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Riley Swett Nov 2019
Your memories stain my mind like your lipstick

On my mugs. The scent of you intertwined with coffee.

At this empty table I sit, my body a shell.

I remember you across from me, adding milk

Into my cup. I can still picture the past

Too well. I can’t say this isn’t fair.



From the moment you saw my eyes wander at the fair

I knew you no longer wore your lipstick

For me. What we had was now in the past.

We still kissed, but now we wouldn’t share our coffee;

No longer did we share the small things. Milk

No longer in my cup, bitter brew filling my shell.



I miss your presence, allowing me to shell

Out the love I held for you. Is it fair

To want you here? I want you to add milk

To my cup even though I hate it. Your lipstick

Stain, still on my mug, mixing your flavors with my coffee.

I still haven’t wiped it off to protect our past.



I wasn’t this addicted to you in the past

But I’ve begun to hate this empty shell.

I’ve never hated sharing love with you. Now coffee

With you no longer exists. Not after the fair.

You no longer stained mugs, you only placed somber lipstick

Upon my mouth. A mouth who can’t stand coffee and milk.



I don’t know how I took it for so long. Milk

Made me sick. What happened is in the past.

It matters not where you place your lipstick

Whether your stains are on my mug, or my shell-

There is no question that this is fair.

I didn’t appreciate your love in our coffee



Now I cannot tell you how much that coffee

Means to me. How much I miss it with milk.

I wish I could say what you did wasn’t fair.

I still cannot rid myself of our past.

I want to wipe you off my mugs, off my shell.

You’re gone, but I can still see your lipstick.



I sit alone, drinking coffee with our past.

No longer is milk filling my vacant shell.

Is it really fair to long for your lipstick?
This poem express my lost love and my longing for the small things we shared together. This is written in the form of a sestina but not strictly in iambic pentameter.
ANH Oct 2019
Just as there's light, there's darkness in everyone's life.
It's stark, shadowing sunlight, and doesn't yield.
Just how is anyone meant to jauntily thrive
in an ostentatious world meant to shield
Beading, beating eyes from those that suffer
from vicious, bleeding lies?

A pawn cannot decide where it lies
in the everchanging game of fate that is its life
being puppeteered by monsters who make their pieces suffer
from their callous thrones that do not yield.
For they always use an invisible shield
to ensure that they always thrive.

In such a world, how is it we are meant to thrive?
Sinking deeper and deeper in blatant lies
of the quixotic dreams of old to shield
the simple fact that we are taught to live a life
where we stand subservient and yield
the abuses of those in power who make us suffer.

For such a long time we were taught to suffer
through storming skies. Beaten, impossible to thrive.
Time can wither our ability to yield
the pain inflicted by those who tell noxious lies.
A sunken arrow into our psyche to devastate life
worth living and love that cannot hide though any shield.

What else other than our love do they want to shield?
Without, there is no cure for those who suffer
and carry on with the hardships of life.
We live in those pockets of light and thrive
in a different world where we banish the lies
that our worth is measured in what we yield.

Despite my pride, there are the times where I yield
to those shadows in the sky. Yet you shield
the rain and I can see where that crescent lies
above our heads. Cease what we suffer,
the moonlight sonata within tries to reach out and I thrive
from your touch of endless life.

I know it seems we're predetermined to suffer
But take my hand and we'll thrive
as I try to hold onto the fragments of this life.
I started this as an assignment two years ago. I finally finished.
Ron Conway Oct 2019
The landscape narrows to a sharpened point
In grasp of fall's lost memory of spring
Flowing reeds and grass of every kind
Muddy shore where lilies once did  lie
Underwater snags I know so well
Aspen leaves afloat on reckless current

The sky alight it strikes a vicious current
Like mother nature's exclamation point
Startled, though the spirit knows **** well
The heart restarts as if upon a spring
Vivid hues confront the silent lie
Nature is not always good and kind

The night evokes dreams of a different kind
Triggering your demons past and current
You might not know just were the secrets lie
Don't waste your time in search; you'll miss the point
Take your water from the flowing spring
You'll never know which one's the poisoned well

In case you think that life is going well
Think why there are no other of your kind
You may never find eternal spring
Where gentle breezes blow in spiral current
A spider draws its net from point to point
In centre of another's death bed lie

We contemplate the stars 'low which we lie
So vast the distance yet still seen so well
Against pure darkness shines the smallest point
The universe becomes so coldly kind
Our souls an interruption in the current
So from our beating hearts will joy now spring

Ideas launch like from a coiled spring
They only serve to perpetrate the lie
You squander time and effort to be current
Now I see you've drunk from tainted well
The choice is not to be true or be kind
We could try to fix this thing but what's the point

when rage the current from the meagre spring
we reach the very point where promise lie
whenever all is well, we're paid in kind
                                                       rc
Bruno Aug 2019
My birth certificate was written in the blood “she”
(I, me, they) would one day shed from the bleeding body
Given to me by who knows what (how does it bleed without being
Cut) because my ***** is not cognitive of what it is (nothing)
To me and my period is done to me you can’t know what it does
To me but it has nothing (nothing) to do with me

And I’ll never be able to speak of the violence it acts on me
To bleed (and bleed) and be called “she”
Because wars have been fought in my ***** (does
This mean I’m a war criminal) and I am all scars and all blood and my body
Is not a graveyard because a graveyard holds something but I hold nothing
I want to hold (nothing) for my period to stop being

Misgendered because “shesheshe” is not my being
“She” wants to be a prophecy but the violence of “she” slices me
The repetition of “she” of the tiny letter “F” in blood ink does (nothing)
Does battles on me (does violence) because the repetition of “she”
Is not enough to create a prophecy and words do not change my body
Believe me I have tried (I have tried) but nothing does

Because my body is vein-seeped concrete my body does
Everything I don’t want it to but somehow without being
My enemy because the wars fought in my ***** (on my body)
Were not fought by me and the violence of my body is not me
It is every ******* who has called me “she”
And the violence of my period compared to “she” is nothing

But my period wouldn’t be violent if it was labelled as nothing
If “she” wasn’t written in blood my period wouldn’t do what it does
(To me) but blood has no gender I have no gender “she”
Is not my *****’s gender because my ***** is an ***** being
Exactly what it’s supposed to be not “she” but me
(I, they) functioning as a reminder of the wars fought on my body

The concrete gravestones tumbled on my body
The victory celebration on my body where violence is nothing
Because “she” is nothing not concrete or a graveyard to me
So I will mishear “she” and I am free from what it does
From my birth certificate blood drenched burning “she”
Is gone my violence is gone I have brought myself (they, I) into being and

My body is not a graveyard it is a sanctuary “she”
Cannot enter nothing but my they-being
Can enter because I (me, they) know what it does
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clxrion Jul 2019
The jogger stops a while to catch his breath,
a sweaty grimace painted on his face.
Perhaps in half-light it appears a grin
to others - actually he feels like death.
With averageness as his only sin,
he thinks, how apt to go in such a place.

Her memory is blank beyond this place.
She draws a rasping, thin and ragged breath,
inhaling scents of forced carnal sin.
The caked make-up is falling off her face
but all her thoughts these nights have been of death;
a cigarette will reapply her grin.

The old man looks around and gives a grin
at all his children gathered in his place.
For months he has been waiting for his death,
his lungs to finally run out of breath.
The ghost of life still lingers on his face,
a long, benign existence free of sin.

Bejewelled silky hands still slick with sin
support, neck-like, a head which wears a grin
that looks like it's been stolen off the face
of mannequins and plastered into place.
Her role in hastening his final breath
still haunts her. So it shall unto her death.

This industry is headed towards death.
They think intelligence is just a sin
and try to cut him off at every breath.
He finally allows himself a grin.
With this he'll put them in their proper place
and wipe that smug expression from their face.

The kiss of malnutrition on her face,
a souvenir from those merengues with death,
lies testament to horrors in this place.
Though poverty may be a fatal sin,
she bears the burden with a toothless grin
and croons her lullaby under her breath.

Behold my face! They all know I am Death.
But truth is, there is sin in any place;
I'll grin the same before I stop your breath.
All are equal in death.
Brody Blue Jul 2019
There may come a time
When I go out of my mind,
Lest I see a light
From above shine thru,
And all renewed ‘neath the sun;
Then the sky may fall...

Summer’s turned to fall,
And soon will come winter-time,
A cloud covered sun
Robs wonder from mind;
Until the spring comes thru
Blessing us with light.

Though spring with its light
Will come, first will come the fall.
Go the whole way thru,
It soon will be time
To learn the limits of mind
Lies under the sun.

And under the sun
Is where you stand in the light;
So keep it in mind.
Summer’s turned to fall,
And soon will come winter-time.
Go the whole way thru.

Go the whole way thru;
Look toward tomorrow’s sun.
You will find no time
For the bright spot-light
When you wake up and it’s fall.
It will blow your mind.

If spring’s on your mind,
I’d advise, don’t think it thru.
First will come the fall;
A cloud covered sun
Will block out all of the light,
Then will come the time,

Your mind in the sun,
And shining thru it, the light.
But fall comes, this time.
This is a sestina made up of six pairs of haikus, and a single haiku at the envoi.
Brody Blue Jul 2019
Today is the day.
To yesterday, pay no mind.
Soon it will be night
When darkness rules things.
Whose corpse falls in the street, left
For buzzards to find?

Is it yours they'll find?
No. It won’t be yours to-day.
Leave for god what’s left.
Mercy? pay no mind.
You’ll find justice in the things
You will take to-night.

Soon it will be night
With a cloudy sky. You’ll find
Darkness will rule things,
Till the coming day.
To the sirens, pay no mind.
They have no song left.

Burn what they have left
To the ground. Light up the night.
Don’t pay any mind
To secrets they find.
They’ll be back at work some-day
Soon, and forget things.

And someday soon, things
Will be back like when we left.
Today’s not the day;
Soon it will be night.
At dawn, corpses they will find;
Mercy? pay no mind.

Mercy? pay no mind.
Go! Find justice in their things!
Take what you can find!
Burn what they have left
To the ground! Light up the night!
Till the coming day,

Pay no mind; what’s left
Are things to be had to-night,
Till the coming day!
This is a sestina made up of six pairs of haikus, and a single haiku at the envoi.
Brody Blue Jul 2019
When I met you, love,
On last April's fourteenth day,
While on that month long
Road trip, we got lost,
Found a bar, and went inside
With an empty hand.

I fulfilled my hand
That night, when I met you, love.
You snuck me inside
Your room night and day;
I must admit, I got lost.
But not for too long.

‘Cause the road is long
Ahead; and a bird in hand
Is worth two you’ve lost.
When I met you, love,
It was on the fourteenth day,
And you stayed inside.

And you stayed inside
For just way too ******* long.
Windows shut by day,
Lights at night in hand.
That night, when I met you, love,
Were you just as lost?

That night, we were lost;
At the bar we sat inside.
When I met you, love,
I still had a long
Way to go. But bird in hand
Was worth two that day

Till there comes the day
When I’ve found what isn’t lost,
That a bird in hand
Is worth two inside
The bush. It’s been so long since
When I met you, love,

That day spent inside.
I lost you; it took too long
For your hand in love.
This is a sestina made up of six pairs of haikus, and a single haiku at the envoi.
Brody Blue Jul 2019
When I learned your love
Was now not mine for all time,
I disarmed my heart,
Because I thought life
Was what you saw with the eyes,
Not what you could feel.

Now, all I can feel
Is loathsome hatred, not love,
For my trickster eyes
That looked into time
Without seeing any life,
Neither soul nor heart.

And yet, still my heart
Beats on, till the day I feel
How swift is life,
And learn I need love.
I will beg of you this time,
With blood in my eyes,

With blood in my eyes.
Fragile is my lonesome heart;
Help me thru the time
So I learn to feel
Once more the fullness of love,
And how to live life.

For to have a life,
You owe the light of your eyes
And sweet breath. What's love
To a pale-green heart?
Not even worms does it feel,
Unimpressed with time,

Unexplained by time,
And knowing that dream called life;
How bad it did feel!
With blood in my eyes,
I beg you, take it to heart
That you have my love,

When in time, my eyes
See life in anothers' heart,
And it's me you love.
This is a sestina made up of six pairs of haikus, and a single haiku at the envoi.
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.
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