On words, or: Upwards

My 1st quadruple etheree

the day
he pulled him-
self up by the
bars of his crib, he
could never be held down.
Scampering up tree trunks, scal-
ing walls... His mother lived in con-
stant terror, quaking whenever the
phone rang. Then, one fateful day, he set his
sights upon the peak of great Mount Visok.
After months of intensive training,
the young man decided that he
was ready and departed
in the morning with his
team. Carefully chalk-
ing their hands, me-
ter by me-
ter, they
selves up
chimneys, grabbed
ahold of the
thinnest crimps, straining,
pulled their torsos up, o-
ver treacherous overhangs,
smeared up featureless surfaces,
belaying one another up the
perilous slopes. Then, just before they reached
the summit, he lost his  foothold, skidding
down the mountainside towards the ground. 
Luckily, his belay device
held, stopping his fall. Not miss-
ing a single beat, he
chalked his fingers and
grinned. Better that
his mother
not find


The poetry form, Etheree, consists of 10 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Get creative and write an Etheree with more than one verse, but follow suit with an inverted syllable count.

Reversed Etheree: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Double Etheree: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

…Triple Etheree, Quadruple Etheree, and so on!

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!

12 thoughts on “On words, or: Upwards”

  1. Awesome creation, David. โค๏ธ

    Reminds me of a recent documentary I watched. However, in that one the climber climbs without rope. Scary. ๐Ÿ˜…

  2. The mother’s heart always knows. The connection prevents secrets. She knew as she felt the fall and the abrupt arrest. She knows…. Only the child is deceived. Nicely executed poem!

  3. Nicely done! And I like the graphical representation that resembles snow-capped mountain peaks to go along with the climbing theme. ๐Ÿ™‚

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