Poetry challenge Cleave Poem: the entries

I was rather apprehensive about this one, that it was going to put people off. At first sight it looks incredibly difficult to do. And it isn’t easy, however much you practice. But with patience and a fair bit of tweaking, the result can be tremendous. As you have shown.

Veronica Hosking was first in this week with a poem I can really relate to

Cleaved in Two | Hosking’s Blog


Kat Myrman who was bitten by the bug, first with a (completely justified) rant

Let Them Eat Dirt! | like mercury colliding…

then with a gentle poem, melancholic on one side and hopeful on the other

Gone – a Cleave Poem | like mercury colliding…


Sri Sudha K who is still finding different angles to see the painting of the Ninth Wave





NaPoWriMo 2016 | rivrvlogr

This one is deceptively simple, musing on the idea of getting older,  but I really liked the way one half wonders about the future and the other about what is left of the past

Never Really Known | rivrvlogr


Merril with a very cheery title and even cheerier subject matter. Poignant

Slaughter by the River | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings

and thoughts on ancestors, somebody’s, and their motivations.

NaPoWriMo: Unearthered | Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings


Crow with exactly the kind of dark, elliptical poem you’d expect.

Poem 20160331 – Caw!


Kim from North Norfolk with the first poem about a mammoth I think I’ve ever read.

North Norfolk Mammoth – writing in north norfolk


A new participant, Silver Gardenia with a poem that opens up the universe. Lovely!



Annie another first-timer, sharing a similar theme to Annie’s with a poem full of stunning imagery



Bastet linked to a photo prompt using the cleave form as an option though I can’t navigate my way to the entries. I’m a bit slow like that

B&P Shadorma & Beyond – April 2, 2016 | Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie


Janice with a poem that reflects on the meaning of poetry

Poetic meanings – Ontheland


A bit of Kerfe madness, introducing us to some great inspirational artwork

Paramecium: a collaboration | method two madness

plus bonus— with a very personal and delicate poem that demands this exact form.

National School Librarian Day | method two madness


Olga with a poem I read over and over. Lovely philosophical musings

Poetry Challenge#24: Cleave Poem | Stuff and what if… Edit


Geoff who is beginning to take this seriously and posting from his blog. Not surprising really. It’s a good poem of two completely different but complimentary halves.

Two into one: will it go? #cleavepoem #poetry | TanGental


Jazzy Towers with a touching family portrait like a two way conversation



Once again I’m gobsmacked. So many good poems here and it seems as though the harder the challenge, the more you get the bit between your teeth and go for it. If you can take it, come back again tomorrow for a new theme.

NaPoWriMo: I watch the wild tableau


I watch the wild tableauwhere do the clouds go,

Ships made of mistsailing the sky,

Grey as gulls’ wings / with their burden of tears?

Sea-born and cradledthey pass without waiting

Bringing the rainin a watery blur

The geese and the cranesthey fly by uncaring

Heralding springwinter drags in their wake.

NaPoWriMo: Cherry blossom

It’s April and it’s poetry time. Any excuse to post a poem.

Here’s my first one of the season, another cleave poem because I did it after bloody hours of torture. I exaggerate. But it wasn’t like rolling off a log either.


Wind’s from the north/ spring clouds bowling

From the wintry sea / gulls soaring inland

Cold rain spatters / over dancing river waves

Tearing tender blossoms / splashing the banks with foam.

Winters grip tightens /in the first days of springtime

On bird-huddled branches/ hazels are greenly leafing

And nestlings pipe with feeble voices / in the pale sun streaming.

I walk with heavy heart / Blackbird’s song is in my ears

Remembering the golden past / filled with joy and easy beauty

When summer danced / rippling bright as river water

For you and me / fading with the distant twilight

Now I am left / as night draws near

With a handful of snowflakes / falling gently as cherry blossom.

Poetry challenge #24: Cleave poem

First things first. A late entry for the previous Nove otto challenge from the cat goddess Bastet herself. Please read, it’s a great addition to the collection.

Now for the challenge. Cleave here is used in both senses— of hanging on or sticking to someone and dividing in two. There’s a name for words that have two completely opposite meanings (like sanction) but I can’t remember what it is. Cleave is obviously one.

A cleave poem is in two halves, two separate poems, one on the left, one on the right, but that make a single poem when you read them together. It sounds tricky…and it is.

BUT there are no rhymes, no rhythms and no set length, so the non-comformists among you who have problems with the strict forms have nothing to complain about. I found it useful to keep it short. The poem below started off as only four lines. I went back to it when I thought I’d got the hang of it. If you start with a good line that you can break in two easily enough and let the two halves go off in different directions, even opposite directions, the sense of satisfaction if it all hangs together as one poem is greater.

Poet’s Corner has posted a link to the Cleave Poetry Webzine which gives the background to the form by its originator. Thanks for that. It’s helpful and interesting.

Here’s an example I wrote yesterday.


Please stay/ the blackbird calls

The night will be dark/ the sun is setting

Don’t take your warmth/ beyond the horizon

Where the light dies/ for the night is waiting.

Remember your promise/ Mine forever

You said it so easy/ you gave me a rose

Sweet as the blackbird’s song/ sweeter than honey

Ended now / its white petals fallen

Like winter’s first snow/ lie soft on the ground.