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Tommy Randell Jun 2019
"You were born with no future,"
Says my Aunt Sestina, who speaks using clouds.
"Your first morning sky was grey without promise
So, your Mother and I read you Poetry -
Dylan Thomas and John Ashbery out loud -
'Til the thunder in your heart began to flow."

As the hot tea starts to flow,
Looking out the window I check my future
Is doing okay and I wonder, aloud,
"Aunty, may one's life be forecast using clouds?
Isn't all Life just a pulse of poetry,
And not only what random clouds can promise?"

"But each cloud is a promise,
More so..." Tea continues, my Aunt in full flow...
"Each cake is a cumulus of poetry,
Each plate is a cirrus crown - Of a future
Imagined and controlled, like Prospero's Clouds..."
And Sestina's entheastic voice, aloud,

Outpouring, louder than loud,
Fills the room, and the house, fills Life with promise -
Until, I too am charmed to speak using clouds,
Presuming to be in that beautiful flow,
Riding the word lines out into my future
Of intuitive but patterned poetry -

Lightning clouds of poetry.
Conjuring meaning by reciting aloud,
Despite being born on a day with no future,  
Despite a beginning that had no promise,
Speaking lines of fire, verbs that crackle and flow,
Inspired by the rich metaphors of clouds -

Sestina's tea time of clouds,
Every cloud a recipe of poetry.
A Tea time, Sestina in billowing flow,
I reciteThomas and Ashbery out loud,
Seeing her smile as i fulfill my promise    
Paying forward what I owe for my future -

"Let what you know flow and colour your future,
Let your poetry be rainbows of promise -
But when life sends clouds, change the rules - you're allowed!"
This Poem should be read aloud!!

This is a SESTINA in many respects - allowing for the many modern variations, charting a middle ground between the old and knew. But as the Poem concludes... that is the point too really.

It's always a challenge to write in such a classic form and attempt to make it something new. Hope I've gone a little way toward that and that the liberties and breaking of form aren't too much for any purists.

For the record: Six verses of six lines with line endings repeated throughout on the strict Classical formula ... ABCDEF >>> FAEBDC and so on, with the Tercet at the end choosing (this time) (F)A .. (D)C .. (B)Emodified. All sextet 1st lines 7 syllables, the other 5 lines 11 syllables ( because I like a challenge ). My playing with Rhyme and free verse is also not standard - but, again, that's the point.
Lizzy  Jan 2015
Sad sestina
Lizzy Jan 2015
Funny little thing is she,
She laughs at lightning in the storm.
And what most would see as torture,
She inflicts with pride and is not scared.
Her skin is sharp like broken glass,
And through her lover’s skin she tore.

Through her safest home she tore.
Stupid little girl is she.
They try to mend her broken glass
But the edges cause destruction of a storm.
Please don’t run, don’t be scared,
Don’t be a part of her torture.

Running love is her only torture,
Not pain that through her heart tore.
Distance leaves her crying scared,
Unable to control the fear in her.
Maybe she is the rain in the storm,
Shattering passing window glass.

Maybe she doesn’t mind the glass,
She doesn’t think this is torture.
And maybe it’s not a storm,
But a hurricane she tore
Out of her skin. She
Is no longer scared.

The distance does not make her scared.
Her skin is no longer broken glass.
Alive little girl is she.
Nothing more will be her torture.
She doesn’t need the lover she tore.
No longer does she hide from the storm.

Not sunny skies, but no more storm.
Not yet calm, but at least not scared.
Not yet healed, but not torn.
Maybe cracked, but not broken glass.
Some discomfort, but it doesn’t feel like torture.
Strong little girl is she.

Screaming insanely she tore herself out of this storm.
No one will say “she’s gonna lose it”. Because she somehow she is not scared.
It’s a mystery how she fixed her glass, or how she can still tolerate the torture.
Kelly Rose Jan 2017
I apoligize for not reading your posts. I have been battling my depression and have not been online .  I have written a poem about it (of course lol).  I hope you enjoy and I hope to be online tomorrow.

My Dark Tale (A Sestina)

It is a lovely time of day for tea
As I sit curled up to the song of rain
Memories arise of a deep dark pain
Storm clouds gather within my heart, darkly
Dimly, I am aware of rainbow’s hope
Wanting dreams infused with Rosemary and Thyme

Out of work, I suffer from too much time
Overeating and drinking too much tea
Depression worsens, stealing all my hope
And all my dreams shatter in the cold rain
Leaving me empty in the bitter dark
As I stare out of the broken windowpane

How I long to conquer my bitter pain
If only I would organize my time
I know then, I would rise above the dark
Instead, I get caught in cookies and tea
And sink deeper; chaos supremely reigns
I flounder once again, losing my hope

I am tired of losing precious hope
Letting despair and worthless bitter pain
To take control and determinedly reign
Structure! Will that allow me to use time
Positively? Cutting back on black tea
Getting needed sleep to fight back the dark

Rested, I can push back the hated dark
Strive to capture peace and beautiful hope
Learning once again to enjoy my tea
And not as a crutch that causes me pain
While I mourn the loss of wasted sweet time
Instead, I would see rainbows in the rain

I yearn to topple depression’s long reign,
To walk in the sun’s light, not the cold dark
Eager to greet the day and enjoy time
Pursue my dreams, infusing life with hope
Do away with doldrums and bitter pain
Relaxing and enjoying Earl Gray Tea

Envoi

To sum up, I yearn to enjoy my tea
Overcome my darkness and pain; to feel hope
While I take time to enjoy the sweet rain

Kelly Rose
© January 5, 2017
Kimberly Clemens Nov 2013
A map guide clarifying the wrong place
Stoic expressions with implied purpose are no help
Busy streets bustling about this foreign land of no lights
High buildings sporting officiality block my view
Of the mountains and rivers now paved over by ideals of the future
A showcase of grey streets, walls, and skies; I am left hopeless.

No color, no contrast, just black and white: the architects are hopeless
All the intricate designs and patterns are of a different time and place
I cannot be trapped in the colorless cinema of the town; I search for a vibrant future
Native minds drear into the day, knowing not that they desperately need help
The neon lights and rain shower rainbows are not an element of the city's depressed view
It's as if the colorblind man blackened the city and closed his curtains to the light

The planes cannot find where to land because someone put out the runway lights
Auras only shine in black and white, the long since hopeful are now helplessly hopeless
I exhale my dissapointment towards the uninspired dead end view
And mournful rainbows melt out of the sky, defeated. Why did I come here in the first place?
Perhaps I am the prophecy, the ******, the angelic omen sent by God to help
Or perhaps that is conceited; one person alone cannot brighten this future.

No amount of psychic ability or math calculations could have predicted this future
Somebody shot down the angels, choked out all the lights
Malicious villains took over as citizens realized superman wasn't coming to help
Thus the people watched as the color drained out and faded away, oh, they are hopeless
Cacophonous chaos throws broken hearts, leaving shards all over the place
A kaleidoscope zoom reflects nothing but melancholy expressions into my view.

When was the last time the sunshine peeked through the window's view?
Did the sun burn out from uncertain predictions of the future?
I try to envision when only the bleakness of TV sets in the city were out of place
Because psychedelic intricacies ruled, shinning proud neon lights
But then the clouds greyed the sky once the colorblind man began to feel hopeless
His dimension of colors disagreed with the perception of others, shying him from help

Nobody could answer his message in a bottle, his SOS, his plea for help
So day after day darker walls constructed over his already restricted view
At points in our lives our faith finds nothing to battle the hopeless
But news of the blind man seeing purple mountains ignites faith in the future
Of the man of no color who painted the city grey and drained the neon lights
Because his color is not non-existent, but waiting to be found in his own secret place

So perhaps we can help transform this dystopia into a brighter future
We cannot let be a view that we know has the capability to glitter in the light
We will smolder the pollution cloud of hopeless energy and enlighten this place.
linda barrett Dec 2013
A SESTINA FOR BRIAN

How being born on Christmas Day can make
some people think that you have this passion
for being so compassionate and construct
all sorts of things like Christ the Great Carpenter
did for living spaces of all levels
of human dwelling. You have always had to create
things for dwelling spaces and you always change
It’s like you have been going in your innate passion
since you were a baby. I saw you in winter, to make
a snow igloo. You had everything planned and constructed
this igloo right by the side of the house. It had this level
of true sophistication for a boy of your age. You could create
wonderful things: towers and tree forts and then change
to art work to decorate our house.
Brian, I’ve known you to go out of your way to make
breakfast for us. I remember the strange passion
you had and made us peanut butter and banana constructions
of pancakes. You did all sorts of culinary things on the level
of perfection to even make the best chefs just create
something to quench their envy of you. You never change
Now, when you got older, you still possessed this desire to make
you went through Penn State Ogontz and kept up this passion
to create other things and learn enough to construct
buildings but you needed the education to earn a living to create
things with your hard-earned degree and actually change
and re-arrange houses or interior of places on a different level
Why your inner mental and emotional makeup came out in such passion
that all who came into contact with you when you failed to construct
a certain project to your own perfectionistic liking and it made
you very angry and you used such profanity and it just changed
you from this compassionate and soft hearted soul into creating a raving demon out of you.
The way that you used to go out of your way and created
A wonderful family unit from a wife to a pair of children made
you bring out another facet of your personality: the father level
The two children came out of that union as some construct

from your desire to keep on creating through this passion
to keep up on revising and re-building so that you always change

@2006 Linda Barrett
Amanda Cooper Feb 2010
It was early morning when she descended the steps
to the porch side, teacup in hand, dressed in her nightgown.
Steam billowed from her cup, and with a swallow
she examined her garden of weeds and unexpected peonies.
It was early for blooming peonies; frost, like glass,
still settled on the lawn, reflecting sunrise light of tangerine.

The radiant glow of tangerine
cast amber trails across steps
covered in an icy coating of glass.
Between her fingers she tucked her nightgown
and gingerly treaded the garden of peonies
that melted the frost in one great flower swallow.

The barn swallow,
perched not far from the path of tangerine,
must have also taken notice of the peonies
as he took the first steps
to nest-building. She imagined that his lady bird, also in her nightgown,
would enjoy the flowerbed of glass

that he chose for their home. Sipping her glass
of tea, she admired the familiar swallow
lover as she folded into her nightgown
bouquets of peonies that glistened in the tangerine
sunlight. She took the steps
back to the house, recalling her own swallow’s peonies:

Peonies
placed in vases of glass,
peonies lining the porch steps,
peonies presented over morning tea. With a swallow,
she carefully, methodically lined the tangerine
trail with the peonies from her nightgown.

Her nightgown,
stained with the rouge petals of peonies,
dragged along the tangerine
terrace of glass,
blood red with the memory of her swallow
lover’s peony-petaled steps.

The steps to the house creaked beneath her nightgown.
The barn swallow, quieted by the rouge of the peonies,
shut his glass eyes to the skies of tangerine.
2009
I think about her all the time
The look in her eyes and the way she smiles, and I wish
That someday, somehow I could be her star
To hold her close and keep her warm when it rains
But for now, all I could do is wait
For her to notice me, a girl I call Jane.

She was the first girl I noticed, this girl I call Jane
After a year full of misery and wasted time.
Like a pretty rainbow after the rain,
She came into my life~breathtaking yet so unreachable like a star
So I tried to hide how I felt and made myself wish
That she was never worth the wait.

I try hard each day to avoid looking at her eyes, like stars
They shine so brightly even when it rains
And it never gets easier every time
To just sit around and hope and wait
For her to notice me, that girl I call Jane
But I can dream, can't I? I can dream, and I can wish.

The moment finally came when I could no longer wait
For the girl forever, the girl I call Jane
So I sent her a message~a secret wish
That I'd be worthy for a minute of her time
And one fateful night when everything went right, we talked about the stars
As the seconds turned into hours while I stood there in the rain.

But the sun has permanently set in my life, and permanently it rains
Permanently I'm left with nothing but to permanently dream and to permanently wait
On a bed of nails without her, without Jane
And every night as I close my eyes, I'd wish
For another chance to be with her~another time
But I'm not the one that she wants; I'm not her star.

And if God could grant me just one wish,
May she crash into me like a shooting star
Because my heart's gone cold from all this wait
From all these thoughts concerning Jane
But if this love is a thunder, then bring on the rain
To help me drown her out for the last time.

Tonight I'll look up at the sky and make a wish upon a star
But until the day it comes true, I'd wait here forever patiently in vain under the rain
For time to find me a place in the diary of Jane.
Joan Karcher Aug 2012
how many paths, how many loves
living and changing and ever climbing
learning and growing and springing over
like purple sunsets entering red mountains
each experience reopening your eyes, gaining
wisdom and freedom, ever increasing strength

Atlas holding Gaia, never ending strength
becoming charged and overcome with love    
encircled with history and caring, gaining
a repertoire of eternal connections, climbing
into dream fields surrounded by mountains
will this serenity ever be over?

though hopefully the uncertainty will be over
and that we will have strength
to conquer all the encountered mountains
created by each newly attained love
embrace avenues crossed and obstacles climbed
to have pleasure and confidence gained

though will paradise ever be gained
allowing forgetfulness of pain we're over
while still remembering friendships we climbed
every node you pass gives strength
for the next stage of love
giving elemental power to move mountains

our past shadows creating fresh mountains
to relive, to adore; understanding gained
so many different forms of love
meaningfully distinct, passed but never over,
each one providing new wonderful strength
to allow us unique nirvanas climbed

always strive for larger heights climbed
those hopes will be worth mountains
don't fear any loss of strength,
weakness endured is often willpower gained
hate and sorrow should never over-
come the treasureful bliss of love

*Don't be afraid of the climb to the top of the mountain
unbelievable strength will be gained,
all the adventures that are over will become unforgettable love
I asked you if God saw a reflection
and you told me she was simply confused.
What more could be learned from two eyes alone?
I struggled with the thought before it died
and found the answer deep within your breath;
a subtle reach and clasp would stay empty.


I had questioned if your words were empty
as a ghost gazing at its reflection;
you stare at me as though with lack of breath
and pretend that I was always confused
by words that might as well have died
or just preferred to have been left alone.


And so I had spent many nights alone
with only my thoughts that would prove empty.
In longing for those eyes I could have died
or sought to find light in the reflection
of the sun on darkened craters, confused
but drawn back as though of gasping for breath.


I thought that I should wait to feel your breath
again, to avoid being so alone
would leave us out of reach or too confused
to extend our hands or feel for empty
air, I prayed to see your warm reflection
from a window before it withered and died.

I wished you’d take my soul before it died
or remained as it took its final breath;
and that thought returned in quiet reflection
from a place that must have been so alone,
like expecting treasure to be empty
or to discover you were just confused.


I thought that maybe I should stay confused
and in that same fashion I would have died,
in a room so void of light and empty.
I need to know the feeling of your breath,
even if it means I will stay alone
until God interprets my reflection.


It died with Patience, and ceased reflection.
Never alone, but harmonious breath.
Always confused, but never empty.
Conor Letham Apr 2014
The first pair of shoes you wore were black,
velcro straps sat atop your pair of dollies
to make it easier to put them on for the park.
They were meant to be smart, but you laughed
as you wore them against the ground so free
as dad slung the swings, smiling at his child.

Our mum told me I was a creative child:
I didn't like to wear anything black. Red
suited me in how I stood in puddles, free
in indifference to how brown my wellies
became. If I was asked why, I'd shout,
“I'm pretending we're all at the seaside.”

From there we made our way to beaches,
where the wind was crisp and the children
we could see around us acclaimed screams
of emphatic joy at how the sea was so blue
and big. We had to wear pairs of sandals
when we went, but being barefoot felt free.

All that time we had at being young and free
soon went with the summer ending in school,
the arrival of my freshly polished black boots
was identical to almost every other child's-
a lather of paint dripping over in mud yellows
proved who I was with a mother's groan,

and this wasn't the only time she wailed.
As we grew older and wanted to be free,
my sister started to experiment with pink
highlights in her hair as I visited clubs
with fake ID. We were adults with childish
personalities in how I wore my Docs

like a religion for feet, my sibling in high heels
that you could hear in Sunday morning claps.
The arguments broke out: she wanted a child,
mother saying was too young, needed to free
herself from lazy culture and find a workplace.
I'd never seen both their faces so gushed red,

just like the red richness of those wellies
I had worn in the park. I pipe up and say,
“The best freedom is our time as children.”
A *colour*
B *shoe*
C *place*
D *sound*
E free
F child
Dante Alighieri  Oct 2010
Sestina
I have come, alas, to the great circle of shadow,
to the short day and to the whitening hills,
when the colour is all lost from the grass,
though my desire will not lose its green,
so rooted is it in this hardest stone,
that speaks and feels as though it were a woman.

And likewise this heaven-born woman
stays frozen, like the snow in shadow,
and is unmoved, or moved like a stone,
by the sweet season that warms all the hills,
and makes them alter from pure white to green,
so as to clothe them with the flowers and grass.

When her head wears a crown of grass
she draws the mind from any other woman,
because she blends her gold hair with the green
so well that Amor lingers in their shadow,
he who fastens me in these low hills,
more certainly than lime fastens stone.

Her beauty has more virtue than rare stone.
The wound she gives cannot be healed with grass,
since I have travelled, through the plains and hills,
to find my release from such a woman,
yet from her light had never a shadow
thrown on me, by hill, wall, or leaves’ green.

I have seen her walk all dressed in green,
so formed she would have sparked love in a stone,
that love I bear for her very shadow,
so that I wished her, in those fields of grass,
as much in love as ever yet was woman,
closed around by all the highest hills.

The rivers will flow upwards to the hills
before this wood, that is so soft and green,
takes fire, as might ever lovely woman,
for me, who would choose to sleep on stone,
all my life, and go eating grass,
only to gaze at where her clothes cast shadow.

Whenever the hills cast blackest shadow,
with her sweet green, the lovely woman
hides it, as a man hides stone in grass.
Sarah Valentina Nov 2010
It is the time of year when everything seems to pause 1
What once was pretty green now covered with a rich sheet of white 2
When we bundle up before escaping from our protective cozy houses 3
The air is filled with a sense of cheer as we all remember childhood 4
Young girls close their eyes waiting for a  secret kiss under  mistletoe 5
We all know that this is the season where we first found love 6

The smell of the christmas tree which I will always love 6
Moments when everyone is laughing If only we could pause1
Kisses so true taking place beneath the doorway from which hangs mistletoe 5
The time of year when everything seems as clear as the color white 2
We'll never forget the magical wishes we made during childhood4
As we all are comforted by the warmth of our own houses 3

Inviting all our family and friends to celebrate with us in our houses 3
Spreading warmth from year to year showing how great is love 6
Tastebuds are revived with the same sweets we cherished during childhood4
A time when we are not afraid to show emotion or to put work on pause 1

2
5
Sestina
Andrew Parker Dec 2013
azure sestina
July 16, 2013

Brought to face ourselves finally,
what choices do we have in capturing the moment?
If I were given this chance
it would be most important to know for sure.
Look life in its eyes,
and see their sad shade of deep, blue, azure.

No matter how black my heart taints, or how bloodied my lips are stained, all that matters is azure.
I'm up against a stare that petrifies me, until I beg for freedom finally.
But I am powerless to escape those eyes.
I begin to enter your forever after ending never, in just one moment,
and I feel as though I can't say goodbye until I die, so I can be sure.
Sure that there really would be no second chance.

I first told you, "Take a chance,"
but we started with an ending, engulfed in azure.
My heart stretched further apart, as yours stayed unsure.
It broke finally.
Vanished in a month's mournful moment,
by the blink of those refusing to cry eyes.

I had to see things through your eyes.
So I could know that I should have left this all to chance.
You can blame me in the end, for ruining the moment.
As I rope back in my emotional tide, from the dark depths of azure.
I'll dock that torn up boat at your door, and conclude the voyage finally.
You wanted space, so you've got it, sure.
I poem was never completed - I actually couldn't complete it.
But I felt it was fine the way it was.

1. ABCDEF
2. FAEBDC
3. CFDABE
4. ECBFAD
5. DEACFB
6. BDFECA
7. (envoi) ECA or ACE

A. finally
B. moment
C. chance
D. sure
E. eyes
F. azure

— The End —