FormForAll: two sijo

how to keep ’em quiet // propaganda

we throw rocks from bridges into the ferocious, roaring mawl of
(dangerous-for-the-system) dragons, lurking in the crash of the fall (that’s what they tell us)
as if constant feeding silenced them// like it does// silence us (sometimes)


this morning on my way to work

i feed my road bike spokes with juicy, fresh plucked morning sunlight,
spin, spin, spin (tongue thick with pollen) along yellow yawning fields
a thousand dew dipped spiders pull their hats, silently greeting


we’re writing “sijo” at dVerse today, a popular traditional Korean form… consists of three long lines, one main thought each line (roughly thesis-development-conclusion), 14-16 syllables per line, 44-46 syllables in total.


56 responses to “FormForAll: two sijo

  1. Thanks for showing me a new form. I love what you did with it. “lurking” – I love that word – it feels and sounds just like its meaning.

  2. I LOVE spiders and their message of danger … just the other day I went into a spider net … (a jeans store, actually) … I love blue jeans … I live in blue jeans … I will die in blue jeans … thank goodness, we are required to wear plain cloth at work … on Psych 34 that is … so blue jeans and T Shirt or hoodie it is … Uhm, this comment might be way beyond your point … sorry, just cam off nights … what am I thinking … Love you, C … in any case … Always, cat.

  3. i rather like the mystery and fantasy of the first but the underlying message to it as well…there is a nice intensity there too…smiles…the second though def is magical in its own way…i like the spin spin spin…and the spiders…ha…smiles.

  4. Spin and spin around and round, as your words are found, first has quite the message behind it and the second is fun, but no pollen on my tongue.

  5. Claudia! I love these sooo much 🙂 Huge smiles for your wonderful words–spiders pulling their hats, feeding bike spokes juicy fresh plucked sunlight (that was my absolute favorite–you never cease to amaze me)

  6. I must get in line here, both Sijo are sweetly accurate, and wonderfully provocative. The first one falls in line with my own poetic line of thought today, so it impresses me, but the second one is dripping in fairy dust & whimsy, with a nice twist on the end; thanks.

  7. I have now come to the conclusion, after much pondering, that you have posted two seperate sijo’s here. I did doubt that until about 30 seconds ago.

    Its a great form, enough there to be able to be expansive. Ireally enjoyed the first one, but I am biased, anything to do with dragons will always grab my attention. but the image that spiders tipping their hats in greeting conjured up just had me roaring with laughter, in the middle of a soap, disapproving glares included 😉

  8. HAHA! Keep ’em quiet? FEED them. Like squeeling hogs, then sudden….quiet.

    You remind me how exquisite is the morning awakening of the “day crowd”, in early-dawn “dew-dipped” (LOVE it!) Nature’s fresco. How SWEET!

    Are you a country girl–rding past fields on your scooter moped?
    PEACE! Enjoy! I do….

  9. For me it was the sunlight on the spokes (though as an allergy sufferer, I couldn’t help but imagine a sneeze when I read the word pollen) : )

  10. I love that fresh plucked morning sunlight. That conjures up all kinds of wonderful images, Claudia. How fortunate you are to be able to bike to work!

  11. thought the first piece was really thoughtful for me –

    the force of the smile that finally broke, or should i say “plucked,” the stress on my face from the day’s work was it for me!

    “i feed my street bike spokes with juicy, fresh plucked morning sunlight,
    spin, spin, spin (tongue thick with pollen) along yellow yawning fields
    a thousand dew dipped spiders pull their hat, silently greeting”

    big 😉

  12. Very colourful indeed… the first one very intriguing… like throwing chips to seagulls and we’ll stay quiet…for a little while at least…but do love the spiders tipping their hats as you ride by how cool!

  13. Great sijo, Claudia! The first it appears something to do with a stock market crash as it mysteriously revolves around those who lost their pants and are to remain silent. The second, a freedom of mornings where crawlies are friendlies. I suppose poetry can go in any direction!

    P/S Borrowed your reading of a sijo

  14. Your first poem boldly inscribes its serious theme… but, oh! I love that second sijo, with the sun bursting in between the spokes of the bicycle, and the rush of the landscape flying by – such wonderful images!

  15. Wow, Claudia. You do equally well with these densities as with your normal full page flow! The first took me back when the crowd and dragons led back to us! This is both a political reality and a pattern of abused children, to shut down others with what silenced us. The second took me into paths of light and pollen that I love, Fun to imagine the moving bike to be gathering the gold like a bee while the spiders greet them: Welcome to my parlor! Thank God your narrator is going too fast and freely to accept the invitation.

  16. dragons and spiders….what a trip to read these, especially the child in you riding the bike in the sun and thinking of the tipping of hats ; the first one is a dose of reality you nailed but good…i like much

  17. dragons and spiders…hmm…

    I pretty much like any poem with dragons in it; but I must admit the second one sparkled; I thoroughly loved the image of spiders in (top) hats…I know you don’t specify the hat, but top hats just seem like the perfect spider hat.

  18. I sense a feeling of irritation in both, just me. Throwing rocks, spinning, plucked morning sunlight… a bit of annoyance being put aside.

  19. I kind of cannot disagree with you on the first one, as if trying to find a reason to pacify ourself, our false hopes and sometimes, ego.

    For the second one, glad that spring is in, finally for your bike and you:)

  20. Shame on you, you don’t keep the syllable limit! That said, your bike shines. And I say:


    Das will ich meinen; Christus thront
    in meinem Leben, Satan sonst.
    Ich fühle sicherlich das ich
    sorgfältig möchte liebe dich.
    Wenn Satan der Verführer ist
    gehorche ich nicht Antichrist.

  21. You have pictured well two themes in your poems. The social commentary of the first one is spot-on. On the other hand, the second one presents a delightful and idyllic picture. I would love to go through that road. 🙂

  22. Hey Claudia:

    Interesting analogy in the first one but its meaning escaped me. I can’t get the analogy. Is the dragon’s mawl the pit of weak, failing European economies? Are the rocks your money? Do you throw money at other countries or at daily commodities. Is it government or personal spending? See — I didn’t get it.

    Your second one was beautifully surreal for me. A magical morning trip.
    Few thoughts:

    (1) “street bike”: I guess in the US we’d call it a motorbike, a moped, a motorcycle? I am guessing, in German, it is a “Straßenmotorrad” or in French a “vélo de rue”.

    (2) “tongue”: since you were feeding your bike (anthropomorphized), I could not tell if the tongue was yours or that of the just previously anthropomorphized bike.

    (3) “pulled their hat”: should be hatS, I’d guess — since there are thousands of them.

    the image of spiders ‘tipping their hats” to you on the surreal trip was fantastic.

    Interesting, I read over 50 comments and no one questioned the meaning of the first poem — so they must have all understood, or…

    And I liked aprille’s British: “doffing their hats” (note she automatically pluralized it) — the more I think of it, “pull” may not be the best choice for English — but not sure because I am not the most literate by any stretch.

    Again, though, a great ride.
    Oddly enough, we both had pollen splashing our scenes. Fun to share a thought across an ocean!

    • ok…
      1. street bike or road bike is a bicycle…no motor bike..the ones they use at the tour de france…smiles
      2. the pollen on my tongue..smiles… just inhaling spring you know
      2. yeah, maybe you’re right..

      as for an interpretation for the first one… i meant propaganda, still influenced from what happened in the third reich when they tried to feed people slogans and wrong truths and tried to keep them silent..happens today as well…

      thanks for reading so detailed sabio

  23. 1) ah, bicycle, got it.
    2) ah, your tongue, got it.

    Concerning the first poem, were you writing about the Third Reich — I doubt it because you said, “that’s what they tell us” not, “that’s what they TOLD us”. So you haven’t told us whose propaganda to whom and what about.