Some attempts at writing Kwansaba. They are not the best examples but I am still learning the style. The Kwansaba was invented during the 1995 EBR Writers Club workshop (in East St. Louis), consists of seven lines of seven words each; each word must contain no more than seven letters. Exceptions to the seven-letter rule are proper nouns.
1.) --Without you they wonít have a chance 2-- fight for them, you care about them donít leave them lost on others arms. Look out for them, little ones playing On streets covered in remains amidst dreams Broken forgot lost in slums of plenty. Canít let them sink into sickly dismay Hold kids up for glory and hope. By: David E. Howerton 2.) --Without you they wonít have a chance-- Fight for those you care about donít leave them sitting lost on otherís arms. Look out for the little ones playing on streets covered in trash amid dreams broken forgot lost in ashes of war. Donít let them sink into dismay too. Hold your kids up for glory eternal. By: David E. Howerton 3.) --Still you find many looking in dark-- When last star sinks into dark aeons drained tired dim voices hang on edge get quieter every eon. Trying too hear the few still talking afraid being last. In dark quiet, Night rules, these ages. Laughs at few strange songs riding dark as even atoms wind down before rebirth. By: David E. Howerton 4.) --Late night want coffee-- I'm tired empty cup to close bedtime bad movie for company for nap try waste evening hands twitch belly aches damn hope there's a little left in pot got some coffee old cold and bitter takes mind off bad movie bad taste bush teeth get ready go to sleep By: David E. Howerton 5.) --Late afternoon turkeys nest night comes-- Sit here watching the sun setting orange red almost color of fresh blood fades with night coming. Watch birds fly across road sinking into canyon where nests hide. Evening rush loud quiets after setting sun leaving gentle wind and little songs of tired birds settled for longer fall night. By: David E. Howerton 6.) --A trip at rush hour beware assumptions-- Holding still clouds tumble on their way into Sierra Nevada's for first fall snow. Quiet down on streets waiting for rain turn to window watch cars speed along chasing dreams of warm and easy times at homes in hills where clouds hang. Sneer at those sharing road for same. By: David E. Howerton 7.) --Turkey morning-- With those birds you can't tell what going on tails up heads held high. Looking for mates in meadow by road seek comfort in clover in a dance. As hens eye big bright old Tom who's led since they were little chicks. Ones most apt to survive, charm them. By: David E. Howerton 8.) --Toward the turns that start again-- Long after dark came we called out hoping to hear an answer before the long fall into rebirth someone else saved. Maybe we'll make it through next rebirth where few will be until we're old. Hope next ones given birth live long enough length they may see our birth. By: David E. Howerton 9.) --These are --things good night-- Down in quiet places where coyotes run live oaks hang heavy with fall colors and turkeys dream of spring in evening fog. Drifts outline trees in gray distant wispy softens traffic noise evening starts slow. Time for long book cup of coffee a blanket enough light to read by. By: David E. Howerton 10.) --the game-- Over aeons even protons grow tired wishing short burst into primal ball for rebirth. Turning gravity into matter and life again. Again in aeons the long climb up and a reach to stars rainbow hued; beyond where borders forever waiting next chance life's attempt to break through higher realm. By: David E. Howerton 11.) --Sent them quick don't wait do more-- It's there dark room keeping phone quiet typing hitting keys watch words build quick. Darkroom on screen subdued words get stronger turn into poems and things print out send on rounds to editors to publish with a little luck and some stamps next year maybe later most come back. By: David E. Howerton 12.) --Enjoying adventures and icecream-- I'm happy holding hands looking into eyes during sunsets bright and soft orange red gray and green with you and wind. Making good memory that time almost here when confined to bed lost in pain each good time we had I hold as sinking covered in sweat you fade. By: David E. Howerton 13.) --Turning bright red blue flowers-- Brown at edges, bounce with gentle wind as sun rides to noon opens wide bright draws eyes and insects deep in. Summer grows old petals drop colors fade proud erect begins hanging, droops with advent fall. Fields brown yellow bits blown in wind few red blue petals still hang. By: David E. Howerton 14.) --Night looking search-- trouble sits barking colored green seeks door spits at all coming near snarls nothing only wants let in where games happen. Takes joy from people only wanting hope. Leaves most hurting now goes digs deep sucks marrow from hope. People hollow eyed jittery with pain looking for escape route. By: David E. Howerton 15.) --Little goes unnoticed-- Down lanes where oak hang heavy I walk watching worms crawl on the road takes a smile and wind comes talking blows leaves along, water on the road though no cars travel not dark yet and things have stayed quiet gives me feeling of warmth about these back roads. By: David E. Howerton 16.) --I've been waiting cold weather-- Been waiting cold weather cloudy skies and wind blown rain feels good on face hands and hair touched in cold bright pulls me out self pity, why me's and helps me get out of chair go for walk even slow with smile and sweat drips doesn't hurt feels alive. By: David E. Howerton 17.) --Finding place nap in sun-- Along deer trail a mile from house crosses creek shallow only two feet wide smells of rotting leaves near by under sun warmed a large flat gray rock flat enough to lay on soaking warmth from rock and sun eases the pain two months best nap yet after chemo. By: David E. Howerton 18.) --As years turn gray-- Broken glass peeks from leaves, fall blown remains of wine bottles long since dry the parties we had, dreaded growing up wanted only to stay below elders radar. But that seldom happens things go wrong. Well it's not to bad always another chance. Getting better as years go on. By: David E. Howerton 19.) --As with everything-- At edge where time has run down stars are few, and dim. Someone still stands looking at last few burning stars now all life is at point where what time left has to be lived. Quick before long dark covers them all after aeons a new spark life returns. By: David E. Howerton 20.) --It's part of a circle-- Packing boxes make lists get ready for that day a month or two away when stuff needs selling, time to cry hope somehow won't end. Can't bring myself to lay down and give up. Life has plenty of hope even when dying and you can't hold much of it. By: David E. Howerton 21.) --Having a good day things hang in hair-- Bad hair pulled back hope it's unseen few known would care but that's good some find joy in looking for answers. Back from hiding get feeling I'm not alone in hanging hair behind dirty ears but then there are days with beads and little bells hanging just the thing. By: David E. Howerton 22.) --Every place holds a few-- You look and they are there hiding in corners and under chairs where they like shadows and quiet that fills beneath where we don't visit trust in breeze to pull them out a cross floor and out door into yard where they're unseen and breed quick in yard. Dust Bunnies. By: David E. Howerton 23.) --Hold onto you begin warmth-- Begin watch sun poke over old oaks wisps of mist tamper bright morning have another pocket of dried fruit with you when morning is young and eyes gunked brings each moment close and dear for us before long day builds its blocks that wash away in shower with spouse. By: David E. Howerton 24.) --Bringing Flowers-- Being tired doesnít end your need for A hug. Nor does it stop mine, But thatís okay you bring me flowers. They light up this room and our Tears are hidden in hugs. Your face On my chest hides pain of being Held I can tell they told you. By: David E. Howerton 25.) --don't have the energy to go out today-- Having you here seeing shadows on walls turning with light just normal day but that's what comes when sitting shades closed light seeps in leaving traces on walls and in clouds of dust motes that linger in every house wind and bird calls are the only friends that come today By: David E. Howerton 26.) --Where you hid should've been for the innocent-- Haven't a clue do you? Didn't think? Looked at them as victims not human didn't you? Holding your flag over eyes refused to look at what was done in your name. Blood soaked hands wrapped in a flag kept you out of .... Couldn't believe we'd find out did you? By: David E. Howerton 27.) --Six in the morning coffee already-- At drift in kitchen warmth, make oatmeal begin a pot of coffee and toast brings scents that make us drool waiting. From kitchen window road seen traffic slows morning rush started to early for sun there's not much light, and belly full coffee in hand read paper toast drivers. By: David E. Howerton 28.) --one thing to watch for-- Bent twigs broken leaves litter forest path bear coyote scat partly hidden be careful. Looking for poison ivy by trail can't be to careful being laid up itching covered in lotion. Having to think about not pulling nails across small red rash. Still turn to walks in woods for calm. By: David E. Howerton 29.) --On side of road getting pissed-- Broke the damn thing and got away left us stuck here waiting for tow. Drifted into night no one here yet but what else is new you knew that there wouldn't be anyone along soon. Flat tire no spare cloud burst too kept sitting here where did you go? By: David E. Howerton 30.) --Now it's been done smile-- With a yell all the words fell from my mind onto this page. Look a small poem that isn't still born change from how most of them go. Yet the smiles of kids reading them warms the heart. Lifts weight from soul some deeds go free and bring value. By: David E. Howerton 31.) --In age you'll remeber-- Once on way to castle a unicorn nuzzled a maiden on little used path hung over old oaks who whisper stories. She hugged its neck its horn glinted in dappled light distant drums its beat. A gift of old gods before running into woods a memory for old age. By: David E. Howerton 32.) --hungry children have import too-- She holds court looking down at us speaks to us of goals beyond stars. My kids haven't eaten two three days where went silos of grain we farmed for the times of nothing that come. I want to think of stars but, when kids cry they seem far away. By: David E. Howerton 33.) --Sometimes you have to look differently-- "I'm looking nothing goes, but you insist." "Try!" "Havenít you learned work at it." "Well, that's better now. You're getting it." "Some time it just takes an effort." "Looking at a job with others eyes helps give new way of looking at getting it done." "I'm proud of you." By: David E. Howerton 34.) --Fall, weeds sag flowers gone-- Gray brown stems hang dust and mold bring closer next springs rebirth. Bland yellow where each plant still hangs over ground waiting the fall into rebirth. Insects call drift on wind nibble at dry grass when rain comes smells great little things return. Down among weeds brown gray life. By: David E. Howerton 35.) --Where books rest old gods tremble-- Having been lost until now some think should have stayed in deep quiet woods old pines and oaks litter covered paths in secret runic lore from before man. Most we are lucky too not hear buried under basaltís in ruined temples deep beneath old forests waiting for new gods. By: David E. Howerton 36.) --Nothing's Forgot-- Hold brief whisper old tales rocky runes etched by lichen moss mold edged magik. Gets old gods singing songs from when oldest oaks were young. Young Coyote laughed drank some beer with Odin not gray. Silly writing future history rubbed sheepís skin octopus ink and bits of solid sun. By: David E. Howerton 37.) --Hold begin overgrown path-- On path old digger pines needles cover no people noise, gets far down here. Bent limbs shape runes old magik grows gives small quiets where nature speaks strong. Some old ways whisper Coyote Raven Bear other and more. At edge wait return sanity. Humans lost in morass selfish touch. By: David E. Howerton 38.) --Field Mice Go Pause-- Down in weeds brown gray mostly flat wind soft gentle whisper scent trails glow in dry grass. Not much except maybe house cat pounces wanting to play I Life. Toss mouse catch let run a little bring it back let play dead awhile bat with paws chase again get bored. By: David E. Howerton 39.) --Broken branchís glitter-- Bare branchís bow and wave winter rain traces of summer cling. Dew draped leaves clutter ground leave runes old spells sigh. Whisper songs old gods wander forest paths in winters grip wait end times battle. Drunk on tales born before the Christ speak gently of heaven and old old Earth. By: David E. Howerton 40.) --a good day in canyon-- Damn, spent to much time with people all that came was pain sorrow loss down lost ways found little for hope. Got burnt to often became shy of getting near found peace in long walks under gray pines wind blowing talking with myself while sun sinks west find peace. By: David E. Howerton 41.) --after so long it's still strong-- Can't quite forget pain that started then doesn't seem right being held by past when you left. But now it comes as strong as then pulling at heart and soul grief doesn't really go away. Grief fades some times but the callus is thin comes off easy tears return. By: David E. Howerton 42.) --When you thought it safe slapped-- Just dug out photos of you then began feeling tears coming didn't want them too. Then what choice was given I went outside walked under gray pines until felt ready to look again, but pain still there and I haven't forgot you or not being there twenty years later. By: David E. Howerton
Copyright (c) 2005 , 2006 David E. Howerton