Barefoot, or: Naked Truth

My 2nd Cleave poem

she loves his gruff voice, his calling card
that he leaves his hot temper by
his shoes neatly by the door, now
ajar, open to a world well known to her
that could offer support whenever his arm rises up into the air
should she need to make his tyranny known –
help… she wants to scream
but of course, she doesn’t and whimpers in terror instead

How to read a Cleave poem?


  1. Read the left hand poem as a first discrete poem.
  2. Read the right hand poem as a second discrete poem.
  3. Read the whole as a third integrated poem.

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!

55 thoughts on “Barefoot, or: Naked Truth”

  1. Hi David, inspired by your Cleave poems I had a try myself. I have mentioned you in my post, hope that’s OK?

  2. Wow. Engaging work, David. You have represented, through poetic structure, that which is a hidden reality for many. I see the second poem as a dark shadow. Brilliant.

    1. You’re sweet, George – but it’s all available online… just do a Google search for poetic forms. I also find forms (like this one) from fellow WP poets.


  3. You’ve created a scary scene that I’m afraid is all too common. Great job, David. 💙 For me, the two completely opposite poems/scenarios work a bit better than the whole (in the first few lines). Maybe just a bit of tweaking there.
    That image is really frightening, too!

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