Writing Exercise – the shadorma

by | August 6, 2014 | Writing Exercise | 4 comments

 By Ashley Lister

The shadorma is something of an enigma. Authorities are
unsure about its ancestry. Is it an overlooked Spanish form that has been
around for ages? Or is it a relatively new innovation that has been brought to
us in the guise of something with a history?

These questions won’t be answered here. This is partly
because I’m not clever enough to know how to respond but mainly, because I don’t
care one way or the other. Whether it’s ancient or modern, the shadorma is a
fun poetic form that’s worth the time and effort of any writer wanting to stretch
literary muscles with a brief warmup exercise. To my mind, this is the only
detail worth considering with regards to any poetic form.

I don’t want
your lace-topped stockings
black thong or
fuck-me shoes.
I just want you without your
designer labels.

The shadorma is a six lines stanza made up of lines that
contain 3-5-3-3-7-5 syllables respectively. There is no fixed rhyme scheme. A
shadorma can consist of a single stanza, or the form can be used to produce a
longer poem with multiple stanzas.

Sad to say

despite best efforts



shaking it ‘til it wobbles)

the rabbit is dead.

Take comfort
or consolation
from this fact:
that rabbit
died doing what he loved best.
His last words were, “buzz.”

The shadorma can be a lot of fun and, as with all poetic
forms, it’s a great way to discipline your writing muscles. The majority of online
material discussing this form reiterates the need for six unrhymed lines in the
format of 3-5-3-3-7-5 syllables. If you do get a chance to play with this one,
it would be great to see your poetry in the comments box below. 

Ashley Lister

Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms. His most recent work, a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his second title published under his own name: Swingers: Female Confidential by Ashley Lister (Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753513439) Ashley’s non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica. Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto. He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.


  1. Anna Sky

    Learning how
    To write shadorma
    Is fun, yet
    Damn him! That Ashley Lister,
    For taxing my brain!

  2. Ashley Lister

    Anna Sky
    I read and liked your
    Fun to read.
    Very neatly edited.
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Nettie

    There is flesh
    in loving you. Ripe
    as the joint
    between your
    legs and your hips. I can smell
    your warning from here.

  4. Ashley Lister


    I was hooked from the word 'flesh' in your opening line. This is a piece that really immerses the writer in the physicality of your imagination.


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