Free-floating, or: Fleshliness

A Cleave poem

in the form of two Shadormas

bodiless unrestrained
floating up above by sick fleshliness
observing what had been
with clear-eyed consciousness
understanding life’s veiled truths apprehending past missteps
one ought feel ashamed of a careless life

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 Britta Benston.

Picture credit: Britta Benson. This photograph was taken inside St. Ceciliaโ€™s Church (built in 1739), Heusenstamm, Germany.

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!

33 thoughts on “Free-floating, or: Fleshliness”

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