Friday, June 27, 2008

Sestina: Garden Child

Sept.2 2007 058

In the evening one small child
begs "excuse me" to the garden.
Longs to leave the ones all grown
sitting to watch the dying light.
He's no time to stop and wonder
what he's left; he wants to run.

From the table he will run -
slamming doors will mark the child.
Mother stands to see with wonder
her heart moving through the garden.
His head crowns the long day's light.
What that's planted now will grow?

Lettuce, peas, tomatoes, growing
midst the weeds in endless run,
reaching towards the rising light,
arching over her laughing child.
His the kingdom of this garden
showing all he dreams in wonder.

Live and breath - here's the wonder:
on each other's will they grow.
She fills table; him the garden
neither one alone can run.
When she welcomed home a child
she discovered fire and light.

Suddenly her anger lights;
his defiance leaving wonder.
Who can stand to bear a child -
every atom drawn to growth.
Then one day he'll leave and run
past the wall of tended garden.

Now he crashes through the garden
gathering glow, attracting light.
Earth is tilting, stars are running;
moon is rising to our wonder.
Pea pods on the vine are growing
all in orbit of this child.

Open garden gate and wonder
at the light from all things growing,
bursting, running with this child.

.............-Andromeda Jazmon

I've been studying the sestina form with some of my poetry princesses. This is my first serious attempt that I am willing to share. It's very difficult to use the same six words over and over in a complicated pattern and still say something meaningful while painting a picture. I need a lot of practice if I am going to keep up with the princesses.

More explanation of the form:

Craft of Poetry course at Univ. Northern Iowa, 2001: Damon McLaughlin

The Friday Poetry roundup is hosted at Biblio File this week. Enjoy!


Kelly said...

I love it! Especially the 2nd stanza. Beautiful :)

Sara said...

Oooh. Lovely. I saw it all, each stanza. Such wonder and dancing and sadness, too. Who can "stand to bear a child" indeed?

I got chills and a few tears in my eyes, at the "light from all things growing, bursting." Brava, PP!

tanita✿davis said...

Oy, you're so far ahead of me! I should be practicing, too; this form really eludes me. I love the headlong run 'gathering glow, attracting light' -- he's a flame growing brighter in a growing world. Beautiful.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Thank you friends, for your encouraging comments. They mean so much to me! I have to admit there are several drafts of other sestinas I abandoned. As I read this one over I think it needs more work.

jama said...

Wonderfully beautiful images. Last stanza almost took my head off. Wow :)!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful job with a difficult form! You've really got something.

Anonymous said...

Lovely. That last sestet is perfection, in my opinion. I am dazzled and amazed.

Tricia said...

"Who can stand to bear a child" indeed! This is absolute loveliness. You are so much braver than I. I have written several sestinas in practice, but find them all to be too prosaic. Now I have something to shoot for. Bravo!

Jennie said...

I love sestinas and yours is wonderful, especially the closing lines.

I'm glad you're brave enough to share!

Jules at 7-Imp said...

The ending is beatiful, cloudscome. So, so beautiful.

Linda said...

I'm just finally getting around to reading the Poetry Friday entries. This is a lovely sestina. I have only written a few of these because the form is very challenging for me. YOU did a great job with it!

Anonymous said...

Practicing? You're practicing? Yikes! Now I feel really behind.

Well, I thought this one just got better and stronger as it went along. Beautiful. My favorite part:

Pea pods on the vine are growing
all in orbit of this child.

Charlotte said...

I think your line "her heart moving through the garden" is especially lovely!

Anonymous said...

This is just wonderful, and makes me want to give it a go. I'm sure I couldn't come up with anything nearly as lovely, but I'm inspired.