Upon their first kiss, or: Nary a misgiving

A Cleave poem

in the form of two Shadormas

he yearns for all of her
soft, supple secrets she gladly gifts him
his desire pressed against
quivering painful need
with nary a misgiving she lets herself be taken
as control crumbles upon their first kiss

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.


  • The Shadorma is a Spanish poetic form made up of a stanza of six lines with no set rhyme scheme (rhyme is optional); 
  • It is a syllabic poem with a meter of 3/5/3/3/7/5;
  • It can have many stanzas, as long as each follows the meter.


The above was written for Colleen M. Chesebro’s ‘Tanka Tuesday’ prompt.

Poets were encouraged to write ekphrastic syllabic poems inspired by the photo below, which was provided by Willow Willers.

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!

38 thoughts on “Upon their first kiss, or: Nary a misgiving”

  1. Masterful, David. I loved the two poems and how they became one. Powerful writing! ❤️

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