Threat, or: Promise

My 1st Tawddgyrch Cadwynog

Based on a true story

"If you don't play, I'm gonna die!"
Her end was nigh; What could I say?
So? Yay or nay? My child's not shy...
Should I comply? I sighed. "Okay."

Some later day, she threatened me -
"I'll die! You'll see!" sulked little fae.
Patience did fray; I sipped my tea,
Counted to three and frowned her way.

But then I smirked at funny thought.
My wink she caught; had her ploy worked?
I acted irked, though smile I fought;
Small shoulders caught; away she jerked.

I tickled her to save the dear;
She, in fifth gear, her arms a blur;
To tricks deter one must be clear...
Instill some fear... teach, as it were.

Your father, or: Your faith

A ‘Magnetic Poem’ tanka

Wanna try? Click here.

tiny happy girl
you innocent joyful child
your father loves you
your faith fascinates me so
little blooming soul believes


  • For this poem, I decided to make use of the ‘Love Set’ on the Magnetic Poetry website;
    • This is only the 2nd time that I’ve used this set;
    • I think this is a brand new set of virtual magnets;
  • I once again opted for a tanka, rather than a haiku;
    • The extra two lines (14 syllables) provide a greater challenge, as well as a larger canvas;
  • This particular poem is a reflection of my love for my six-year-old daughter (obviously, right?);
  • I searched for and found the featured image only after I had written the entire tanka;
    • This is a free stock photo – it is not a photo of my daughter;
      • Back when she was born, we decided to keep photos of her offline.

Always belonged together, or: Night takes life

A ‘Magnetic Poem’ tanka

Wanna try? Click here.

mother and father
always belonged together
their child remembers
moments of joy, tears, and heart
night takes life, but can't touch love


  • For this poem, I decided to make use of the ‘Love Set’ on the Magnetic Poetry website;
    • I think this is a brand new set of virtual magnets because I noticed it for the very first time tonight when I visited the Magnetic Poetry website!
  • I once again opted for a tanka, rather than a haiku;
    • The extra two lines (14 syllables) provide a greater challenge, as well as a larger canvas;
  • This particular poem is something of a reflection on my memories of my parents and my childhood in the context of my Papa’s death nearly three years ago;
  • I searched for and found the featured image only after I had written the entire tanka.

Dr. Seuss, or: Eminem

The truth finally comes out

I shall now type some lines on a lark (I'm silly);
When I rhyme, my kid begs- Please stop it! No really!

She insists ev'ry day that I cease the abuse;
That my words just annoy; that I'm no Dr. Seuss.

And she's right, I admit, 'bout my quips and puns weak;
Endless reasons to cringe when I verse tongue-in-cheek.

Perhaps I should refrain when she's perched on my lap;
Cuz to tell you the truth, I'm much better at rap!

d’Verse prompt:

Hopscotch with Anapestic tetrameter

Today, at d’Verse we were prompted to write poems with tetrameter — and anapests.

Specifically, we were instructed to hopscotch like children in spring, doing anapests, which means two unstressed syllables, followed by one stressed. da-da-DAM. Anapestic tetrameter means four stressed syllables on each line (so each line has twelve syllables). It’s a form mastered by Dr. Seuss, which my daughter and I are very familiar with.

And, apparently, Eminem also makes use of anapestic tetrameter:


I suck at rap.

Blogging time commitment ~ worth it?

Nearing my blogoversary

Two days ago, I got together with a friend of mine, whom I hadn’t seen in many months because of the multiple COVID-19 lockdowns that we’ve gone through here in Israel. He and I became particularly close the year before last when we took a Talmud class together in the evenings. Last autumn, he decided to continue studying Talmud, and I decided to forgo it.

During our conversation, I reflected upon the fact that I would never have had as much time for writing poetry and blogging if I’d continued studying Talmud this year. In fact, I wouldn’t have had time for this blog in the 2½ years previous to our Talmud class either – that’s back when I was studying spoken Arabic in the evenings. It seems that I cannot deeply engage myself in more than one extracurricular commitment at a time, on top of my work and parenting responsibilities.

Given this, especially as I near my 1st blogoversary this month, it’s fair to ask whether my blogging journey has been worth it. I could have been doing many other things with my time, but instead I chose to write – so does this seem to have been a good decision?

The pluses

Creative fulfillment

I have probably written more poetry over the course of this last year than I had in the previous ~40 years of my life; and this has been wonderfully fulfilling. Writing poetry makes me happy in a way that I had never expected. I feel myself a playful child in the virtual playground of the blogosphere, among fellow poets from all over the world.

My joy at writing poetry has even spilled over into my parenting over the last year, as I’ve noted on this blog. Over the course of this last year, my six-year-old daughter has started writing and reading poetry, and she has asked me to write poems about her to post on my blog. She walks around the apartment rhyming various words aloud and playing with spoonerisms and rhythm. She too has come to appreciate and enjoy poetry!

Just last night, I wrote a limerick about her, which she enjoyed hearing me read to her this morning. My wife, ever the responsible one, finally stopped us after several readings, reminding us that we had to get ready to go to preschool.

Emotional outlet for my grief

When I first created ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’ website, especially given its title and the first poem that I wrote, my Mama asked me whether I planned to only write about my Papa, who had died in the summer of 2018. I responded that no, I didn’t. This is definitely what some would call a ‘grief blog’, but it was never intended to be exclusively about my grief.

That said, I often think about Papa, and my grieving for him has been gradually evolving. Often, I reflect upon how to commemorate him, and this blog allows me a forum for my grief-related thoughts. Many mourner feels that they are imposing upon or making others uncomfortable when they share their feelings of grief; I have definitely felt that way on more than one occasion. Thankfully, throughout the last year, ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’ has been here for me whenever I have needed a space to process my feelings. Having such an outlet has been truly cathartic.

Also, even when I am not writing about Papa, I see him at the top of this website whenever I browse through my blog. In a small way, seeing him there every day makes me feel more connected to him… not metaphysically, but rather by stirring my love. I may not always write about my grief, but every poem on this blog was written, in part, as an expression of my love for him.

Human connections

I have already written about how much I appreciate and enjoy the interactions I have with other writers and poets here on WordPress, and I won’t rehash that now, except to say that I have come to feel a very strong sense of warmth and community in our shared online space. Thinking about this brings a smile to my face.


So… yes. It has been much more than worth it to blog every day at ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’.

I certainly never thought that I would be dedicating so much time to this website, nor to writing poetry (among other things) – but I am so glad that I did so; and I am so glad that you have joined me on my journey. Thank you!

Respond to your children with love

Respond to your children with love in their worst moments, their broken moments, their angry moments, their selfish moments, their lonely moments, their frustrated moments, their inconvenient moments; because it is in their most unlovable human moments that they most need to feel loved.

― L. R. Knost