BJ’s Shadorma & Beyond – Landay – March 14, 2015

Joseph Wright. Widow of an Indian Chief, 1785. WikiArt.
Joseph Wright. Widow of an Indian Chief, 1785. WikiArt.

Hello everyone!  This is Jen again, greeting you from BJ’s Shadorma & Beyond.  Bastet and I hope you enjoyed writing in ABAB with Robert Frost.

For this week you have the choice of writing a shadorma (a non-rhyming six-line poem in 3/5/3/3/7/5), or a landay.

The landay originated in Afghanistan.  It is a folk couplet that is oral in nature:

1. Twenty two syllables broken into two couplets
(nine in the first, thirteen in the second);
2. Ends with a “ma” or “na” sound.
This cannot be replicated in English;
3.  May contain end rhyme;
4.  Characterized by bawdiness, wit, and piercing truths
despite the beauty of the language.

I call. You’re stone.
One day you’ll look and find I’m gone.

Rahila Muska

You sold me to an old man, father.
May God destroy your home, I was your daughter.


Landays often feature themes of war, separation, homeland, grief, and love.  [That is why I chose the painting by Joseph Wright.]

The Poetry Foundation describes landays as follows:

“… the couplets express a collective fury, a lament, an earthy joke, a love of home, a longing for the end of separation, a call to arms, all of which frustrate any facile image of a Pashtun woman as nothing but a mute ghost beneath a blue burqa.”

I’ll make a tattoo from my lover’s blood
and shame every rose in the green garden.


Your eyes aren’t eyes. They’re bees.
I can find no cure for their sting.


I would encourage you to visit the Landay page at Poetry Foundation. However – keep in mind that the subject matter may be politically sensitive and may be of a sensual nature.  Also, some of the images can be disturbing.  Still – it is well worth reading.

Thanks to Dom at Black and Write for introducing me to this form.  You can read Dom’s series of nested landays here.


Feel free to write a shadorma, a landay, or a series of nested landays.  When you have written your poem(s), please TAG them BJ’s Shadorma & Beyond and MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie. Then add your link to the Mister Linky widget below.

Good luck!



    • It’s really interesting, isn’t it? So much potential, I think — especially if combined in a nesting form.

      So far the responses have been great — excited to see what else the form will inspire 😀


      • I’ll have to put it in the nesting form … for the mo’ I wrote a little thing in Italian … And I noticed too that there have been quite a bit of interest shown! A winner! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I love what you did, too — it is so sweet and funny — !!!

        There was an example on the site that had a dialog — I’m thinking of going that route for my own. I think the form could lend a lot of bite!

        Getting tougher and tougher to find short-but-interesting forms though — !


      • I wasn’t sure where to go to tell the truth so I’m happy it came out well!

        And yes it is becoming rather difficult… and I’m in a quandary for next week .. but I’ll dig something up!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely!

        And I’ll be doing a shorter version of the poetweet – so that’s along the same lines, too. Plus, it gives people a chance to practice, revisit, etc.


      • Well, between Chev and Jules and you and me we all thought of it. Except the microtweet. I’ll claim that (bwah ha ha ha)! 😉

        Yes. Weird mood. Sorry.


      • LOL … the microtweet is all yours milady! 😀 Love weird moods … nothing to be sorry about … except if you comment on a guy’s poem about an accident with ROFL … then not so good … 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well… depends on the type of accident …..

        Just kidding! Kidding!

        There’s got to be more out there in the “micro” field — but sadly nothing really in-depth or serious, you know? Lots of 6-word but that’s already its own thing. And one that was a simple five-line poem but that might confuse things re: tanka down the road. Or not. I don’t know.

        Maybe one of the invented forms at ShadowPoetry?


      • An old man in a delivery truck totalled a BMW … no injuries except to the BMW’s wallet. I’m not sure why I found it funny now .. but at the time. I should have realized that it was supposed to be serious having often read the poet who wrote it … doesn’t have much in humor on his posts.

        Well the invented forms could be interesting .. some of ours are from ShadowPoetry and maybe there are other’s that give space to invented forms. To be looked into.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I sent you an email on a potential one too — with some hesitation – but it’s an idea. Some good stuff at SP though.

        Sorry about the BMW post! But we’ve all done it at one point or another. Don’t beat yourself up, okay?


      • Got it .. that looks fun … and you should send people to the post to have a look at it!

        Yeah .. the guy said: “I don’t know what was so funny but thanks for reading.” or some such .. oh well things happen!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Will do! That, and the Antique Juggling Girl. Probably a better poem, while Sherlock has a better explanation.

        As to the other… I can feel your embarrassment and appreciate it. But, sometimes the tone of the writing makes things so confusing. And shoot – in a week maybe he will be laughing too. 🙂


      • Hope so … most embarrassing … I’ve enthusiastically commented on a meaning of a poem in my early days of blogging … only to find that what I understood wasn’t what the poet was communicating … but then sometimes people do that to me too … I scratch my head and say thanks …

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! Been there. People say, “oh, how beautiful!” and I was basically saying, “gee, I feel like jumping off a bridge today”. [shaking my head]

        But such is life 😉


      • LOL … exactly and you’re actually saying it … but, if I can judge by some of the rapid reading I’ve done at times, I guess it’s only to be expected … thank heavens I’ve slowed down a bit, but then people are hurt because I don’t get around as much … [sigh]


      • Way too much .. a while back a blogger was moaning about how many skills one has to learn to keep up with everything … and he was right … reading editor, photo editor, programmer, writer (at times), publisher and who knows what else!


      • Just to let you know I think you can rotate some of the short forms – while it is nice to have new ones… it might also be nice to revisit some of the ones you have already introduced.

        While I understand the landry may be more towards umm..wit with spice – it might also be interesting to, along with ‘nesting’ or ‘series’ to turn the tables in a more positive light? Though that might change the flavor.

        I don’t think my own landay did more than fit the bill of syllable count…
        Thanks though for your great information on the form.

        Liked by 1 person

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