New Jersey, or: The Negev

A ‘sijo’

true story (mostly): my cousin
visited from Israel,
squirrel'less childhood wanting
until she saw one cracking walnuts;
'oh, what a sweetheart!' she cried,
as it took apple from her hand

Twiglets #312

cracking walnuts

Moonwashed weekly prompt



A Korean verse form related to haiku and tanka and comprised of three lines of 14-16 syllables each, for a total of 44-46 syllables. Each line contains a pause near the middle, similar to a caesura, though the break need not be metrical. The first half of the line contains six to nine syllables; the second half should contain no fewer than five. Originally intended as songs, sijo can treat romantic, metaphysical, or spiritual themes. Whatever the subject, the first line introduces an idea or story, the second supplies a โ€œturn,โ€ and the third provides closure. Modern sijo are sometimes printed in six lines.

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!

32 thoughts on “New Jersey, or: The Negev”

  1. A delightful piece, David! There is an abundance of squirrels in my neck of the woods. It’s fun to watch their antics as they play in the trees.

    1. I just Googled information about squirrels in Israel… apparently there are some now, but they’re an invasive species…

      When my cousin visited us in our (hers and mine) childhood, she’d never seen one… that was in the late 80’s, I think.

      1. Ah yes, I know this from where I was born. These nut trees are alien in my country as well
        I only got to see a squirrel (the grey ones) when I visited the Cape Town Gardens on a field trip with my classmates moons ago, so I can somewhat imagine her feelings.

          1. Oh, Iโ€™m led to believe that they are Indigenous to North America, I dont quite know where, there.
            The Grey squirrel was introduced into South Africa by Cecil John Rhodes. I think they must be popular in Holland as well since also eat the fruit of tulip poplar.
            They Gray is also the most active of all the squirrels. Not so much during the day. They love the early mornings as well as the evenings.
            Interesting pest.

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