1 July 2024

Three unique short form genres created by ai li

that honour storytelling and keep its breath alive

Cherita [b. 22 June 1997]
Gembun [b. 12 June 1997]
Dua [b. 4 March 2022]


a tree
# 8:2 of the cherita
edited by ai li


the water
gembun anthology 13
edited by ai li


no longer sky
dua anthology 8
edited by ai li


updates on all forthcoming dua and gembun anthologies
and our exciting the cherita award

For those of you who missed reading ai li’s essay i, storyteller on Cherita, Gembun and Dua on Rhyvers and viewing her You Tube Cherita video interview for The Wise Owl by Neena Singh, for their special issue on Cherita, here are both links again below.

Here are ai li’s You Tube interview link : www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnGmkKKQvqo
and the link for her essay i, storyteller on Cherita, Gembun and Dua

The full transcripts for both can be found on www.thecherita.com/lectures/ as well on the Rhyvers and The Wise Owl’s websites.

There are now over 2900 views for my Rhyvers essay on Cherita, Gembun and Dua, which appeared on 16 September 2023, with 1600 views the last time I looked, for my You Tube video Cherita interview, which appeared on 30 September 2023, and which The Wise Owl’s Editor Rachna Singh called ‘insightful’.

a tree
is our seventh book for 2024 of our eighth year. 88 editions of the cherita are now in existence and are available on Amazon in paperback and kindle, along with 13 Gembun Anthologies, and 8 Dua Anthologies, with more on their way.


a tree is our 88th book in the cherita series of storytelling books, with 90 virgin cherita of more timeless stories to hopefully inspire our readers and poets to join our caravanserai of storytellers.

no longer sky, is our new Gembun Anthology 13 and the water, is our Dua Anthology 8 Both these eagerly awaited anthologies have launched alongside a tree.


This edition of a tree showcases 90 fine cherita and cherita terbalik from writers and poets who hail from UK, USA, Singapore, Denmark, Italy, India, Canada, Germany, Japan and China.

All future editions of the cherita, and all our various anthologies will now have 90 instead of 95 poems within. My plan is to slowly but surely ensure that all our publications adhere to 90 poems throughout. This will take some time to implement but the number of poems for every publication from the 1-2-3 press and the empty press will ultimately be the same throughout.


a tree, currently 88th on the list, belongs to the ongoing the cherita series, as do my personal ongoing writing in one breath series of virgin Cherita, Cherita and Tanka, Cherita and Haiku, and Cherita, Tanka and Haiku books, and lastly my poems for inner rooms series with its 18 Tanka and Haiku books. All these editions are available in paperback and kindle on Amazon.

Two of my own books of virgin Gembun, the weight of rain and blank screen, and my two books of Dua, the journey east and dancing shoes, and now arriving nowhere, my first cherita, gembun and dua book, have all been added to my writing in one breath series.

I have edited this edition as I have all the other editions of the cherita, to be experienced two ways. It can be read as one storybook but also as an anthology of individual poems. Two reading experiences within one book, filled with stories of Life, Love, Loss and Renewal.

Cherita terbalik continues to capture the imagination of poets and there are again fine examples in this edition.

Featured Poets as they appear in this edition :-

ai li/ Larry Kimmel/ Audrey Quinn/ Maria Tosti/ Partha Sarkar/ Jan Stretch/ Nichael Cramer/ Leon Tefft/ Teri Messmer/ John Paul Caponigro/ Jackie Chou/ Joanna Ashwell/ Megha Anne Wilson/ Isabella Kramer/ Kathabela Wilson/ Ash Greenwood/ Nicholas Gentile/ Ceri Marriott/ kris moon kondo/ Sigrid Saradunn/ Barry J. Vitcov/ David Cox/ Pitt Büerken/ Leslie Umans/

Six sample Cherita from a tree :-


a brief moment

of being
side by side

pine needles

Jackie Chou



i’m again
your spell

but this time
i’m crying

ai li


tread lightly

leave no scars
on Mother Earth

nor footsteps
on the heart
of her children

Jan Stretch


the end
of a long
hot summer

the sycamore

in plain view

Kathabela Wilson


on snow
makes fog

one blank page

to another

John Paul Caponigro


spine of the night

i run my fingers
along your ridge

and feel
the stars

Ash Greenwood



the cherita lighthouse
has been awarded to the following writers and poets in this edition for their timeless Cherita :

Larry Kimmel/ Maria Tosti/ Jan Stretch/ Nichael Cramer/ Jackie Chou/ Partha Sarkar/ Joanna Ashwell / Kathabela Wilson/ Ash Greenwood/ Isabella Kramer/ Leslie Umans/

a tree has been edited to be experienced two ways. It can be read as a storybook and as an anthology of individual poems.


I have enjoyed the challenge of selecting and collating for this edition of the cherita and hope that you will find the cherita within worthy of a campfire gathering and the sharing of meaningful stories.

If this new edition strikes a chord with you, please feel free to review, comment on Amazon or give feedback directly to me. Many thanks.

ai li

creator of cherita, gembun, dua
and of 19 other unique and original linked forms

storyteller oasis

copyright © ai li 2024