The Keywyrd, or: Creativity forms verses

Sangeetha & David’s new poetry project

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

Once they’d completed their first oeuvre, they continued their journey together; Sangeetha came up with a fun idea. Beginning in January ’22, they took turns selecting poetic forms beginning with the letters of the alphabet (A through Z) and wrote poems to one another using those forms.

Upon completing that second project, Sangeetha suggested they go through the alphabet once more but in their new series, for every letter of the alphabet (A through Z), they would select not only a poetic form but also – a keyword for each poem.

Eventually, they completed their third series and decided to embark on a fourth towards the end of 2022. This time, taking turns, they would create their own poetic forms for every letter of the alphabet (A through Z), and exchange poems, as they’d done before.

For ‘K’, David created the ‘Keywyrd’ form.

K: Keywyrd

David’s Keywyrd

True deceivers and heathens; every
end throughout history decreed and
arranged; direful truth effected; humanity
huddled desperately at the edge;
eternity's threshold devours all hope
  • Keyword: D.E.A.T.H.

Sangeetha’s Keywyrd

Endings rankle faith in goodness;
inevitable gloom forebodes, eschewing reason;
regret inches forward, gathering evidence;
emotions, feelings, glum; reality, inconsolable
I go feeble, remembering endings
  • Keyword: G.R.I.E.F.


  • Select a keyword with five distinct letters (no double letters);
  • The Keywyrd poetic form has five lines;
    • Each line has five words;
    • Each of the five words in every line must begin with a different one of the letters that spell the keyword, but not necessarily in order;
  • You cannot use your selected keyword or any form of it in the poem;
    • The content of the poem should relate to your selected keyword without actually mentioning it.

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!

23 thoughts on “The Keywyrd, or: Creativity forms verses”

  1. I love the idea of this form: Keywyrd

    Let me try my hand at it while I wait for the Super Bowl to start on this cold, gray Sunday afternoon:

    Given the art of play
    Another Sunday runs on by
    Mothers cheer their sons on
    Everyone has a favorite team
    Some leave elated, others disappointed

    1. Jan, that’s a lovely poem, but it doesn’t follow the rules of the form…

      Each of your five lines contains five words that start with different letters so it doesn’t work. For example, Line 1 has a word that begins with ‘G’, but no other line has any word that begins with ‘G’…

      1. Wow! I thought it was challenging enough the way I understood it. Now this layer of difficulty really makes me admire your skill all the more!!

    1. Well, I didn’t choose Sangeetha’s theme… I think she was responding to my poem and my theme… And, for me personally, death is something I often think about, so it comes out in my poetry โค

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