The Zejel, or: Form verses creativity

Sangeetha & David’s new poetry project

Once upon a time, two poets who’d never met in person spontaneously began writing verses back and forth to one another over the Internet. Their first poetry project took them some nine months: a 100 verse Hyakuin.

Once they’d completed their oeuvre, the two decided to continue their creative journey together; and Sangeetha came up with a fun new idea, which David loved – to explore different poetic forms together, working through the Alphabet from ‘A’ to ‘Z’.

Every week, for twenty-six weeks beginning in January of the year 2022, they would take turns selecting poetic forms beginning with the letter corresponding to that particular week (1=A, 2=B, etc., etc.) and write poems to one another using that form.

David suggested they call their new project ‘Form verses creativity’, and so it began.

Z: Zejel

David’s Zejel

Ends are beginnings if we will
Continue together until
We come to feel we've lost the thrill.

The tail end of the alphabet
Offers poets a fresh reset;
Certainly, we are worn, and yet
Versing is how we hone our skill.

As one, we've found no greater fun
Than exchanging fine stanzas spun,
Knowing our journey's just begun,
For our bards' hearts can't be fulfilled!

Therefore, our words shall continue
To sing, as they have come to do;
It's how we endlessly renew
Ourselves, and fresh insights distill.

Sangeetha, the honor's been mine
To devour your each line divine
And humble rhymes to intertwine.
... You're my beloved partner still.

Sangeetha’s Zejel

In ends, always are beginnings
Where imagination wears wings
Where we wake worlds with our writings

On Streams of wonder, verses flow,
Zephyrs of friendship gently blow
Sands of time script our tomorrows
Filled with joy that poetry brings

In rhyme we tap our feet and dance
Words weave tales when we take a chance
And with crayons, we draw new plans
All synced up, our one heart sings

We'll write poems on paper-boats
Together we will let them float
Beneath eyelids where life emotes
You and I will make beginnings

Dearest David, you say it best
In words beautifully honest
Touching life with tenderness
You're the one... the most inspiring!


  • The first stanza has three lines, rhyming aaa;
  • All other stanzas – as many of them as you like – have 4 lines, rhyming bbba;
    • The a rhyme harking back to the first stanza;
    • The overall rhyming scheme for the poem is aaa/bbba/ccca/ddda/โ€ฆ
  • Colloquial language tends to be used, and 8-syllable lines are usual (though not obligatory)

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!

25 thoughts on “The Zejel, or: Form verses creativity”

  1. And this collaboration ends but not the friendship! I love both poems and I’m just a little sad that you’ve worked through the whole alphabet already!

  2. Absolutely delightful, charming, creative, and inspiring. Well done, you two! โœ๐Ÿผโœ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

  3. Thank you for coming to tell us about the Zejel or the-hell.
    Hilarious how the form came about, but isn’t that what happens, if you not using any form of contraceptive, after sex someone new takes form.

    The Zejels rolled so easy off the both of your pens, a true joy to read how this relationship continues to loop.

    Wonderful Writings.

  4. The fact that the two of you made it to the final letter of the alphabet is mind-blowing to me. And you did so creatively and poetically. Kudos to you two!

          1. Incredible David and Sangeetha! You can feel the mutual admiration and poetic affection ye have. So in sync with ye’re rhyming and understanding of each other’s creative minds.

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