For the A-Z Challenge, I’m paying homage to National Poetry Month. Each day, I’m publishing a poetic form I have never tried before.

Today is the imayo, a 4-line Japanese form that has 12 syllables in each line. There is a planned caesura (or pause) between the first 7 syllables and the final 5. The 5/7 syllable splits are the familiar patterns found in other Japanese forms like haikutanka, and senryu. There is no subject matter requirement.

The imayo was originally written to be sung.

Here’s the simple template:


In the Alley

You enter me: slow and quiet – people walking by
your hand hard against my mouth – the shadowed alley
my skin scrapes against brick – they’ve no idea
I shudder against your hips – what you’ve done to me.

(Note…this is not rape, but it is one of my fantasies…there is just some things so deliciously naughty about public sex…the possibility of getting caught…knowing people are walking by, oblivious, unaware of what is happening just within their reach.)

I like this form. While you don’t have to create two poems beside each other, like I did, I added that little challenge for myself.

If you are on a mobile device, it might be harder to see this, so I’ve italicized the second half of each line. If you read the regular print, it creates one side of the story (in the alley), and the italicized print creates the other side (beyond the alley).

This one was fun and fairly easy.


    • Brigit Delaney

      Thanks…that definitely added a little more complexity to it. I think I’m a glutton for punishment. My masochism comes through when I create more work for myself. I think I thrive off of it.

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