Serenity, I walk in bliss.
Trees breeze-whisper, nothing amiss.
Soft ferns hushed, shimmer velvetly.
Moist, fresh forest scent, nature’s kiss.
Your lips come to mind. Ecstasy.
I walk in bliss. Serenity.

Shinrin-Yoku is Japanese for forest bathing: bathing in the forest atmosphere, taking in the forest through our senses.

Grace is hosting Meet-The-Bar Thursday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. She’s asked us to write a Sparrowlet, a poetry form invented by Kathrine Sparrow. Here’s the elements of a Sparrowlet:
1. stanzaic, written in any number of sixtains (6 line stanzas) I wrote 1 sixtain.
2. syllabic: each line must be 8 syllables each (Often written in iambic tetrameter – I didn’t!)
3. Line 1 and Line 6 of the stanza is written in 2 himistichs (I had to look this word up)
4. Rhymed, rhyme scheme is BbabaA.
5. The 2 halves of Line 1 are inverted and repeated as a refrain in Line 6. The lst line MUST be the EXACT SAME as line 1, just switched around. You cannot change any of the words. (Punctuation may be changed to accommodate the meaning.)

Luckily Grace included an example of a poem written in this form within her prompt. The example for me, was much easier to follow than the definition itself! Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us to try this form — or just to see how others wrote with it!

Photo from a trip to see my niece in Ohio a number of years ago.

18 thoughts on “Shinrin-Yoku

  1. Grace February 24, 2022 / 2:35 pm

    What a serene poem to read today. Nature’s kiss is the best. Love the sparrowlet theme & form.


  2. Ingrid February 24, 2022 / 3:11 pm

    The serenity of the forest and the ecstasy of a kiss: what could be better!

    I had to follow the worked example too 😅


  3. Ain February 24, 2022 / 3:35 pm

    Oh my goodness….just absolutely wonderful….shinrin-yoku is my passion…..loveliest verse and photograph to accompany it… good…


  4. Glenn A. Buttkus February 24, 2022 / 4:14 pm

    Lots of forests used for this out on the trail. I always preferred a forest-bath to church; much more spiritual.


  5. Rob Kistner February 24, 2022 / 7:07 pm

    Lovely Lil! Very serene. Shin-rin yoku, by far my favorite type of bathing! 🙂✌🏼❤️


  6. Bodhirose February 24, 2022 / 7:57 pm

    Just beautiful, Lill. I love the idea of forest bathing and can definitely see how nature can be all that is needed in terms of spirituality.


  7. msjadeli February 24, 2022 / 10:54 pm

    It’s a moving meditation, a living serenity prayer. Nicely done, Lillian.


  8. Xan February 25, 2022 / 10:17 am

    Such a lovely idea–forest bathing, and exactly what it feels like to walk through a natural area. You capture it beautifully.


  9. VJ February 25, 2022 / 4:08 pm

    Lovely. Your words exude serenity.


  10. writingwhatnots February 26, 2022 / 5:37 am

    Forest bathing – what a wonderful concept. Beautiful poem.


  11. Kenji Kojima February 26, 2022 / 9:24 am

    “Shinrin” is a forest or woods and “yoku” means bathing like soaking oneself in a bathtub. A similar usage is nikkou yoku meaning sunbathing (literal meaning of nikkou is sunlight). I hope “shinrin yoku” will soon become another Japanese word adapted into English. Thank you, Lill, for spreading the idea of forest bathing.


  12. sanaarizvi February 26, 2022 / 4:45 pm

    This is absolutely stunning, Lillian 😍😍 I especially love the image; “Soft ferns hushed, shimmer velvetly.” ❤️


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