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Sam Temple Mar 2016
Breaking waves crashed upon my feet
toes poking into the dampened sand
on my face I felt the sun
and considered its warmth and power
got lost in quiet reflection
and found myself searching deep
within my own soul for some answers
to the great universal questions
but I did not know why we are on earth
or by what mode our story began
I was just as the sand, but a tiny speck of dust
one in the cornucopia of humanity

the wind blew a swirl of sand
large enough to partially blot out the sun
wind gusts with such force and power
I could no longer see my reflection
but stood still for fear of the ocean so deep
when I heard the slightest whisper of an answer
as if the wind sought to respond to my questions
surrounding life on earth
and how it all began
from just asteroid dust
to the gross expansion of humanity
I looked down at my bare feet

I felt on my back and neck the heat of the sun
Worried I was being burned by its power
from both sides with the sea’s reflection
I stepped into the deep
and in the darkness I found some answers
to my most pressing question
about the source of water on earth
and if colliding comets are where it began
mingling with asteroid dust
to create a hospitable environment for humanity
from fins to feet
and back to dust and sand

the frigid water squished me with such power  
there was no more time for peaceful reflection
as I sank further into the deep
no longer looking for answers
I had but one question
was this to be the end of my time on earth
when it feels like it as only just began
am I to just become more dust
catching in the dry and voiceless throats of humanity
I sank fathoms and feet
until I lightly touched down on the sand
but I could see no sun

I tried to locate my reflection
but my own face was lost in the deep
I cried out for an answer
but my mind only reeled with more questions
mainly relating to if I was still on the earth
had I been taken back to when time began
before water and dust
long before the taint of humanity
I felt as though my feet
were caught in a quagmire of mud and sand
unable to ever be dried by the sun
never touched by ultra-violet power

distorted and skewed as the water was so deep
but holding answers
to my questions
it came up from the very earth
and I began
to strip away the flotsam and dust
and stand up for all of humanity
in an instant is was just at a few feet
stopped suddenly in the sand
and shown me the grace of the sun
in all its glory and power
I saw my own reflection

I, at once, knew the answer
I no longer needed the questions
we were part of the earth
that was how we began
from magnetized and electrified dust
we mounted a charge to become humanity
growing legs and standing upon feet
walking away from the shore and sand
to stand in a meadow grown by the sun
feel the mountain power
and experience the quiet stream reflection
that can take a Being so deep

free from the bane of answering questions
I felt free to fall into the earth
become as it had began
dissolve back to dust
and let go the trapping of humanity
trade in my five-toed feet
and melt into the dunes of sand
warmed by the setting sun
granted power
through reflection
there was nothing so deep
as to have all the answers

I sat upon the red clay earth
thinking about how it all began
scratching around for a handful of dust
that represented humanity
I tossed it into the air and it flew a few feet
and landed amongst the sand
sat baking in the sun
void of power
lacking the ability for reflection
falling off the cliff into the deep
seeking answers
finding only more questions

was this how it all began
truly, no alien force or god hand, just dust
morphing into what we know as humanity
clapping hands and stomping feet
on the chemically altered sand
drawing energy from the sun
to give our homes power
no longer seeking inner reflection
to anything running very deep
instead seeking only safe answers
by asking mundane questions
never considering one’s place on the earth

my teeth clamped tight and crunched some dust
wishing it were the bones of humanity
starting with toes and feet
eating mankind like the ocean does the sand
like comets to the sun
like power
does to those impoverished and lost in reflection
leaving bodies buried deep
offering no answers
to any child’s question
to the state of the earth
to how this all began

it started with the civilization of humanity
when we planted out feet
firmly into the sand
grew crops in the springtime sun
and felt the corruption of power
lost sight of our reflection
somewhere so deep
that the true answers
only come across as more questions
as we slowly destroy the earth
same way it all began
by turning the land into dust

I saw my feet sink into the sand and get burned by the sun
Its power caused a reflection and my soul sunk deep
Looking for answers to questions about the state of the earth
Then it began to all turn to dust and I watched the end of humanity
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.
Liz  Jan 2015
Sad sestina
Liz 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.
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.
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
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 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.
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
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
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.
Shae Sun James Apr 2011
the backyard is home to a field of flowers
amidst the roots the family dog discovers skeletons
the petals stick to themselves; the weeds spread
it's found that the flower-bed holds its secrets
with curiosity and wandering eyes comes a child
in innocence, he opens his arms only to receive pain

he drops to the earth, writhing in pain
his light form crushing the weeds and flowers
the dog barks at the screaming child
and tries to release him from the skeletons
the strength of their grasp is that of their secrets
you see the effects spread

across the child's skin they spread
his face warping under the pain
opening his mouth, he began releasing his secrets
telling only the ears of the crushed flowers
and the arms around him, those of the skeletons
look at the helpless child

the bones are engulfing the child
grabbing and pulling, faster they spread
the boy becomes one with the skeletons
he becomes one with his pain
his body sinks further down into the flowers
and the flowers promise to keep his secrets

the weeds overheard his secrets
the boy looks less and less of a child
as he settles in with the flowers
making room for him, the flowers spread
the suffering subsides, decreasing pain
he's almost as the skeletons

his body unites with the skeletons
the ***** age keeps his secrets
no longer is there pain
no longer is there a child
into the ground, his limbs spread
into the roots of the flowers

the pain no longer is in the child
because the skeletons stole his secrets
his bones spread among the flowers
© SSJ 2011.
Sarah Meow Apr 2012
I asked my mother for a glass kaleidoscope,
but instead she handed me three shots of wine
and a field guide to running galactic bases,
which I guess is her way of selling dreams
at low prices. I have yet to understand a coffee shop's symmetry,
so I embrace the scrupulous company of a dragon-riding-a-butterfly.

One spin around the Milky Way leaves the butterfly
with holey wings and the dragon vomiting in my make-shift kaleidoscope.
The apple tree in the corner of the living room ruins the symmetry
of the space and I have to chug another glass of wine
to make up for the peach tree I couldn't dream
about and another wrong note sung by the basses.

The song's in too low of a key, which is the basis
behind the evil chinchilla's plan to mass-produce butterfly
farms as part of a larger goal to pillage the dreams
of dreamers. Luckily, we all have a handy-dandy kaleidoscope
and a bag (or two) of bitter-tasting wine
stolen from their boxes -- too much symmetry.

My brother put a block on local news; the symmetry
of our county's border was too much for me to bear. He bases
his action (when mother asks) on the wine
he didn't drink, so I throw the broken butterfly
out the window where it lands on my nephew's spinning kaleidoscope.
He doesn't know it yet, but that drum he's banging will envelop his dreams.

A hike to the top of the cliff (a leap) re-energizes my dreams
and I still can't relate to the maple leaves and their symmetry,
but at least I can look through a lampshade at the kaleidoscope
of trees dancing below me. There are seven thousand bases
yet to run and they still haven't caught the butterfly,
so a boy yells, "Drink!" and I take another sip of wine.

The dragon and chinchilla are tipsy from the wine
at this point and discuss the difference between dreams
and electricity while my mother sautés the butterfly
in ice cream and abstract ideas. The symmetry
of my right ankle is still a bother, so I tell the basses
to sing a quarter tone flat while I collide a scope.

Off goes dragon-with-butterfly (once again) and I finish the wine.
I make my nephew a chinchilla-skin kaleidoscope and rinse the rocks stained with dreams.
My mother comments on the apple tree's symmetry while the trees below keep running bases.
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.

— The End —