Through thick, or: Thin

A Crystalline

They welcomed in their dinner guests,
his heavy hand upon her thin nape.

Her beautiful, gemmed Sabbath outfit
was adorned with an unseen leash.

She'd applied makeup carefully
to conceal her crow's feet and pallor.

An unsteady smile failed to distract
from timid eyes, red and tearful.

What’s a Crystalline?

  • A complete couplet. Either standing alone or written in any number of couplets;
  • Syllabic, 17 syllables;
    • Regular: 8/9 or 9/8 syllables per line;
    • Irregular: broken where appropriate, other than the 8-9/9-8 regular form;
  • Written with English grammatical rules of syntax, caps and punctuation;
  • At the poetโ€™s discretion, written with poetic devices (rhyme, onomatopoeia, metaphor…);
  • Composed with a โ€œcutโ€ or pivot, most often between L1 and L2.


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!

20 thoughts on “Through thick, or: Thin”

  1. Itโ€™s so natural these verses even with the structure demanded by the form. I love the irony of the line about make up and her motives for applying it. Really well written!

    1. ๐Ÿ’œ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Marion ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ๐Ÿ’œ ~ yes, although this one is somewhat more based upon my imagination, after seeing her in her Shabbat outfit.

  2. Excellent poem David! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Œ But these lines stood out to me in particular : “Her beautiful, gemmed Sabbath outfit
    was adorned with an unseen leash.”

    I’ve a feeling I know who you are talking about! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿค”

  3. I’ve just come from a different, most wonderful, compassionate, tender and loving poetry corner.
    It’s quite devastating ๐Ÿ˜ข to take a seat in this corner.
    On the otherhand it is so commendable the sterling work you have put in through your poetry to break the silo and the constriction of the vow that leads to abuse and domestic violence.
    Through thick and thin
    Ensnared and scared
    No one will believe me
    A hard must read

  4. A poem full of eyes deeply welled in sorrow and fear. I appreciate your attention to the theme of oppressed women. I find it such a sad and distressingly persistent issue in our supposedly enlightened and modern world. There is so much lip service in public and hurtful, irresponsible behaviour in private. Personally, I wold like to see more women in positions of power. I think it would do us all a great deal of good.

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