading and leaving a comment.


  24. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Kim….thank you for reading and your comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. ladynyo Says:

    ROTF!!!! Thank the Cosmos for you, Brian. Still laughing!!!


    Liked by 1 person

  26. ladynyo Says:

    Back at ya.


  27. kim881 Says:

    You’re more than welcome, Jane. How are you?


  28. ladynyo Says:

    Ok, Kim…in October, lost a stray cat I had been stalking for a year and a half. He was so beautiful and we had formed a tight bond…feeding him 4 times a week, and then in late October, I found him dead on the road. Brought Stripy home and buried him under a pear tree. I went into a deep depression. Stripy gave me structure and purpose for that long time…and I needed something like this. A week ago, I brought home a 9 months old cat (I’m estimating ) that was either hit by a car, kicked violently, attacked by a dog. His pelvis was broken obviously and he was starving, dehydrated. He let me pat him and that was that. I brought him home and he’s recovering in cage isolation. He’s learning to walk again, and he loves this artificial 4 foot Xmas tree in my office where he is ensconced. LOL!~ Willow doesn’t replace Stripy, but attending to him has made a recovery for both of us. Now, people think I am crazy as I have 8 other cats here and 4 dogs, but they are all healthy, fat….Willow needed me and I needed Willow. Too much information>? Thanks for asking, Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. kim881 Says:

    Oh, Jane, I know that all so well. I suffered so much when our cat Tosca died in May, just a few days before we left for Italy to attend my daughter’s wedding. Now I have little Mojo, who has made me happy again and is helping me through the pain of gradually losing my mother, who is in the final stages of dementia. Animals are wonderful friends that give us comfort when we need it.


  30. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Kim…I am so sorry about Tosca, but what a Wonderful name! She must have been a Maria Callas in voice. And about your mother. Mine is a destructive narcissist and this is a mental illness. We have been alienated for over 50 years. She is 96 and I have never know a real mother. I am so sorry for your pain. Mojo sounds great! And yes, animals offer unconditional love, even cats! They give comfort in so many ways where humans don’t or can’t. Bless you, Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. purplepeninportland Says:

    So sad, the ghosts of youth, yet we continue to feel as if were are young. Gorgeous!


  32. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you! I wasn’t so sure how this would be received at dverse….but I appreciate your reading and comment. The power is wanky this morning…on and off…we had a ‘snow’ storm…actually all we got was some ice, but enough to take down the lines somewhere. Duped again by the weather talking heads…I was looking for snow and a reason to blanket in and read Robert Frost!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. paulscribbles Says:

    Skillfully written and wonderfully subtle eroticism flows though the verse.


  34. ladynyo Says:

    Thanks, Paul. I never know how my previous writings of erotica will fly on these various poetry sites. Sometimes they are lead balloons. I first started writing on ERWA, but left after a few years. EVERYTHING, and I mean everything had to be erotica…and I was not convinced that Everything had to be. So I left…but my first book when I left was “A Seasoning of Lust”….not the whole damn dinner! It was not looked upon favorably by many there. LOL! Literary erotica is not the same as porn, but many there felt it was. It was exhausting, and I felt like Anais Nin….some dirty old man behind the scenes demanding, “More! More!” But erotica is a legitimate literary theme….just not always the whole dinner. Thank you, Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. paulscribbles Says:

    You’re welcome.


  36. Miss Stacy Says:

    This poem seemed gripped of sensuality. I also appreciate the symbolism of the ‘ghost’ as our lives seem littered with ghosts of the past as we learn and grow.


  37. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Miss Stacy, for reading and your comment.


  38. purplepeninportland Says:

    Sounds lovely.


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