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Tommy Randell Jun 26
"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.
fallon Apr 28
a pity it is to watch the one you love
speak about her skin
to watch him play with her hair
hearing him speak about her lips
knowing she didn’t treasure him like gold
praying for her to release him, for him to be free

delicate as lace is his skin
his star sign is reflected by his hair
sweet as sugar are the words on his lips
he is more precious than gold
i know he prays for his spirit to be nothing but free
for him i am filled with nothing but love

that morning i played with his hair
and as he spoke i watched his lips
he sang to me with his voice of gold
that night with him i felt so free
i thought between us there was love
because that morning he traced my skin

and i thought he was watching my lips
i thought he was showing me the parts of him soft as gold
i was foolish to think loving him was free
his eyes seemed to reflect love
i thought i had him because of his blushing skin
or how he sighed when he smelled my hair

maybe he doesn’t see my heart of gold
maybe with me he doesn’t feel free
maybe he simply just isn’t in love
maybe it’s because i don’t have the softest skin
maybe the last time we connected was when i touched his hair
i’m sure he can never see himself kissing my lips

but with i’m i’ll always be free
something that will never fade is my love
i’ll never stop thinking about his skin
my favourite thing will always be his red hair
i’ll never stop thinking about that promise that came from his lips
i’ll always treasure him like gold

his lips, skin, hair
i’ll always remember like gold
but but my love for him will never be free.
Isabel Jan 7
I want you to know that I know that you tried
and I know that you now understand.
But there is something I have always wanted
and at the time I didn’t have the eyes to see
what it was. But I know that I need this now
and I need to do this before it’s too late.

And as I write this I can tell you it's late
at night, quiet and serene, and I have tried
to eat, to breathe, to sleep but I can’t, not now.
There is so much going on and I finally understand.
I tried so hard to feel what I needed to see.
But now I see it clearly, which is all I ever wanted.

This is something that I realized I wanted
so much that I would consider showing up late
to my own funeral. Which is ironic you now see
from my cold body. This will bring me the freedom I have tried
so hard to gain through experiencing and trying to understand
life to its fullest. And it is clear the time for this is now.

And you must think I am crazy to leave now.
My life is ahead of me. There is so much I wanted
to accomplish. But now that I understand
my demons, completely I cannot be late
for this. I have done so much and tried
so hard to even go back on what I can currently see.

And I know there is still a lot to see
but that is not my path anymore. Now
It is time to show the world how hard I tried
to fit in. And to show them how much I wanted
to be normal. But it is now way past too late
and I need everyone to understand.

And I know you probably don’t understand
why I’m doing this. You don’t see
that this is what I need. You think you are too late
to save me. But you need to comprehend this now.
I am gone and I know this is not what you wanted.
But this is what I needed, and I tried to live, I tried.

I have tried to make you understand why this happened
I wanted you to see how I truly felt
But now it is way to late for me,  just please don't blame yourself.
Eileen Black Jan 27
Estelle (Sestina)

I look out at the universe tonight,
High into a lonely dark sky;
Yet a single star stays shining bright,
Burning with an eternal flame.
An entire night sky, one twinkle of light;
I think she deserves a name.

Worthy of a star, is there such a name?
Not one I will find tonight.
I watch her glow until morning light
Till the sun takes over a blue sky.
Yet nothing could put out her flame;
She lives in my soul, eternally bright.

There is no other that can burn so bright.
I wish she could know my name.
In my amazement, jealousy burns like a flame.
She alone rules the sky tonight.
Will I ever rule a sky?
She seems to laugh, that twinkle of light.

Grant me this wish; be my guiding light.
Lead me to the passion to make my life bright,
A love that’s as deep as your endless sky.
That the world knows my name,
My only wish tonight;
Cast all other dreams to unending flame.

I will light a match and fan my dream’s flame,
Heart filled with hope till morning light,
The smile on her face I can feel tonight.
Oh dear star that shines down so bright,
Will you ever know my name?
Still she is silent in her moonlit sky.

How many wishes shall I place in the sky?
Will you silence me with a ball of flame?
Grant my wish: the world to know my name.
Please hear my words or I will have no light.
I can see you still shining bright.
My wishes are yours to answer tonight.

Estelle shall be the name of my twinkle of light,
Her flame burning always so bright.
I send one wish to the sky before I sleep tonight.
JR Rhine Oct 2018
High above dear Maple Street
There looms a cold iron curtain of fear
That dares to drop and let all the monsters
Unleash their dreaded promise of chaos
As in Europe despots gift a new World War
Trembling parlors hug the radio

Hallows Eve: the radio
Begins to sing throughout dear Maple Street
The Seventh Trumpet declares all out war
And that heavy iron curtain of fear
Eclipses the sun and invites chaos
In vacant hearts of men into monsters

Halloween Night: the monsters
Now dance to the tune of the radio
Raiding the stores, jumping bridges, chaos
Entombing the stretch of this blood strewn street
Parlors gorging on endless waves of fear
Riding hysteria, imminent war

O great catalyst of war
Twisting the minds of men into monsters
Diving your hands in that great pit of fear
Now throbbing with screams from the radio
No fences nor faces can save Maple Street
Now plunged in the throes of sweet sultry Chaos

And we call it Chaos
This boiling of minds all stewing with war
Once masked with humanity on this street
Now reveals good neighbors make great monsters
Skies of martians (n)or men, the radio
Hissing, twists the knobs and tunes in to fear

And when that curtain of fear
Draws, and shadeless light casts on the chaos
And the broadcast fades on the radio
And mere fiction rescinds the throne of war
What will we make of all of these monsters
Scattered about in a daze through the street

Where there are minds of fear and war,
Chaos reigns and calls to the sleeping monsters;
Tune in to Welles’s radio on Sterling’s street.
All Hallow's Eve, 80 years ago today, Orson Welles gave his "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast to an America terrified of war, enveloped in fear. I tied it into one of my favorite episodes of the Twilight Zone by the same name, where a neighborhood becomes engrossed in fear, resorting to an animal-like defense that eventually tears apart their humanity.
Julia Jun 2018
I don’t have stories to tell anymore.
Maybe because I talk with myself less and talk to you more.
I walk to the car, to work, back to the car, into the house,
always an invisible string, a compass, a radar, looking for you.
There used to be stories, a string tied to a fantasy, a compass pointing into a future
I do not know if I should dream of or want.

There’s this undying want
That is hard to ignore anymore.
When I think about the future
All I think is “more,”
And I don’t know if more means me and you
And two kids and that white and wood paneled ocean house.

Take, for example, my own childhood house.
That was a place that filled me with heavy want.
Though we had everything we needed, I suppose, most children like me and you
Don’t follow our parents’ footsteps anymore
And we don’t see keeping up with the Joneses as anything more
Than a long-dead, rotted-out American Dream kind of future.

Where is the future
In a two-car-garage white house?
I know it’s not about the house, it’s more
About the people in it and being comfortable and I want to want
That future and see value in it, and oh the laughs we’d have around the kitchen table. But anymore
I can’t lie, I want to run and run and run away from me and from you.

I’ll use the cliché: it’s not you,
It’s me and my obsession with the future.
I don’t think I am ever awake in the present anymore.
I’m always up ahead and there are two simulations I play with. That one with the house
And the one where I run and I run, alone, wherever I want
And honestly, honestly, I don’t know which one I want more.

But couldn’t they have guessed? The more
I fear losing everything which is you
The more I want
To play by my rules and **** the future.
So in another imagining, they find me in the bathroom of this house.
My heart isn’t beating anymore.

I imagine there’s something more in the future
Other than you or running or a white-wood house,
But I don’t have stories to tell anymore. I don’t want to look there anymore.
Lillian Harris May 2018
A candle burns somewhere inside of me
And keeps its light despite the steady rain.
I wonder at its constance in the cold
That, flickering on occasion, never dies.
And through the dark a glow reaches my eyes
Like a distant sun; rising and fading

I wait for the sound of thunder fading–
This storm has so recklessly lived in me,
And with it’s biting wind, has stung my eyes.
Though only raging from within, the rain
And sky both fall and weep as daylight dies
But still the candle burns despite the cold

Larceners masked as lovers leave me cold;
Deceivers and thieves with faces fading,
Whose winter hands freeze when summer’s warmth dies–
Craving heat I cannot offer, watch me
Shiver. Each doubt descends like falling rain;
An infinite dance behind my closed eyes.

And the uncertain glow still meets my tired eyes
The blood in my veins boils while theirs stays cold
Those hands I once held and fell for like rain
Those flames for me perpetually fading
With their trails of dark smoke following me
Yet my sallow light persists, it never dies

The sky is drenched in black, the old sun dies
I watch it pale and sink before my eyes.
But it will resurrect again, like me
Each morning from the heavy sheets and cold
The flame will not go out, the darkness fading;
Fleeing from me like quickly passing rain

I stand with burdens heavy in the rain
Holding onto the light that never dies
Wishing to feel the hush of the storm fading
No saltwater stinging and staining my eyes
For once, to feel fire chase away the cold
A heat or heart that warms but does not burn me

.And sometimes the rain gets in my eyes
Sometimes light dies, and leaves me cold
Yet still the candle burns; No longer fading.
A sestina
Oscar C May 2018
Beyond these walls wounded around me, I am free
The walls no longer encase my sickening body
I am able to smell the ever growing flowers,
Accompanied by the vervain bush, and freshly cut grass.
The sweetness lingers undermy nose,
But not long does it come back to the sterile hospital.
It is where I am safe, the hospital,
But I’ll never be if I stay, that is free.
Every hour the nurses come a check my mouth, throat, and nose
Making sure no more disease has entered my body
Maybe mother will let me touch again the grass,
She says I may be allergic to the flowers.
Last time I got very sick being around the flowers,
Something about the pollen, sent me right back to the hospital.
Somedays I sit on the harsh bed, but I rather lie in the grass,
O’ Doctors please just let me be free.
I know there’s something wrong with my body,
Something, I presume, with my nose.
There’s more, but mainly I can’t smell, at least with my nose.
I smell everything, even the flowers,
To smell I use my eyes, hands, ears, words; my body.
I always try furtively to escape the hospital,
But the guards, nurses, and doctors steal my free.
My free is the glowering sun on my body, and my skin on the grass.
I lie in the grass,
The pollen sinks in my nose,
While they countermand my free.
My gentle hands wisping across my mother’s favorite flowers.
As so, she comes out and rushing me back into the hospital,
In her arms, in my sound body.
My doctors examine my body,
Picking off my shirt, the specks of grass.
They let me leave, for good, the hospital.
I can now smell the wonders on the world, with my nose,
My favorite smell is the daisies, my mother’s favorite flowers.
They gave me back my free.
A fixed nose,
The smell of even grass, and sprouting flowers,
I am finally free.
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