Like father, or: Son

A Cleave poem

I fell in love with
the city of my birth, but my deep commitment to
family could not provide support enough to
get me through that period of those
difficult days that most required it
because I was alone. so, I sucked it up, as was my fatherโ€™s way, which
he would have done, and which I found hardest to emulate
during that periodโ€ฆ throughout the long years
his beloved city sternly taught me of painful growth and courage

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!

46 thoughts on “Like father, or: Son”

  1. Oh I loved this Cleave poem David!..How interesting to read it as suggested first and then in its entirety. It flowed in every way, which as you know, I love and captured your turmoil and hard times so beautifully… Bravo! I really like this form!

  2. This format seems to have become second-nature for you, David. It just flows so effortlessly and flawlessly. It sort of seems like playing three games of chess simultaneously, but somehow each half and the whole all work out seamlessly. A tip o’ the cap to you, sir! *tips cap* ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Sad… but still, you learnt to have courage then, which many would find really hard.. its a tough lesson of life ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But nice cleave poem, it sounded really good!

    Btw, here’s my haibun submission for DVerse:

    A Word of Thanks

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