Gogyohka for March


Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield, National Park, NJ.


River waves whirl and roll

gulls and geese gather on shore

under the grapefruit sun

I step over ghosts of winter

into puddles of spring-growing light.




A round of robins

sings a round of spring,

high notes fly towards the sun,

a cool breeze whips from the river

tickling my skin through un-zippered coat.




I couldn’t decide on which one to use, so here are two gogyohka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. Yes, I’m might working through a list of fruit-inspired descriptions. πŸ˜‰


36 thoughts on “Gogyohka for March

  1. Yay! You were in my feed today. πŸ™‚ I enjoyed this, Merril. I’ve always loved Robins. Just yesterday, I was listening to one singing outside on of our back windows. The branch was close, so I had a “bird’s-eye view.” He seemed so happy. Gorgeous photos!

    • Thank you very much, Jill! Apparently European robins are very territorial, but American ones don’t seem to be. I know some stay all winter, but now I’m really seeing them all over the place. And they are singing now instead of just chirping. I love it, too.

  2. Where have I been all these years, not knowing the meaning of “gogyohka”?

    Your verses today are exquisite. Never heard of a grapefruit sun either. Yes, bring them on, more fruit-inspired descriptions! πŸ˜€

    • Thank you very much for your very kind words, Marian!
      I believe gogyohka is a form that was created fairly recently, and not quite as constraining as haiku or tanka because there is no syllable count.

  3. I never heard of a gogyohka. What a wonderful word. Can anyone pronounce it? Does it matter anyway because I read your poem out loud and it was beautiful. We don’t have any robins here yet-I keep waiting.

  4. After I Googled “gogyohka,” I decided that I can’t decide between them. They are both equally lovely (in my humble opinion). And I love the photos, especially the middle one.

  5. I have read somewhere else the sun described as a grapefruit – and the description is apt and beautiful. Sometimes our robins do not migrate. But this year I haven’t seen any throughout the winter so I am looking forward to that first sighting. I used to have a pair that nested in my hedges πŸ™‚ I hope they come back.

    • Thank you, Jules. The sun seemed like a grapefruit to me, whether it’s unique or not. πŸ™‚
      I hope your robin pair do return. There are robins all around here–and they are singing now instead of simply chirping!

  6. Love the photo of the robin. I’ve been seeing quite a few the past couple of weeks, mostly on my mid-day walks around work. They seem smaller than the ones up north, but still a delight.

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