Work to live, or: Live to work

Two ‘Shadorma’ poems in a ‘Cleave’

the effortit takes me
to transport myselffar enough away
to escapefrom this stress
challengesmy inner
faithful ideals of achild freely dancing, sure of
Papa’s commitmentlove and full support

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.

Tanka Tuesday

For Tanka Tuesday, Colleen encourages us to incorporate synonyms of both ‘work’ and ‘play’ into syllabic poems.

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!

57 thoughts on “Work to live, or: Live to work”

  1. And truly what an effort it takes to be a loving parent.
    Enough joy makes it appear easy though! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Great job combining the forms. I love how the complexity increases by doing that! I also know the cleave as a contrapuntal poem and thought of doing it, but it is, of course, more complicated!!!

  3. love this David!
    Great Job with my favorite the Cleave poem I learned from you.. โฃ๏ธ
    And therein lies the question.
    I used to live to eat and know i eat to live TG!
    The life thing is a great one.. balance is the key~!

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