Saturday, August 28, 2021

Prompt #372 – The Cherita

As summer stretches on, and the heat continues where I live, it's nice to have an easy prompt to relax with and to write from. Accordingly, I've culled some info from the Net about a form of poetry called the Cherita. Here's hoping you'll find it an enjoyable "summer form."

The "Cherita" is a creation of ai li, the founding editor of "still: home for short verse," and now its independent e-zine offshoot "dew-on-line." 

Cherita [pronounced CHAIR-rita] is the Malay word for story or tale. A Cherita consists of a single stanza verse, followed by a two-line verse, and then finishing with a three-line verse. It can be written solo or with up to three partners. The Cherita tells a story. More can be found about the cherita's origin, on the still website at still: home for short verse Here you will find examples of ai li's cherita, and others, by looking under the section "linked forms" and under that for "Cherita."

Cherita forms its own plural just ad “haiku” and “tanka” do.

For additional info on this form, please visit

Believing that the reading of the form surpasses any effort to explain it, here are a few examples by some of the Cherita's first and finest practitioners. 


Two Cherita by Larry Kimmel

his clothes to charity

unpacking the suitcases
of the vacation no longer awaited

the Valentine meant
for today


after seeing you off

taking the path along
the canal

a rustle of

Copyright © Larry Kimmel 2007


Two cherita by ai li


drifting paper boat

the rain
on banana leaves

by an open window


Copyright © ai li 2002-2007


Two Cherita by Sheila Windsor


the agoraphobic's room

along the windowsill
porcelain dolls

perfectly aligned
and smiling
at any passer-by



Two Cherita by Ed Markowski

wildflowers unfolding

in a field between two
sagging barns

she reassures me
"it's so much better
than a room at the Drake."

Benny's Diner

"the blue plate special, meatloaf
mashed, a wedge of cream pie

off at ten,"
the waitress winks

Copyright © ed markowski 2007


1. Have fun writing a cherita or two. It’s that simple! Read some cherita, get an idea of the form, and then try writing some. Enjoy!



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