“Temper” (Sedoka)

Cast Iron Pan

Temper

Words pop like mustard
seeds in a fry pan, skitter
across a cast iron will.

Even heavy heart
can’t damp the heat, skillet words
cast by a crossed iron will.

*******************

The above is an attempted sedoka – not the numbers puzzle (my first impression!)  but a Japanese poem based on a two stanzas with a syllabic count of 5-7-7.  For more, check out the inspiring article by Samuel Peralta on dVerse Poets Pub. 

(Sorry for the re-use of older image.)  

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25 Comments on ““Temper” (Sedoka)”


  1. Wonderful description of anger…hot and staccato!

  2. claudia Says:

    ouch…this is a very visual description…and the angry words tend to pop out of the pan and burn each other’s skin.. it needs much wisdom to cool them down again…

  3. grapeling Says:

    begs to be spoken loudly. snap, crackle, and pop! ~ M


  4. a cast iron will.. and skillet what strong contrast here.. Really injoyed this… you paint a personality in very few words…. Happy midsummer.

  5. Grace Says:

    Love the use of sounds popping in the skillet and kitchen imagery K ~ So well done ~

  6. brian miller Says:

    nice…i like the use of mustard seeds….and pairing that with our will…and cast iron will at that…it sets a nice tension between faith and will power…..very cool take k…

  7. cloudfactor5 Says:

    Another striking exhibition of juxtaposition, I’ve seen presented in this sedoka prompt !! crackling with intensity, enjoyed this !!
    Love “skillet words”, do they come sunny side up? R

  8. Laurie Kolp Says:

    Wow… this is wonderful.

  9. nico Says:

    Very original image–it’s so perfectly accurate. Great writing!

  10. wolfsrosebud Says:

    felt the movement in this… i didn’t know you could write something so short… LOL

  11. Mohana Says:

    Oh!! Nice one, Karen 🙂

  12. hedgewitch Says:

    A very vivid(and accurate) metaphor for the way things heat up, and the way words just skitter and pop when we use them in that particular skillet. Laughin at the sedoka/suduku confusion–my first thought on seeing that word, also.


  13. I could feel this one. Love the descriptions you chose, Karin.


  14. I’m a huge fan of surprising metaphors – and as metaphors for anger goes, this is astonishing. A beautiful conception, visual, olfactory and auditory at the same time.

  15. Rowan Taw Says:

    This is great…the seeds…the pan…the cast iron will…great imagery for anger.


  16. Great metaphor: very vivid,very evocative. I particularly love the play of words/meaning in your 3rd and 6th lines.

  17. WabiSabi Says:

    Oh this is so on the money! If one has ever been on the receiving end of those words popping out of an angry mouth, this rings so true. Especially loves the last line!Sedoka -A Summer Love Poem

  18. bostonpoetry Says:

    This is fantastic! I don’t even know where to start… the word play is phenomenal. On the first tercet, the line breaks work so well. Words pop like mustard seeds in a fry pan… wow! The theme’s variations are superb- cast iron pan’s will, words cast by a crossed iron will…. skillet words, words popping in the cast iron skillet… this is just amazing. One of the best I’ve read on this prompt. -Mike


  19. Great juxtaposition of the stanza end lines. The metaphor makes me smile.


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