She was him, or: He was her

Poetry Partners #29

A poem by Yasmin of ‘yaskhan’

She was him
He was her
They were one
They were free
She had eyes that knew
His heart’s glow
A smile that filled the space
When spring made its way to their eyes
In the zephyr’s abracadabra
All the places they were at a loss for words
They were cinder sparked by a flame that grew
Fed by warmth
Touch of a look
Running like blood in their veins
He had the wisdom of a young ink
Unstolen by time
Knowledge eternal
On eternity’s edge
Searching for a lost song
Their gently heaving breath finds the pulse of possibilities

A golden shovel poem by ben Alexander of ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’

(in blank verse)

Temperature past the versing point, they
melted into glowing lava and were 
blown with force through revelation's cinder
cone, as thick, boiling comprehension sparked
in their luminous core. Only then, by
quirk of fate or set destiny, did a
zephyr flow from their lips, fanning the flame
stolen for mortals from Olympus that
birthed human knowledge and steadily grew
across the face of Earth, as people fed 
it with aspirations unstolen by
time. As one, they filled the space with soft warmth,
spring smiles, and the teasing, caressing touch
of their eternal words, the lost song of
which they two composed together in a
volume of abracadabras, its look
fraying and worn, with lines of script running
across its pages; letters slanted like
sloping volcanos and inked with goat blood.
Freely, crafting word worlds and timelines in
sync with one another's pulses and their
truth, they felt eternity in their veins.

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!


List of Poetry Partners

65 thoughts on “She was him, or: He was her”

      1. Met a grey-beard (these days, who isn’t?) Thursday whose parents left Berlin in 1938 at the “suggestion” of their boss at Seo,ems (s[?) and made their way to Shanghi, where he was born. Got to the US in 48 just ahead of Mao. He was introduced to the volunteers at the church which was distributing food to the less-er among us as “Rabbi.” I asked him three questions: Ashkananazi? He affirmed, and when I told him my mother’s Hebrew name, he beamed; I then asked: “Teacher” or actual.? His broad smile grew even wider. Hopefully next week we shall share more. Thanks for listening. J ben John (who was Roman Catholic – and invented backsliding). Some of my friends are bestirred when I point out Shalom and Salaam – as well as the follow-on responses – mark both speakers as Semite-speakers: like the Cctholic and protestants in Northern Ireland. We all are the same Children of G-d and sometimes we revel in the squabble overmuch. Thus endeth the sermon: there will be no collection.

    1. I totally would – this looks cool! But I don’t understand this part:

      The 3 sections take shape on the page as (8) four-line stanzas, and a final two-line couplet. The four-line stanzas are made of (2) haiku, in 5/12/12/5 syllable-pattern. The final couplet is a concluding play on a haiku in the form 5/12.

      If the poems is composed of haikus, how do you get four line stanzas?

          1. Partners write individual themed haiku. Partners can craft loku independently or iteratively as a team, or…then work closely on closing couplet, or…a partner is chosen to place the errant syllable…that sort of thing…etc

          2. I think so. I view it symbolically as a conscious effort to mar an otherwise “perfect” piece in form. That comes not only after the haiku are written, but more specifically, after the loku is crafted, woven from the haiku. Then the syllable is inserted.

          1. No particular order. Themed usually. With considerations for the volte and the turn of the narrative at those points, so to speak. at least 2 creative processes: writing the haiku and then composing the loku. Haiku from various poets can be combined in this manner.

          2. They could – but do not necessarily have to. I think re: structured or non-structured approach with respect to theme development, each works and is different, one not necessarily preferred. As a matter of fact, it would be intriguing to go in themeless and see where it ends up. Same re: the volte. Flexibility key, I think – including the flexibility to become structured if need be. What do you think?

          3. Ok, my basic thinking is twofold at this point:

            A) I’m in.
            B) I’ll just follow your lead – you tell me how many haikus of how many themes to write, and I’ll do it.

          4. How about we start with each writing a haiku themed “Time(less).” Shall we post it to our respective sites rather than correspond on the back end – yes? Then in comments of our respective posts we can consider the 2 haiku and begin to feel out the next streams of haiku. Let the loku grow organically, more laterally than linearly, if that makes sense. Haiku written today could potentially end up as the final couplet, so… As more haiku are thrown in the mix, the synapse-mix should get more interesting. I will tag my loku-relevant posts with LokuCollab.

            As far as timing – at our respective leisures, as life allows, with intent to create something wonderful

          5. I’m down with all of this, but I try not to post more than two (sometimes, rarely, three) times daily (because I don’t want to annoy readers)… so could I just send my haikus to you, and you post them along with yours on your blog? I’d be glad to post the final project when we’re done with it.

          6. I consider my blog a place essentially for myself, so journal thoughts here as they come along, and frequently post 3X a day or more. Readers are free to acknowledge and engage at their own pace, or not at all.

  1. Oh.dear Ben Alexnder !! You are called by the name”David”,I have just know when I was reading the post of Yassy(Yasmin)-She is his ;He is her…. most beautiful poem.it is good that you are writing in collaboration with her.she is most honest and has a poetic heart.Weldon,dear.Happy New year with best wishes.And more ‘n more blessings for this your writing in collaboration.bless you both,my dear!!🌷🌹🌷🌹🌷🌹🌷

  2. they were cinder sparked by a flame
    that grew fed by warmth, touch of a look running like blood in their veins…

    Both of you are amazing

    The Golden Shovel
    Birthing troves of treasures

    Unstolen by time

    What an exquisite line

      1. Oh David
        Thank you for your kindness😊
        I’m so glad you are happy
        The collaboration melted my heart ben❤😊

  3. A beautiful poem by Yasmin. Your response, incorporating her lines in the way that you did, was an amazing creation – seamless and brilliant!

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