2022 – Cherita and Gembun’s Silver Jubilee year
22 June 1997 – 22 June 2022


a flower whispers
edition #5:11 of the cherita
edited by ai li


Spring is usually the time of year when I start dreaming of being with genius loci in the Lake District. For those of us fortunate enough to have peace in our midst, our thoughts must surely be with those ravaged by wars and pestilence. My wish for the white doves of peace has now become fervent prayer.

I believe it was Hemingway who expressed that there was nothing to writing, and that to write, we have to bleed. For me, the ‘bleeding’ is a healing process, a purge of thoughts and memories best shared rather than kept hidden in the dark of psyche.

This month sees the launch of the new edition of the cherita and my tenth book of cherita.

This edition of a flower whispers showcases 92 fine cherita and cherita terbalik from writers and poets who hail from UK, USA, Singapore, The Philippines, India, Trinidad, New Zealand, Canada and Australia.

a flower whispers is our fourth book for Cherita’s Silver Jubilee Year of 2022. This is also our 61st edition in the cherita series of storytelling books.







Here’s another update on the proposed Gembun Anthology – You’ve been more than enthusiastic with your gembun and gembun terbalik efforts. I am so glad that I kept things flexible which has enabled me to accept more of your tremendous submissions now that Anthology 2, 3 and possibly 4 are viable possibilities.

If you write and send in more excellent gembun, than who knows, perhaps Anthologies 5, 6 or more could be realities. The sky is the limit.

My wish is for the Anthology to become a rolling and flexible series for showcasing the best of the Gembun genre with the collected gifts from your writing.

Gembun and Cherita share the same year of birth and they will be celebrating storytelling with Life, Love, Loss and Renewal this jubilee year and hopefully beyond.

Full details on the link below if you have not, as yet, sent in your Gembun/Gembun Terbalik for consideration.






my umbrella
the sound


ai li
a gembun from the weight of rain

a gembun terbalik :


the graveyard
talking to

my self

ai li

The Gembun [1-3 or 1-4]
was created on 12 June 1997 and Cherita on 22 June 1997, and they will both celebrate their silver jubilee in June 2022. Gembun is also a minimal and unique linked form that consists of either a one-word or one sentence first link, followed by a haiku of up to 4 lines. Gembun has to include an element of suggestion in either the opening sentence/link, the haiku or in both.

Gembun Terbalik [3-1 or 4-1]
now joins this minimal form and is an inverted Gembun. It is written with a haiku of 1 – 3 or 4 lines as its opening stanza and then capped by a one liner. Six new virgin examples of mine can be seen on www.thecherita.com/gembun/

The Gembun and Gembun Terbalik have to include an element of suggestion in either the opening sentence or haiku, the haiku or opening sentence or in both. Gembun was created by ai li on the 12 June 1997, inspired by Larry Kimmel’s TIBUN. www.aili.co.uk/gembun/


Fine examples by Larry Kimmel, Joanna Ashwell and myself can be found, along with Gembun’s original guidelines on my personal website www.aili.co.uk


a flower whispers belongs to the ongoing the cherita series, currently 61st on the list, as do my personal ongoing writing in one breath series of 24 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.

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/ Jackie Chou/ Kath Abela Wilson/ Madeleine Basa Vinluan/ Cynthia Anderson/ Partha Sarkar/ S. Radhamani/ Joanne Kennedy Frazer/ Larry Kimmel/ Taura Scott/ Barun Saha/ Gillena Cox/ Keith Evetts/ Connie Pittman Ramsey/ James Haddad/ Sherry Grant/ Tim Gardiner/ Maxianne Berger/ Susan Burch/ Keitha Keyes/ Stella Damarjati/ Grace Galton/ Geoffrey Winch/ George Swede/ Mona Bedi/ Patricia Prime/ Joanna Ashwell/ Alan Peat/ Peter Jastermsky/ Lorraine A Padden/ Richa Sharma/ Ruth Kay/ Madhuri Pillai/ David Cox/ Ann Smith/ steve dent/ Steve Brisendine/ Ram Chandran/ paula song sarmonpal/ George Schaefer/


A SAMPLE from this edition :-


a girl with big dreams

only a phantom

now it’s just me
a puzzle piece of the sea
in my hand

Jackie Chou


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

Jackie Chou/ Kath Abela Wilson/ Robert Horrobin/ steve black/ Larry Kimmel/ Madeleine Basa Vinluan/ Barun Saha/ Patricia Prime/ Gillena Cox/ Ram Chandran/ Connie Pittman Ramsey/ Keith Evetts/ Sarah Davies/ Ruth Kay/ Joanna Ashwell/ Peter Jastermsky/ Partha Sarkar/ Taura Scott/ Cynthia Anderson/

a flower whispers 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 a feedback directly to me. Many thanks.

ai li
storyteller oasis