Hello everyone and happy Friday!
A huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my eldest brother, who’s turning 27 today: you’re a bit weird, but that’s cool. Weird is in right now, and I like you.
Otherwise, the rest of our house got packed up today and put into storage, so we are seriously on the way outta here soon – crazy stuff! Three more sleeps on Australian soil and we’re off to live in Oklahoma for the next few years. It’ll be nice to get settled in and quit living in a half-way kind of world.
You’ll all be thrilled to know that I successfully completed my submission for the Richell Prize on Wednesday evening, which involved admitting that I don’t have a complete chapter breakdown for my novel and polishing up the first 8000 words – luckily James read through it and picked up a few stubborn errors before I sent it off. Anyway, I’m now fully engrossed in working on my poetry portfolio for Uni which I need to submit before we go. As part of my assignment, I’m intending to include a Sestina.
A Sestina is a 39 line poem comprised of six 6-line stanzas and a final 3-line stanza which follows a distinctive repetition scheme. The repetition occurs through the final word of each line and looks kind of like this:
Stanza 1 – ABCDEF
Stanza 2 – FAEBDC
Stanza 3 – CFDABE
Stanza 4 – ECBFAD
Stanza 5 – DEACFB
Stanza 6 – BDFECA
Stanza 7 (envoi) – ECA or ACE
The last stance has to use all six end words in the three lines. Sestinas are hard work people. Seriously. As it is, I’ve played around with the form in this version a bit and used synonyms in every second stanza to mix it up a bit; depending on my mood in the next few days, it may change again before submission. But enough teaching of poetic forms for today – have a read of this one and let me know what you think!
A Sestina of Dreams
The moon is an anchor in the open ocean sky
itching for restless ships to sail a dream,
yet on the quiet floor below
shipwrecked skeletons are waiting;
and with our failures, we’re lying
disconsolate & forgotten in the dark.
Slumber, swaddled in the darkness,
we’re hidden from the welkin,
choking on the rot of perfidy.
Fighting off the lures of a fantasy
temptations bide their time,
patiently, they’re lurking underneath.
Our skin is tepid water. Below
we let our terrors rule the dark,
and we pretend to lie in peaceful waiting
faces turned like flowers to the sky;
gnawing bellies searching for a dream
empty faces a mask, discarded, lying
like a frozen corpse reposing in
the snow. Salt water melts the ice beneath
and rusts the broken lock of reverie.
If we can just breathe in shadow,
break through into the heavens
abandoning the grasp of endless tarry,
we may learn lessons of our waiting —
so to leave behind our cruel and lying tongues.
Expose our icy truths up to the sky
to break away the shackles of below
and let the stars invade our silent dark,
allow ourselves again to find the dream.
Don’t dismiss it as a cruel and pointless daze,
and return us to eternities to linger
embraced by stretching shadow;
see! We’re caught in repose
the stirring beginning beneath
our skin, reaching again for the azure.
She hangs, illuminating darkened skies,
calling to our waiting hands below —
“Take up the dreaming again, from whence you left it: in the water lying.”