Humanity, or: Humaneness

A quadrille

In the form of four Elevenies

flourishing richly
throughout human lands
inhabitants accustomed to peace

flying fleetly
imperceptible to eagles
barking dogs pulling leashes

bombs dropping
silhouetted against azure
people rushing towards cellars

covering earth
carried by currents
only scorching wind's breathing


Row Words Content
1 1 A thought, an object, a color, a smell or the like
2 2 What does the word from the first row do?
3 3 Where or how is the word of row 1?
4 4 What do you mean?
5 1 Conclusion: What results from all this? What is the outcome?

dโ€™Verse Quadrille #138:

โ€˜Ashes to Ashesโ€™

The above four elfchens are my take on dโ€™Verseโ€™s Quadrille challenge #138.

The Quadrille is simply a poem of 44 words (excluding the title), and it can take any form. This weekโ€™s challenge was to use the word โ€œashโ€ in a Quadrille.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

69 thoughts on “Humanity, or: Humaneness”

  1. it’s amazing that you were able to choose a topic, then shape and form it so well, within the constraints of both the poetic form, and then, the quadrille word count! whoot! talk about amazing, really! And the choice of the poetic form really works so well, it creates this cascading effect, as if, in some sense, we’re the bombs falling from the sky, destroying everything, — at least, that’s the sense I get when I read it, a sort of “outside the body” or “third-party” point of view, except that the words, wrench and pull us back to the reality. It’s really fascinating how all of this has come together so well. Definitely inspired David ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. A fascinating form, and one I’ve never seen before which looks very challenging, but I feel you’ve done it well. Very sharp images, and a moral as well–those first words are well-chosen to lead the verses, and to make us think.

  3. Very cool. I have never heard of an elfchen, so appreciate the new form, but even more, I appreciate the parallels you have drawn, and the conclusion.

  4. Love these Elfchens David. They make for powerful poetry when put together.

  5. Interesting form, and in content very powerful – I think we were thinking along the same lines, though we came at it from different angles.

  6. The elfchen is one that I’ve not attempted but it has been sitting there staring at me for a couple months. You have so adroitly woven these 4 elfchen into a cohesive poem that is bigger than the individual parts! And to top it off the progression sort of sneaks up on you until the last 2 elfchen drive the topic home in a way not expected!!

  7. 1. Simple, yet compendious poem about war.
    The last elfchen, reminded me of Pompeii.

    2. Learnt a new interesting form of poetry .. will definitely give it a try … Thank you David “sensei” ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™‡

    “War, huh, yeah
    What is it good for?
    Absolutely nothing, uhh
    War, huh, yeahโ€ฆ”

    4. Noice ! ๐Ÿ––โœŒ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

  8. This elfchen is remarkably clever. I think I’ll pocket it for use in another time.
    Oh, and your poetry is lovely of course. You didn’t need me to tell you so, did you?

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