1 June 2024

Two fearless 27 year olds, going on 28 short form genres,

teaming up with one 2+ year old to keep storytelling alive

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


empty beach
# 8:1 of the cherita
anniversary edition
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 2700 views for my Rhyvers essay on Cherita, Gembun and Dua, which appeared on 16 September 2023, with 1500 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’.

and gembun enter their 28th year of being from 22 June 2024, with the cherita going into its 8th year of storytelling with 6 lines. I have here for you our anniversary edition for June.

empty beach is our sixth book for 2024 and the first book going into our eighth year. 87 editions of the cherita are now in existence and are available on Amazon in paperback and kindle, along with 12 Gembun Anthologies, and 7 Dua Anthologies, with more on their way.


empty beach is our 87th 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.


This edition of empty beach showcases 90 fine cherita and cherita terbalik from writers and poets who hail from UK, USA, Singapore, Germany, India, Canada, Japan, Australia, Bulgaria and Denmark.

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.


empty beach, currently 87th 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/ John Zheng/ Pitt Büerken/ Partha Sarkar/ Colleen M. Farrelly/ Jan Stretch/ Kathabela Wilson/ Jackie Chou/ kris moon kondo/ Teri Messmer/ Sigrid Saradunn/ Ram Chandran/ Stella Damarjati/ Patricia Wakimoto/ Tsanka Shishkova/ Taura Scott/ Allison Douglas-Tourner/ Tim Dwyer/ Larry Kimmel/ Audrey Quinn/ Barry J. Vitcov/ Orrin Préjean/ John Paul Caponigro/ Joanna Ashwell/ Leslie Umans/ Megha Anne Wilson/ Joseph Witt/

Three sample Cherita from empty beach :-


when wind

blows the blues

across cotton fields

and the autumn moon
through clouds


John Zheng


a wet January

a damp start
the new year

all i can hear
is the sky


ai li


how long

will a tomorrow
remain alive?

as long as
a tree


Partha Sarkar


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

John Zheng/ Partha Sarkar/ Larry Kimmel/ Leon Tefft/ Teri Messmer/ John Paul Caponigro/ Megha Anne Wilson/ Joanna Ashwell/ Stella Damarjati/ Jan Stretch/ Orrin Préjean/

empty beach 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