Windows, or: Fourth dimension

A waltmarie

Comprised of 5 consecutive American sentences

A chilly breeze blows across the apartment through large, open
We find ourselves observing the shifting seasons, passengers
through time.
Our senses tingle at winter's birth, our bare hands; noses; tongues...
our eyes.
The frailty of bare trees and wind's colors are almost hard to
look at.
The crisp air will warm next spring; but now, in autumn, it recalls
the past.

The waltmarie

Created as a nonce by Candace Kubinec.

  • 10 lines
  • Even lines are two syllables in length, odd lines are longer (but no specific syllable count)
  • Even lines make their own mini-poem if read separately

No other rules for subject or rhymes.

The American sentence

Allen Ginsberg, inventor of the American Sentence, felt that the haiku didn’t work as well in English. Ginsberg decided to remove the line structure of the haiku, maintaining the requirement of 17 syllables total. He felt that removing the line count freed the American Sentence up for the idiosyncrasies of English phonemes.

The requirements:

  1. Composed in one line;
  2. Syllabic, 17 syllables;
  3. Condensed, written with no unnecessary words or articles;
  4. Complete sentence or sentences;
  5. Includes a turn or enlightenment.

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!

31 thoughts on “Windows, or: Fourth dimension”

  1. The open windows letting in the cold wind makes me think of the breath of change. Of course so many are change-phobic that they can’t embrace the good that can come…

  2. love each one making their own poem David and your love of all of the forms.

    Ok so I submitted a poem of something.. lol. i just woke up with it.. no thought to the form.. maybe you can tell me what it is.. hahahhaha. I had thought of the cool one you just did… one on the left and one on the right and you would be the right side …
    If I had to think of which form I was doing… i would never write or be right and since I love it so I just write. 💖🙏

  3. “The crisp air will warm next spring; but now, in autumn, it recalls
    the past.”

    This line spoke to me so loudly even my deaf ears could hear it clearly. I’ve been in a perpetual autumn all my life, yearning for spring’s warm embrace that I feel will never come, while always looking backwards at memories and events I can’t change. It’s as though I’m weighted down–rooted to the spot–by a heavy pile of damp, dun-hued dead leaves. You have a knack for precision and clarity in your writing that can snap eyes open at times. Well done, good sir! 🙂

    1. I’ve been in a perpetual autumn all my life, yearning for spring’s warm embrace that I feel will never come, while always looking backwards at memories and events I can’t change.

      That’s precisely what I was imagining when I wrote that line 🙂 … but I wasn’t thinking of somebody in particular – and I’m sorry that it hits so close to home for you 😦


      1. No apology needed. 🙂 Poetry has universal truths; we can all see ourselves in good writing such as yours, and this is how poetry binds us together, a collection of seemingly disparate, distanced humans linked by beauty, kindness and verse.

  4. Such depth of meaning in this poem. What if it’s meant to be like this? That the bare trees each year bring a yearning and a returning to the past and in that birth the new?

    I was so struck by these words: “winter’s birth”. You see, last night I listened an almost 80 year-old loved one share all about his youth and such wisdom flowed in his words as he looked back with new eyes- seeing how it had shaped him for the good and the bad and also able to recall joy in the midst of really hard years (he lost his Dad at 11 and his Mom at 18 and lived in a confining religious environment). His son has kept telling me that he’s never shared these stories of the past much before, but he’s kept opening up to share it all with me in the last year or so and I feel so very privileged. It’s had me reflecting so much and gleaning so much.

    Reminds me of this verse:

    Isaiah 66:9 NCV

    In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the LORD. “If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation,” says your God.

    1. That’s so special, Anna. I’m not surprised that he’s opening up to you… you seem like the kind of person who makes others feel heard and comfortable.

      BTW, I checked that verse in the original Hebrew –

      ט הַאֲנִי אַשְׁבִּיר וְלֹא אוֹלִיד, יֹאמַר יְהוָה; אִם-אֲנִי הַמּוֹלִיד וְעָצַרְתִּי, אָמַר אֱלֹהָיִךְ. {ס}

      And I don’t see any word for “nation” in there… A more accurate translation would be this:

      9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD; Shall I that cause to bring forth shut the womb? saith thy God. {S}

      (that translation is not entirely word-for-word either, but it’s closer than what you shared, I think)

      1. So beautiful, David. Oh how I would love to go straight to the original text like you can- such richness there. Thank you for sharing.

        It’s funny, but listening to others makes me actually feel more heard and comfortable too. So much of his story resonated with my own life and helped me to see new things that were being birthed in me through really painful times. I wouldn’t want to exchange all that pain for ease now- I would never have ended up where I am today, nor see what I can see now.

        And yet just last night I had felt this bitterness exposed toward my God for allowing me to walk through such pain as a little girl as the religious world around me rejected who I am. I wanted to hide the bitterness, but in prayer I heard my God say: no, Anna, I am the one who brought it to light because I want to help you forgive Me. So, I went to bed praying for Him to open my eyes to understand, so I could forgive Him. And then I read your poem and I could cry.

        Reflecting on this man’s story is giving me new eyes. I would never have met him either and he has a really really special place in my heart. The pain has made me who I am today – able to look for and find eternity in the heart of myself and everyone around me, as I shed all the “rules” for being present and loving others, as I too am loved – so deeply and wholly.

        1. Anna, I’m very moved that you connected with my poem in such a strong way… that’s beyond humbling for me. Thank you for sharing that, truly.

          the religious world around me rejected who I am

          May I ask why your religious world rejected you? My impression is that you’re a God-fearing and -loving person.


          1. As a child I spoke up for my little adopted brother, pleading for my parents to stop smacking him. I felt my little brother’s deep pain that was hidden in his rebellion, but my parents followed Christian tradition and kept smacking him. I began to believe my parents were right and I was just “evil” for disrespecting their authority. I began to numb the pain and hide my true self to be acceptable, but that became so stifling that at 19 I left for Europe, thinking I was running from God – I now know I was running into His arms.

            Then, when my Mum was dying from cancer, after studying toward her counseling degree, she cried and cried understanding what she had done to my little brother and she asked for his forgiveness. I didn’t see the connection till later – but around that same time, my eyes were opened to a new faith. You see- as I walked with my little girl, surrounded by mountains in NZ, this indescribable peace fell on me when I was overcome by grief (when I was told my Mum had 3 months to live) but unable to express it. In that peace my tears began to flow freely. And again as my Mum lay dying – I felt that same peace upon her and myself. And so after burying her I began to seek God anew and found that He had never rejected me.

            But then, I again hit up against all these things in churches that triggered trauma in me afresh. I now know why – I was being asked to give up what God had given back to me (a relationship with Him) to do and lead others into what others around me felt was right. In all these ways it involved denying pain and hiding behind a façade. Exactly what I had fled from at 19. Now, I know I wasn’t fleeing God- I was fleeing the straight jacket of religion.

          2. I always stayed in touch with him. He has such a beautiful heart. I went back to Romania when I was 19 and managed to relocate his birth family. I met them when I was 8 years old – just before we adopted my brother- and I will never forget what it did with me seeing them in such poverty: it wrecked me (for good).

            I asked him to forgive me a few years ago but he told me there was nothing to forgive and that he’s always felt loved and accepted by me. We have been able to have such healing chats lately.

    2. here – I found a translation that I like even more –

      Shall I who bring on labor not bring about birth?
      —says the LORD.
      Shall I who cause birth shut the womb?
      —said your God.

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