Light, medium, or: Dark

My 1st Sheshire

A memory still gnaws at me;
I was self-righteous in my youth.
One week, my parents had headaches;
Erring, they'd bought... decaf coffee.
A jerk, I smirked, learning the truth
Of their addiction and mistake.

Then, in college, t'was a café...
Across the street from my dorm room.
I'd drink cappuccinos and chais,
Quickly losing my 'childish' way
and track of bev'rages consumed. 
At eighteen, forgot I'd been 'wise'.

Then, last weekend, behind the wheel:
Staying awake was dreadful stress!
At minimart, I begged them, "Please..."
As I stood, struggling not to keel
And nonstop yawns could not suppress...
Until downing two black coffees.

This poet knows he's got no pride,
I can't live without my cuppa ~ Must have it by my side!


A poem based on six-line verses with a closing couplet. Here are the rules:

  1. The Sheshire is comprised of three stanzas of 6 lines with a rhyme scheme of either ABABAB or ABCABC. Completed by a rhymed couplet.
  2. Each line has the same number of syllables. The one exception to this is the last line, which may have up to six additional syllables. The additional syllables must a phrase that is set aside (by parenthesis or dashes, for example). If this aside is removed, the correct syllable count would be there and the line would remain a reasonable sentence.
  3. Each stanza should have a shift in tone. The ending couplet should leave the reader (or at least the poet) with a grin. It can be a darkly ironic grin, but a grin, nonetheless.

The derivation is from the Hebrew words for six (‘shesh’) and poem/song (‘shir’), meaning: six 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!

46 thoughts on “Light, medium, or: Dark”

  1. I didn’t think I had a caffeine problem. Then the pandemic hit and the office closed and I was stuck at home where I didn’t even have a coffee maker because I would just get my morning coffee when I arrived at the office. And boy did I notice a difference!

  2. Ha! I was once addicted – to the caffeine but not to coffee. Only Sparky likes it in coffee. I’m completely decaffeinated and neither of the sons likes coffee – they prefer the carbonated caffeine delivery systems! Oh, well. If the coffee inspired this poem then it is all good!! (because the poem is very good unlike the flavor of coffee!)

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