sestina to spring

I sit under the gaze of May’s fresh sky

the clean white blossoms, scattered, gleam like pearls

and bring alive the undergrowth of green 

where April saw but shadows of this hope

and now there lives a riot of survival 

amidst the death and worries of the world 

~

spreading like a fog over the world 

darkening the swiftly clearing sky

humanity’s concerns for its survival 

life now held as carefully as pearls 

no longer will our spring be one of hope

no longer will our leaves thrive and be green 

~

but look up now, see Nature’s arms of green 

reach down to spread her love across the world 

her breath floats on the wind and whispers hope 

a new found clarity has filled the sky 

Earth’s oyster opens, bright are all her pearls

the flowers dance with life not just survival

~

but we live on a knife-edge of survival 

our skin turns grey while Nature’s face is green 

we longed so much for riches and for pearls 

we lost the life that used to fill our world 

our lives fall short beneath the endless sky

horizons bring us fear, no longer hope 

~

yet all there is for us to hold is hope 

the hope that there is more than just survival

that we will feel the warmth of summer sky 

that we will turn to find the richest green

and look upon this place – not just our world

a living heaven, more to us than pearls 

~

in store for us are love and life, and pearls

when we look straight ahead with eyes of hope 

Nature holds the power of our world 

the will to bring disaster or survival 

to give us red, and pink, and blue and green 

a promised arc as sunset fills the sky 

~

a sunrise soon will greet that same bright sky

the trees and meadows all will grow back green

the world will tell the stories of survival 



companionship

hold me close 

and tell me, that this storm

ends somewhere soon

~

show me, when the sun comes 

how the rainbows bend their painted curves

into a smile

~

hold my hand

I’ll let you hold my fears

like thawing snow

between your fingers

melt to nothing on the ground

~

take away

the parts of me I keep unseen

held within your palm –

the parts of me you love

~

when this is over

look at me – we’ll see 

a thousand routes and roads

where the lines around our eyes should be

~

we’ll thrive where once we slept

smile where we once wept

run free and smooth

as your fingertips

in journeys made across my cheek

~companionship

writing reflection – sestina to winter

I was recently set a uni assignment which involved constructing a strict form poem and writing a reflective essay about my progress in drafting my piece. This was really useful as it made me think more about the process of writing. I rarely rework what I write, and usually content myself with my first draft, but creating multiple drafts of my poem made me consider how my language and imagery could be developed to be made more effective. Below is the final draft of my poem, in the Sestina form:

 

Sestina to Winter

 

With death’s farewell leaves slumber on the ground,

hands held like friends of nature – loved and lost.

Like layered gravestones in a churchyard sleep,

they caught within their veins the dying sun

and, decked in green, they smiled till summer’s end

now restless sleep blows them across the earth.

 

In summers gone, naive, I held the earth

in my belief that this was solid ground,

my faith that growth in trees would never end

and in my dreams of futures never lost.

But now I dream upon a setting sun

and realise that the world is soon to sleep.

 

It will not be in peace, but raging sleep,

the curtains closed against a storm of earth,

the weeping face of clouded, rain-washed sun

and bitter fall of rain tears on the ground.

Colours of the world paint what we’ve lost

on canvas in the patterns of the end.

 

If we could only see through winter’s end,

endure beyond the hoar-frost’s clock of sleep,

regain the life that through the snow we lost.

Perhaps, and only then, this weary earth

would seem more than a stretch of empty land,

Bring  life again in blessings of the sun.

 

A lonely pilgrim, Winter worships Sun,

her prayers cry out that this is not the end –

we are much more than martyrs of this land,

content to humbly fall to death’s cruel sleep.

There’s more to find than pain in winter earth,

And more than futile tears for what is lost.

 

Perhaps someday our lives will not be lost,

when beauty reigns despite the absent sun,

and we’re content to walk this breadth of earth

in search of landscapes rich and without end.

We’ll wake with joy when we are told to sleep

to cherish and to heal this barren land.

 

And then the earth will have no mortal end,

and though we’re lost, we’ll watch a glowing sun

rise from its sleep, live to rebuild this land.

 

 

Photo by Seyedeh Hamideh Kazemi on Unsplash

 

poem: strong

I want so much to be strong

To stand, to fight until the dawn

Then night draws in

I’m tired

Of holding on

 

I want to keep my head

Above the water

Trying, ever trying not to sink

Within the swirling current

Shaken by the waves

 

I guess that every woman

Has a weakness

Whether me or you

It doesn’t seem to matter

 

I wish this world would learn

That falling doesn’t mean you’re dying

And that failing

Doesn’t mean we haven’t

Given all in trying

 

Why tell us weak is opposite to strong

When weakness lives to strengthen after all?

 

poem: night star

I need to speak

of how black the night

seems to me

without my north star

 

I want to scream

to the darkness

demand

that sun and moon

do not have to rise

divorced

from each other’s horizon

 

I wish to tell

the empty sky

of a time

when galaxies burst

from its edges

 

but the stars

are too far-flung

to hear me now

 

so I sit

reciting poems to the moon

 

and in the morning

I will smile to the sun

 

ever pretending

that the world will always turn

without its heart

Photo by Nacho Rochon on Unsplash

poem: resistance

Here

With my guardian trees

Soul sharing secrets

whispered on the wind

 

The world can do no wrong to me

 

The branches waver

But do not break

 

The leaves they shake

But do not fall

Just yet.

 

Earth firm

under quick-moving feet

Autumn barely waking

On the edge of the air

 

Nothing has to falter in transition

 

Change is haunting us

Yet here I stand

 

The pines, hand in hand

Resisting winter’s call

To war –

 

Has it really taken me

Until tonight to know

 

That home is where I wish it

And they cannot make me fight?

 

Poem: The dawning

The dawning

Sensations gone, and yet to come

all lost and found

built in our own creation

~

the night’s transgressions

yesterday’s regression

to decay

released in sparks

today

~

unheeding where

we’re headed

slowly we’re forgetting

everything we dreaded

~

dreaming seems no longer

a nostalgia

now we’re who we are

~

our shackles being broken

by the morning

~

but didn’t we always know

the dark would die

with the dawning?

Poem: Tonight

Tonight the sky is rose-tinged

in the shade that soothes our tears

painting smiles to cover fears,

serene and soft as darkness falls.

Now deepening to purple,

violet at horizon’s reach

shrouds unknown steeps

in mystery as the shadows call.

Beyond what is above

a woven silk of stars

adorned in silver, waiting to be ours –

once we endure the unremitting night

we’ll free the dawn in incandescent light

The wideness of the hills

I used to crave the wideness of the hills

the past a road fast fading far behind

a freedom from the haunting fears that filled

the overgrowing corners of my mind

I somehow sought for loneliness by stayed

swift sinking underneath my growing dread

the fear my soul was lost, I soon would fade

love’s warmth forgotten from my heart and head

And now I crave the hills leaps once again

but not to face my miseries alone

the valleys no more steeped in sorrow’s snow

the distance in the world is not a strain

now love, a greater force than loss has grown

and anywhere the depth of thought will go

For a moment everything was good

There was a moment

when you had just lifted me up with your laugh

and kissed me through my smile

a moment when I walked outside

to be surprised by the sun

in a minute’s release

~

there was a moment

where urgency was dulled

and I was, for that moment

the person that this time

wants me to be

~

we had said goodbye

but only for now

and I was heading homeward

with the dream of tomorrow

to free my wandering steps