Under my Skin


One Saturday I was back in the mood to dabble in some new forms and dipped back into my trusted Crafty Poet book for inspiration. Armed with the random theme of ‘skin’ as suggested by Android I penned the following Quatern poem. This form is comprised of eight syllables per line and the first line of stanza one, the second line of stanza two, the third line of stanza three, and the fourth line of stanza four.


Cutaneous Quatern

Try not to let them get beneath

Some say it’s better that you’re thick

Below you are my core beliefs

You bleed with just the slightest prick


True beauty lies inside your hold

Try not to let them get beneath

My heart is warm though you are cold

You cover flaws like a fig leaf


Jump out of you when I’m afraid

It makes you crawl to feel disgust

Try not to let them get beneath

You forge the contact of my trust


You pimple, dimple, peel and burn

Some decorate you with motifs

You wrinkle as the pages turn

Try not to let them get beneath


Photo : http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-goose-bumps-and-goose-pimples

29 thoughts on “Under my Skin

  1. Hi Sam,
    I enjoyed your quatern, the literal and metaphorical ways you address skin. I especially like how you’ve upped the difficulty factor by working from a prompt and adding the rhymes. If you like reappearing lines, you might try a cascade or kyrielle, or the ultimate interweaver of lines, a pantoum. Here is an earlier version of “There’s a Poem For You,” the quatern you read on my site. It takes place mostly in my imagination:


    Someone says, “There’s a poem for you!”
    as if eight pen-ready stanzas
    blazed atop Grandpa’s birthday cake
    instead of those inane, joke-shop

    candles that re-light themselves. When
    someone says, “There’s a poem for you!”
    and I can’t see it, my mind ad-libs:
    He huffs, he puffs… Holy Poli-Grip!

    His dentures arc toward the cake and
    Aunt Rose snatches them mid-air and
    someone says, “There’s a poem for you!”
    She clacks the teeth like castanets

    and the toothless birthday boy laughs.
    She chomp-chomps them across the cake,
    ravaging the smooth buttercream, and
    someone says, “There’s a poem for you!”


  2. I like this! Strange coincidence but I learned for the first time what a quatern was for the first time just hours before reading this when I was listening to a podcast about Rumi, who wrote thousands of them. Nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is simple and yet profound. “You wrinkle as the pages turn.” What a wonderful metaphor for the passage of time and its effect on our bodies. And you chose the perfect phrase to repeat in every stanza: “Try not to let them get beneath.” It seems we spend our entire lives learning how to keep them on the surface. 🙂 I’m glad you found my poem and led me to yours.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.