2011 Poetry Form Challenge

#21 Sestina

The sestina has always been considered a difficult form of poetry to master. It's Inventor Arnaut Daniel a mathematician and a poet belonged to a group of twelfth century French poets called the troubadours. They labelled their styles according to the difficulty and the Sestina was one of the trobar clus, the forms of the master troubadour. Later it was adopted by Francesco Petrarca who wrote a series of Sestinas which he called Canzone.

The Sestina is made up of seven stanzas. The first six stanzas have six lines each ending word falling in a precise mathematical progression, the seventh stanza has only three lines which are a mathematical reflection of the first stanza. This gives a total of (39 lines).

The first stanza is the defining stanza, and the six words that are used to end each line A.B.C.D.E.F. are the defining words. They are repeated in each of the following five stanzas of the poem in a strict pattern laid out thus:
Stanza 1..A.B.C.D.E.F.
Stanza 2..F.A.E.B.D.C.
Stanza 3..C.F.D.A.B.E.
Stanza 4..E.C.B.F.A.D.
Stanza 5..D.E.A.C.F.B.
Stanza 6..B.D.F.E.C.A.
The final stanza (envoy) still uses the same six words, but uses only three lines with the even numbered words descending internally and the odd numbered words rising on the outside giving a pattern of:

Line 1..B..A
Line 2..D..C
Line 3..F..E
Perhaps it will be a little clearer when we look at the example below.

September rain falls on the house.
In the failing light, the old grandmother
Sits in the kitchen with the child
Beside the Little Marvel Stove,
Reading the jokes from the almanac,
Laughing and talking to hide her tears.

She thinks that her equinoctial tears
And the rain that beats on the roof of the house
Were both foretold by the almanac,
But only known to a grandmother.
The iron kettle sings on the stove.
She cuts some bread and says to the child,

It's time for tea now; but the child
Is watching the teakettle's small hard tears
Dance like mad on the hot black stove,
The way the rain must dance on the house.
Tidying up, the old grandmother
Hangs up the clever almanac

On its string. Birdlike, the almanac
Hovers half open above the child,
Hovers above the old grandmother
And her teacup full of dark brown tears.
She shivers and says she thinks the house
Feels chilly, and puts more wood in the stove.

It was to be, says the Marvel Stove.
I know what I know, says the almanac.
With crayons the child draws a rigid house
And a winding pathway. Then the child
Puts in a man with buttons like tears
And shows it proudly to the grandmother.

But secretly, while the grandmother
Busies herself about the stove,
The little moons fall down like tears
From between the pages of the almanac
Into the flower bed the child
Has carefully placed in the front of the house.

Time to plant tears, says the almanac.
The grandmother sings to the marvellous stove
And the child draws another inscrutable house.

Elizabeth Bishop

Sestina Replies

Maryse Achong

Sestina Stress
Sestina Trini

Gloria Carpenter

The Singing Tree

Divena Collins

Dancing on Air
Dark Waltz
Eternal Flame
Fantasy Storm
Gun Powder, Treason,
Progress Mountain
Romans Return
Scribed Upon Stone
Upon Hallows Eve

Jem Farmer

Celtic New Year
Lunar Love
Touch of Healing

Kevin McKinney

Call It In The Air
Varietal Whine

Peggy Nelson

Musing Ups and Downs

Ryter Roethicle

Curtains and Confusion
Kabir Thoughts
Moonlight Thoughts
Rules of Life
Sestina for All Hallows
She Comes Deliciously After Wine
Unearthly Feelings
Winter Love
Xavier Beach
Zus Spak Ama

Kevin & Ryter


Newell Elsworth Usher

Making my day

Maryse Achong

Sestina Stress

The Sestina – a challenge to behold
Am I am to the task, I have my doubts
But I’ve nothing to lose so bring it on
I wait to see how this one will unfold
I’m sure you’ll hear my groaning and my shouts
The end will tell if I’ve lost or I’ve won.

And if by pure luck this battle is won
I’ll stick it on my door there to behold,
And pat myself and utter gleeful shouts
To brush away any lingering doubts
Because I saw a miracle unfold
The night I took this immense challenge on.

I looked at the rules and I pondered on
The instructions... this war had to be won
I watched each single line slowly unfold
The emerging write something to behold
But still I was assailed by my own doubts
And in my mind I heard frustrated shouts.

Despite my internal head pounding shouts
I was more resolute to carry on
I could not allow my well founded doubts
To determine whether I lost or won.
By now I was quite a sight to behold
Too scared to even watch this thing unfold.

But do or die in time it would unfold
No matter now my pleadings or my shouts
Like magic I saw each stanza unfold
I felt a sense of elation come on
Could it be I had actually won...
I still was beset those niggling doubts.

I had to rid myself of any doubts
I read each verse saw a poem unfold
“Yippie!” I cried, “I do believe I’ve won!”
I’m sure my next door neighbours heard my shouts.
I swear I saw an outdoor light go on
The Sestina is something to behold.

I stood in awe my own doubts to behold
I watched each one unfold, a switch turned on,
‘Til battle won I heard those gleeful shouts.


Sestina Trini (Dialect)

A Sestina in dialect, yuh mad
No doubt de result going to be bad
Joke is joke, buh dis is goin too far
Dis is enough for meh to fine a bar.
Ah goin to name it Sestina Trini
An it go sen dem purists ‘bazodee’.

Ah only hope Ah doh get ‘bazodee’
An end up ‘tootoolbay’, stark ravin mad,
All because Ah writin like ah Trini
Because den dat would really be too bad,
Is not as if Ah tryin to de raise de bar
Ah hope Ah eh takin dis ting too far.

Ah know dis ting goin to be a far
Cry from de ideal, Ah done ‘bazodee’
Ay cyah talk to nobody an Ah bar
All meh calls, people go say I gorn mad,
An if dey rile meh Ah go get on bad,
All dis to try to make someting Trini.

This comin from the heart of a Trini
Ah feelin tired buh ah come too far
An if Ah leave it now Ah go feel bad
An Ah no longer feelin ‘bazodee’
Ah know people go tink dis is a mad-
Cap idea, but den writin knows no bar.

Ah know dat Ah eh go let nuttin bar
Meh from tryin dis Sestina Trini
Is awright if dey want to call me mad
An say dat dis poem is way too far
Out, dat it have dem feelin ‘bazodee’
If dah’s de case it go make meh feel bad.

Ah still hopin it wudden be so bad
An dat nobody eh go want to bar
Meh from writin because dey ‘bazodee’,
Or because dey eh like how dis Trini
Who comin from an islan dat so far
Away making dem serious poets mad.

Cud be dat Ah mad, or meh poem bad
Didn raise de bar, didn go too far,
Pray none ‘bazodee’ tanks to dis Trini.

Notes: Bazodee -confused
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Gloria Carpenter


One on each side, those prominent pillars
Stood, hats protecting undergrowth from sky,
Like sentinels, intent on who returns.
We entered through the gateway, you with me,
In single file. I walked close behind you
In step with you, as if we stepped as one.

Sun-splashed floor, a changing quivering one,
Light flickering through red-leafed pillars,
As filtered rays now played, caressing you.
Screened sunlight streamed from the autumn sky.
New growth would spring, just as with you, with me.
We planted seeds and knew of their returns.

With silence shared, serenity returns,
Nature’s stillness and radiance as one,
Touching your smile as you turned to face me.
Ahead a widening path, the pillars
Fell back revealing an uncluttered sky.
My footsteps covered spaces that were you.

We hurried closer to green tarns, and you
Ran as a river runs til it returns,
Happy to be free. Overhead the sky
Was filled with startled wings as one by one
They disappeared, finding refuge in pillars.
We were not alone; stealthy eyes watched me.

You felt it too, and showed the signs to me.
We moved away and I held hands with you.
British soldiers with red hats, tiny pillars ~
The revolutionary war returns.
Sentries on stones, closely packed as one.
Brilliance in this place below the sky.

The ground rose and climbed closer to the sky,
Ascending the mount surely, you beside me,
Not the first, nor would it be the last one,
Anticipating once again with you.
The climax reached, wonderment returns
Atop the world - we are the pillars.

We are one reaching the sky.
Two pillars ... you with me.
I hold you, as always love returns.


The Singing Tree

How delicate a spring, as greens unfold,
aflutter in sweet breezes freshness brings.
An invitation plays on prelude strings,
responding tenderly to notes of love,
in gentle strokes, as branches reach above
and intertwine with flecks of feathered gold.

Aurora spreads her glow of rayon gold
as day awakens, stretching to unfold
her drapes of misty veils below. Above
a trilling melody in greeting brings
an answer, calling to a budding love,
through tinkling dewcup bells on crystal strings.

As summer resonates on lively strings
a vibrant spray of colour fired by gold
resounds as rhapsodies encounter love,
in swooping dips and dives, as swirls unfold,
infusing soaring spirits fragrance brings
in wafts of sultry intervals above.

And when such searing heat is felt above
an intermezzo plays on cello strings ~
a love duet on wings as music brings
a softening, like liquefying gold,
while liberated hearts release, unfold
and settle in the nestledown of love.

Those trees still green, intensified by love
have blossomed from a radiance above,
an intimate display as dreams unfold,
revealing heart-shaped pendants hung on strings.
As copper turns to bronze with burnished gold,
a change in tempo ...now the music brings

Autumnal notes in flight as passion brings
a harvesting of consummated love,
fulfilling every thought with bursts of gold ~
in song, in dance, alive on wings above.
A chorusing, a symphony for strings
as seasons turn once more, as moons unfold...

Such music brings fruition to unfold
a serenade of love, on air of strings ~
in praise to sun of gold, our light above.

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Divena Collins


When Autumn leaves hath blown asunder
She spread a golden carpet on earths floor
How beautiful this display of autumns charm
So splendid is the shade of dappled hues
That only an artists brush dares to capture
From a pallate of gold with browns and red.

How beautiful he shades his sunsets red
Of clouds that disappear and cast asunder
Intent on natures seasonal view to capture
Of magic vibrant shades upon earths floor
How gracious is his flair for autumns hues
Which adds a final stroke to natures charm.

Within his flair he creates a world to charm
An autumn display of vibrant shades of red
How carefully his choices of perfect hues
When all else in his thoughts cast asunder
Stood firm on fallen leaves upon earths floor
For what he percieves his mind shall capture

`Fore shades of autumn fades from capture
Vibrant colours begin to lose their charm
With a hard frosted crust on earths floor
No longer shall the fallen leaves remain red
Bare of boughs that cast their fruits asunder
Skeleton leaves then lost their vibrant hues

Gone is the seasonal beauty of Autumns hues
That once inspired the glory of art to capture
Come winter scene with Autumn cast asunder
Adding another dimension to natures charm
Snow clad boughs with winter berries of red
Upon winters seasons frosted woodland floor

How pretty the scene of this woodland floor
That throws vibrant glows upon shaded hues
Contrasting the colourful berries of red
What a picture for the artiste to capture
Seasonal grace each with their own charm
Shall not be misused nor be cast asunder

Floors of loam shall we ne-er cast asunder
Hues and shades of beauty adds to charm
Red the berries such treasures to capture.


Dancing On Air

If I could just dance once with my love
Just to feel his arms holding me close
To dance unto music playing our song
Floating in a trance within perfect time
Sensing a thrill of nearness together
I would feel like I was dancing on air.

Within the melody of an orchestra`s air
The sound of strings were perfect for love
To treasure sweet moments together
For only in dance shall lovers be close
Within a different world some other time
Oblivious to all but refrains of our song.

I shall not forget the power of song
Locked in memories an unforgetable air
Rhythmic emotions remain forever in time
How could we ever forget this true love
Not even when music had come to a close
Those moments we had danced together.

In wishes and dreams we remain together
Love for each other preserved in a song
Within a dance we shall remain ever close
To hear soft music that plays the same air
How could we forget those refrains of love
When the orchestra played forever in time.

When lovers dreamed of only their time
Of perfect harmonious rhythm together
It was then it was meant to be love
With music and words of our sweet song
Drifting towards us through the air
It was then we felt especially close.

When that dance had come to a close
They played our song one more time
Many times felt we were dancing on air
As long as we remained close together
To dance again to our favourite song
And nurture feelings we knew as love.

Closer we are with deepness of love
Time never wasted playing our song
Dancing on air as we tango together.


Dark Waltz

Deep within the blackness of this night
Shadows of spirits waltz in dark harmony
Like they in times before when lovers
Had entered their spirits unto darkness
To return from the mysteries of the void
Unto mystic passions of the purest fantasy.

How stardust glowed upon this fantasy
Prisms of contrast on a blackened night
Spineless fish of the sea become void
No longer exist within an oceans harmony
Tho` a furnace in the sea bed of darkness
Brought desires smouldering from lovers.

Spirits surround the visions of lovers
That see only within dreams of fantasy
But dreams pass on unto the darkness
Towards blindness of a darkened night
Searching for passion, love, and harmony
These spirits can never be broken or void.

How could this love between them be void
When this love they feel can only be lovers
And together they both feel loves harmony
To reach for love within dreams and fantasy
Sensative touches that soothe thro`the night
Dreams come true enlighten their darkness.

Spiritual love shall quench the darkness
Taking the place of days that were void
All that has happened thro`out the night
Shall only enhance the dreams of lovers
Towards a love defined of their fantasy
That both shall share in this harmony.

Within spirits their shall ever be harmony
That leads them thro` light out of darkness
A love that is reached with truth and fantasy
Let not a man contest it as nul and void
For a spiritual love shall always be lovers
They prove it as thus thro`out the dark night.

Lovers that find such pleasures of fantasy
Darkness that lingers thro`out the long night
Fantasies shall never be classed nul and void.


Eternal Flame

Is it not they, who hath loved thro`the ages
That hath returned to cherish once more
The passion of love within their past lives
That doth shineth still within their eyes
How canst this passion wither and die
When their spirits remain forever alive.

True love art timeless and much alive
That hath survived long thro`the ages
A love that doth linger shall ne-er die
Timeless love shalt bloom forever more
As silently spoken within loving eyes
Like it hath done before in eternal lives .

Many times hath they parted sweet lives
But love hath remaineth so much alive
And still the love shone within those eyes
As it hath done before thro`out the ages
For love like this canst ever want more
Forever their passions shalt never die

When two hearts fadeth wither and die
It shalt ne-er become endeth of lives
Spirits shall arise again forever more
Then strengthen`d love remains alive
As it did before thro`timeless ages
For love ne-er fades within their eyes

Eternal hues of love shine in their eyes
This love that lovers never fear to die
For their spirits shall rise thro`the ages
Never to part within their endless lives
And love shall remain very much alive
Deeper within sharing each other more.

Doubts of love shant hinder any more
As love remains true within their eyes
What they say within is very much alive
That tell no signs that this love shalt die
Sharing many times before in past lives
A love that they had through the ages .

Forever more love returns thro`the ages
Within eyes a divinity of love forever lives
To be so alive, love shalt surely never die.


Fantasy Storm

Thunderous clouds gathered o`er the skies
Hot and restlessly the humidity of a storm
That changes this daytime unto the night.
Within electric charges of voltages high
Of flashing blades of swords that strike
As torrential rain bursts open dark clouds.

Such is the passion of thunderous clouds
That tease so menacingly thro` the skies
Enticing this night of temperatures high
Wild with emotions of an electric storm
That renders thy helpless unto the night
Daring the sword of the storm to strike.

A dark temptation of a lightening strike
That lingers within a veil of dark clouds
Daring temptation thro`out the long night
Heavens shall open beneath the skies
Helplessy trapped in the eye of a storm
Inducing temperatures from low to high.

Humid the night with temperatures high
Vibrateing earth when thunderbolts strike
The powers of nature bring forth a storm
That saddled together within the clouds
Relates to a passion so high in the skies
Appearing emotional thro` out the night .

Go softly my love unto this violent night
Dreams of contentment are flying high
Serenity shalt now be calm in the skies
No more shall the thunder storm strike
Cool breezes that float from the clouds
Extinguished the violent thunder storm.

The air that is clearer soon after a storm
Hath paved the way for love this night
Lovers spirits shall but float upon clouds
Taming violent storms that remains high
So rare in a lifetime that lightning strikes
Once upon a thunder storm within the skies.

When storms are brewing within the skies
It is rare flashes of lightening strikes
For loves spirit remains high upon clouds.


Gunpowder, Treason and Plot

Queen Elizabeth 1st of England died in 1603
She who persecuted catholics under her reign
Her successor James 1st was to be the same
So much that a group of catholics had plotted
To overthrow the King from his rightful throne
They could never agree to a protestant rule.

Conspiring against James to change his rule
To carry it out when Elizabeth died in 1603
It was time for King James to be overthrown
They formed a group of protestants to reign
Long had they planned how they had plotted
The man who would do it was one of the same.

Guy Fawks known by name had felt the same
It was he and conspirers that was soon to rule
To blow up parliament was what they had plotted
Never to look back upon that fateful day in 1603
But he had foiled his plan, may long the king reign
It was his Guy Fawkes plans that were overthrown.

Thirty six barrel of gunpowder never to be blown
Authorities discovered treason and felt the same
A plot that never materialised was saved by rain
Unlucky for Guy Fawkes who tried to bend the rule
Death his penalty for treason from the year 1603
A finality of life for he who schemed and plotted.

November 5th celebrates with fireworks plotted
No tears for Guy Fawks who threatened the throne
His ghosts haunts the bonfires he meant for 1603
Each year in England November the 5th`s the same
For kids to remember you must play it by the rule
Do not light your fireworks within a shower of rain.

Guy had stood on the scaffold in the pouring rain
Knowing that his death was not what was plotted
But maybe folk will learn their is a golden rule
Never under estimate a monarch upon his throne
They have principles like you and me the same
Oh If only they would change a little since 1603.

Twould be hard for him to change now from 1603
There is never a monarch would give up his throne
His rules and regulations would not be the same.



Come nigh thy mighty mustang of the wild
That lead thy herd unto green pastures
Hold strong thy stance of valliant breed
Such beauty for one borne to be free
Run proud as thy frolic against the winds
And let no man ever breaketh thy spirit.

For thou have the gift of a natural spirit
That has rights to live carefee and wild
To trace the breath of invigorating winds
Over the hills and fesh green pastures
This was thy birth right borne to be free
No finer country for his mares to breed.

Instincts followed to extend his breed
To possess this freedom within spirit
No finer herd shall roam wild and free
Than colts that were bred in the wild
Upon a land of the greenest pastures
That leans across whispering winds.

Spirits shall awaken within these winds
That rests within the souls of the breed
They shakily walk upon green pastures
Possessing freedom amidst their spirit
Already they dance the steps of the wild
Steps that render them wild and free.

For nature intended they should be free
Free as the breath within the strong winds
For they were nurtured and born to be wild
From a herd that by far is the finest breed
For speed strength and freedom of spirit
That had ever been reared on pastures.

Gone are the fields of green pastures
Homes are now built on land of the free
Where is the kindness of human spirit
Far off with breath of the wildest winds
Gone to rest with the souls of the breed
Why now must man break their spirits wild.

They that once fed in those pastures wild
The finest of breed that were then so free
Where lies the breath of the human spirit.


Progress Mountain

"Oh traveller man what tales doth thy tell
Of far off mountains bearing scented musk
Native humans that dwell in straw huts
Adorning feathers from head to foot
Yet you say that they cannot take flight
What strange creatures they must be".

"Why does their children so silently be
Have they no laughter or stories to tell
Can they not see the birds take flight
Nor smell the scent of morning musk
Or hear the pebbles beneath the foot
Why must they remain silent in huts."

Dark and dampness within these huts
It is how they have suffered to be
Social standards remained at the foot
But they never stood a chance to tell
How they would love the scent of musk
And the strength of wings to take flight.

They had learned that feathers meant flight
Not a thing they had gained in their huts
If they only knew how to grow that musk
Then their greatest breakthro` would be
Maybe soon for them only time shall tell
When they rise in their stance from the foot

Feathers they shall have from head to foot
Only now they shall learn to take flight
To fly high in the sky with their tale to tell
Far away from the straw in their native huts
Happy with laughter and carefree shall be
Looking down on their saplings borne of musk .

A traveller remembered the scent of musk
And natives with feathers from head to foot
The tales he had told proved true now to be
For progress gave them the means to flight
A far cry from the past in their old straw huts
They called it progression only time will tell.

The scent of musk sparked this tale to tell
With natives feathers from head to foot
The progress of flight was so meant to be.


Romans Return

To walk down paths where ancient man hath trod,
And to visualize what they must have looked like
Could they be ancient warriors from Roman times
That drove their chariots through cobbled roads
Gladiators or slaves who march to their death
That battled in conquest to survive or perish.

Where then lie the bones of those who perish
Beneath those paths where once they had trod?
They were gladiators once then spirits in death
What would their livelihood now of been like
To arise to walk again upon our modern roads
Dressed as they were then upon Roman times.

They would make the news in the evening times
Gladiators they read were never meant to perish
Romans of the past had once cobbled our roads
Where many a previous generation had trod
If it was left to us what would they be like
Their more useful alive than they were in death .

Central heating was never invented within death
Thanks to the ingenuity of the past Roman times
They knew what their people would really like
To be remembered forever and never to perish
For they were the ones that very likely had trod
First upon their own invented cobbled roads.

To this day there are remains of cobbled roads
Since then many Romans suffered within death
But in arising once more, again they have trod
Just like they had again within previous times
It was not for them forever to die and to perish
It is how they all were, and again what they like.

But folk back then had never imagined the like
Strolling and courting upon hard cobbled roads!
Small wonder in days when roads never perish
For spirits never walk within a wakened death
Which is why they remain there all of the time
For very likely they shall never again be trod.

If folk imagine those roads shall not be trod
Cobbled roads shall remain there all the time
Spirits cannot perish from a wakened death.


Scribed Upon Stone

Ancient tales in a tome of fragile pages
Of ancient history from a bygone age
Many tales of lore within thy chapters
Long gone legends scribed upon stone
Ancient Greeks,Romans and Egyptians
Scribed upon stone, may one day be free.

History through the ages shall be free
Within worn leaves of ancient pages
Reveals a curse within tombs of Egyptians
Shall not be disturbed from a bygone age
As is predicted upon the scripture of stone
From ancient prophets within the chapters .

Much more are scribed within the chapters
Vikings, from across the ocean shall be free
They foresaw Odin on a sacred rune stone
As winds from the north opened the pages
Of long ship invaders from a bygone age
They were cursed then like the Egyptians .

Roman warriors much like the Egyptians
Never forgotten amidst ancient chapters
Gladiators returned from a by gone age
Slaves in the lions pit fighting to be free
Many warriors had been writ off these pages
Scripts of their history now scribed on stone.

Such was the honour then carved on stone
For Romans .Vikings, Greeks, and Egyptians
They shall not be forgot within ancient pages
Proudly stored there amidst these chapters
Once slaves within wars shall again be free
From the trials of battle within a bygone age

History never forgotten though fades with age
Yet forever reminded by the carvings on stone
Those who had fought many times to be free
The Romans, Vikings Greeks and Egyptians
Shall all be remembered in a tome of chapters
There within the midst of old fragile pages

This was the age, that was scribed within pages
Once scribed on stone within a tome of chapters
They who fought then their birth right now free.


Upon Hallows Eve

This darkened night is now upon us
Beware now of the halloween curse
For the deviled demons are angry
And Dracula`s sharpened his bite
Evil spirits are dressed in disguise
As frankinstien awakens this eve .

Beware of evil spells on hallows eve
That witches shall weave upon us
Phantoms of horror haunt in disguise
And devils shall cast a wicked curse
Mad rabid wolves shall painfully bite
Provoked they will surely get angry.

Black the night blows wild and angry
In a fearful lure they call hallows eve
Cold is the wind that the fingers bite
With the spirits of ghosts are upon us
Arisen from the tomb of an evil curse
Shrouded in a cloud of mists disguise .

Wherever you are go in disguise
Whatever you meet may get angry
Try to avoid those that shall curse
Upon grave hauntings of hallows eve
For they wish grief plagued upon us
And conjure mad wolves that bite.

If you should suffer a mad wolfs bite
You`d better walk home in disguise
For an evil curse could be upon us
If they bite you when they are angry
Upon this fated night of hallows eve
It is you that may spread the curse.

Not a soul will survive this evil curse
That they get from a mad wolfs bite
The curse upon them on hallows eve
A sign of the cross is their disguise
If demons and phantoms get angry
All sorts of perils shant harm us.

The curse shall be upon them not us
No mad wolf bites unless he is angry
Do not fear hallows evils in disguise.

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Jem Farmer

Celtic New Year

The year closes upon Samhain
As summer days come to an end,
The harvest field gathered in
While mystery dances in the flame,
A bard and lute pick a tune
To tell the old stories once again.

The Celtic folk have gathered again
Upon the eve of Samhain
They hear the old soulful tune
That says the hunter’s game must end
Amid the glowing Pagan Flame
As winter nights close in.

Deep memories, long held in
Revealed to the heart again,
In the dancing light of the flame,
The old souls called at Samhain
And like a dream that has no end
They dance once more to a midnight tune.

The heart that hearkens to the tune
And lets the spirit enter in
Shall know the circle of life shall never end
And all shall surely live again
As the Lady calls upon Samhain
For hers is the Pagan flame.

So cast an eye upon the burning flame
And listen to the mystery in its tune
For destiny reveals upon Samhain
If the seeing eye should look deeper in
Beyond the embers and again
To where the distant stars end.

And yet the night must surely end
As dawn quells the dying flame
Old souls depart to call again
When the bards play the ancient tune
As the harvest is gathered in
So Pagans dance on the night of Samhain.

On this night of Samhain, hearken to the Celtic tune
And dare the heart to look in, toward the burning flame
As the old souls call again so the year shall end.


Lunar Love

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing Heaven, and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,--
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?
PB Shelley


When I gaze upon thy silver beauty,
My heart rejoices in thy love,
Ever changing, always the same - Lady moon,
I see your smile caress the Earth with hope
Among the stars and all that is divine
In thy hands lies the future.

In your radiance I seek the future,
As in the crystals I look for beauty,
While asking questions of the divine
Embraced by thy unending love,
My destiny is blessed with hope
And again, I gaze upon the moon.

My Lady, revealed within the moon,
Through times past, now and the future,
In our darkness thou brings’t hope
As winter’s nights are fuelled in beauty
The coldest days, touched by love
And awareness of all that is divine.

Thy lunar light that sings of divine,
And lifts the pagan eyes to the moon,
So all may know of thy love
That guides the way to the future
Through the snows of winter to pastel beauty
And a spring reborn in hope.

In the darkness thou art the hope,
The wonder of the great divine,
All things glowing in thy beauty,
Silver-kissed by the moon,
A pathway to the future
Now revealed in thy love.

Oh lunar Lady grant us thy love,
And fill our hearts with hope,
The strength to build the future
In respect to all that is divine
Once more I gaze upon the moon
And see that love is thy beauty.

To rejoice in thy beauty and wonders of divine,
As beneath the moon, in silver light there shines hope,
And knowledge that the future is mantled in thy love.


A Touch of Healing Breath

Looking down into the abyss,
The end of time, the final breath,
Too easy to just let go,
To fall into the wonder of nothing,
Too hard to let thoughts die,
Going nowhere but looking down.

Old-fashioned dreams spiral down,
Into the pools of an empty abyss,
Remnants of lust, longing to die,
Replaced by frustrated gasps of breath,
Awakening to emptiness – nothing,
And nowhere to go.

The urge to fade and go,
Before the heart lies battered down,
By the relentless sense of nothing,
That ceaseless abyss,
Left behind on dying breath,
To wait for the day to die.

Bended knees begging to die,
While pondering when to go,
And damned to draw another breath,
While life is churned upside down,
In the twisting of a sensual abyss,
Longing to feel – nothing.

Yet in the midst of all this nothing,
The heart will never choose to die,
For destiny is unknown abyss,
A path of life that one must go,
The weary feet will trip down,
To moments of joy that heal each painful breath.

The gentle touch of healing breath,
Reassurance found in nothing,
When all the world has cast it down,
There is nothing but do or die,
There is but one way to go,
A step away from that abyss.

This life, an unknown abyss before the time to die,
Not knowing which way to go and often finding nothing,
Bids the heart to lie silently down and take a healing breath.

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Kevin McKinney

Call It In The Air

"Hey! Can I ask something of you God?"
"What is it you want this time, Satan?"
"I need to know if I can buy some extra time."
"Buy... what would you use for money?"
"Hey, it's not my fault my wages are death!"
"Well I didn't write that; that one goes to the poets."

"How did you know I was pissed off at poets?"
"Think about it idiot, you're talking to God!"
"Oh... right, well I have some coin other than death."
"I know; other people's coin! Look here Satan,
As a poet once said, the root of all evil is money."
"That's why I'm pissed; they disrespect me all the time!"

"What makes you think you should get more time
So you can waste it tormenting poor poets?"
"Well they're always cracking wise about my money!
Besides, you should have it figured out God;
Poets make it too hard for me to do my job as Satan!
I need better bargaining chips than pain and death."

"So, you've noticed people aren't as scared of death
As they used to be, once upon a time."
"Hey, I'm your better half remember? As Satan,
I'm almost as sharp as you; according to those poets,
You and I are two sides of one coin so, as God,
You could sell me some time regardless of the money."

"Yes, we're polar opposites, but I have no interest in money;
And it wasn't me who started the bad press about death!
The poets got one wrong and put it in the mouth of God.
But they have more than made up for it over time;
No one paints more silver linings than poets!
One day they'll put a smiley face on you, Satan!"

"Heaven forbid! They imagine a world without Satan?"
"Some do, and they're some of the best for my money.
So chill out; that's an expression I got from the poets!"
"It's not fair! They've taken the sting out of death!"
"They've also priced you right out of the market for time!"

"Listen Satan, I'm only a God;
You keep your money. Truth is, no one controls time!
Just lay off my poets... I love 'em to death!"


Varietal Whine

Nothing ever changes here in heaven
Mulled the assistant to the guardian.
Not that it was hard work being an acolyte,
Though he had yet to learn to play the harp;
Everything's spelled out in the new manual,
Right down to the granting of wishes.

That must be it! It must be the wishes;
Either that or the food they serve in heaven;
He'd have to consult that manual,
Discreetly, of course, lest the guardian
Detect any angst or ask about the harp
Lessons she'd arranged for her acolyte.

It just would not do for an acolyte
To be concerned with fulfilling wishes
While being carefree about playing the harp!
The food was just awfully bland in heaven,
And he'd been wondering if the guardian
Knew of any recipes in the new manual.

There'd been only one in the old manual;
Ambrosia! And as long as he'd been her acolyte
He'd never even seen the guardian
Eat! So, he'd start by asking about wishes.
There was plenty of good will in heaven,
But if only an appetite were as common as a harp!

He tried to imagine dinner music on the harp,
But he couldn't stop thinking of the manual.
As luck would have it, things are slow in heaven;
It isn't all that hard for an acolyte
To look busy while imagining wishes
Right under the nose of a guardian!

He resolved to approach the guardian
With a deal; he'd finally learn to play the harp!
That was his offer; he would work for his wishes.
If she would let him check the new manual
For recipes, he would remain her faithful acolyte,
And his harp would ring throughout heaven!

"Of course," said the guardian, "This is heaven,"
"Put away your harp for now you silly acolyte!"
"Guardians must grant sincere wishes; says so in the new manual!"

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Peggy Nelson

Musings, Ups and Downs

Today is another day
To accept life as it creates
Musing ups and downs
Will the day bring light,
Will the day be the best?
It’s up to you completely.

It’s up to you completely
Today is another day
Will the day be the best
To accept life as it creates?
Will the day bring light
Musing ups and downs?

Musing ups and downs
It’s up to you completely
Will the day bring light?
Today is another day
To accept life as it creates
Will the day be the best?

Will the day be the best
Musing ups and downs?
To accept life as it creates
It’s up to you completely
Today is another day
Will the day bring light?

Will the day bring light,
Will the day be the best?
Today is another day
Musing ups and downs
It’s up to you completely
To accept life as it creates

To accept life as it creates
Will the day bring light
It’s up to you completely
Will the day be the best,
Musing ups and downs?
Today is another day

To accept life as it creates, today is another day
Will the day bring light musing ups and downs?
It’s up to you completely, will the day be the best?

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Ryter Roethicle

Curtains and Confusion

See the morning entering the room
Forcing aside the heavy hotel curtains
Sword slices of light cutting their way
Like heavenly Jedi laser swords
Carving away the future’s darkness
At last revealing the possible present.

This morning has become my present
And fate has selected this very room.
Something has also removed darkness
Converting heavy to scanty curtains
Whilst dulling the brightest laser swords
Not needed any longer to light the way.

However, this morning there is a way,
I hear the morning now I am certain.
I do not need the Jedi and their swords
Today I have many windowed rooms
And bird sounds pass through the curtains
Assuring me about the darkness.

Their sounds even penetrate the darkness
Carrying their calls from quite a way
That and the light through the curtains
Finally bring me back to the present,
And once more I wake in a hotel room
Denying my dreams and Jedi swords.

Long ago my dreams were of Jedi swords
They’re now far removed from darkness.
As is my serviced apartment bedroom
Outsiders in the park show me their way
So very far removed from my present,
With no need to hide behind my curtains.

The tweets and screeches penetrate curtains
Defying the validity of any Jedi sword
Brutally bringing in their present.
Contemptuously casting away darkness
Crying out that this was the only way
To find happiness within this room.

Pulling back the curtains light fills the room
Denying swords carrying it’s own way
Fighting past darkness into the present.


Kabir Thoughts

What is sadness? What is happiness?
Are not they reflections of each other?
Is it not a soul burdened with over ripe fruit?
The fruit is there but has not been plucked
Eventually it will fall and the cycle renewed.
And once again the fruit will grow and wait.

Does sadness come sudden or do we wait
And do we also have to wait for happiness
With dawn is not our previous mood renewed
Or are we able to pick up some other
One of our choice, one we have plucked
From a mental garden that is rich with fruit.

Is summer and light the creator of fruit
Must there be seasons in between to wait
And must we wait again until it’s plucked
Is this why your life has so little happiness,
Has all your fruit been picked by another,
Must you wait again until it is renewed?

With the dawn everything is renewed
Your mental garden should grow fresh fruit
You are the one who picks one or the other
It is your morning mind you need not wait
It’s your choice always, darkness or happiness
You grow to be what you have plucked.

Again you’re rewarded what you’ve plucked,
Once again your love and joy is renewed.
With your lover you’ve found happiness
And together you taste the sweetest fruit.
The future is yours there’s no need to wait
Your rewards in life become each other.

This is how life will be together with each other
You’ll savour fruits that together you’ve plucked
Never again together will you have to wait
As each night your eternal promises are renewed
And your rewards are the finest tasting fruit
And an eternity together sharing happiness.

There are other ways that you may find happiness
But once it has been plucked it’s the fruit of all fruit
And you need not wait to find its all been renewed.


Moonlight Thoughts

Darkness is not for lovers, nor should it be
What is a flickering candle but a little moon
And a blazing fire a symbol of the sun.
Who has not made love by candles light
Or in love lain side by side by the fire
And swore their love by flickering flame.

The moon has created hope with the flame
For it is only a reflection of what love can be.
But lovers lie beneath her and light their fire
Making plans and dreaming under that moon
I say there is no love without the moons light.
As there’s no hope or dreams without the sun.

In the morning our dreams end seeing the sun.
But they are not destroyed in the suns flame
Nor are they hidden by his powerful light.
Instead they are where we want them to be
Waiting for us to sleep again under the moon
And once again they are lit by her fire.

There is a coolness created by her fire
Which is the opposite of that of the sun.
Thus love can only be created by the moon
And its lantern can only be lit by her flame
Without her blessing love cannot be
It cannot be conceived under the suns light.

Each night they meet and love under her light
Touching is the kindling, loving creates the fire
Til the end of time and past it will always be.
In the morning they will speak of love to the sun.
And he will smile and for a while share his flame
That night they’ll touch and love under the moon

Just as forever the symbol of love shall be the moon
Lovers will forever plight their troth under her light
The love that it creates will be an unequalled flame
Stronger now than the most powerful lunar fire
And more powerful by far than the sun.
The heat therein will be what lovers want it to be.

Lovers love by the moon, that’s the way it will always be
They live in days light, and merely tolerate the sun,
When the sun’s doused his flame, lovers light their fire.


Rules of Life

Listen to me, do not hold onto happiness
Embrace it, but when it is time, let it go.
Sadness will cleanse your soul and prepare you;
Then when it is time bid it farewell also.
Hide not in the shadows revelling in the pain,
Greet your other self and smile once again.

You will find changes as you begin again
And you’ll realise you’ve found happiness
But really I wonder what had caused the pain?
In time you’ll realise it’s you not letting go
The opposite can happen this way also,
Where you’ll find misery haunting you.

This time however un-happiness follows you
You brood and sulk and feel misery again
And pass this feeling on and on also
Doing what you can to avoid happiness,
Then one miserable day you feel it all go
Suddenly feeling absent of miseries pain.

You question what has caused your pain
Then suddenly realise it was probably you
And how it eased when you finally let go.
Realising how easy it could happen again
Deciding your future be based on happiness
Whilst unknown would be uncertain also.

Do not hide but let sleep be your friend also
Yet do not blame waking eyes on your pain
You are learning sources of your happiness
Your greatest friend is what’s inside you
No doubt you’ll feel sadness and misery again
But now your learning how to let go.

Now you relax and feel everything let go
In doing so learn about inner peace also
You will never ever feel that bad again
And know how to combat that inner pain
Knowing you are in full control of you
Means you have the secret of happiness.

No matter where you go you’ll have happiness
And inner peace also will be forever with you.
Misery will never rule again and bring you pain.


Sestina for All Hallows

The Moon is full, now hear them cry,
Beware the beasts beware their bite.
Now hear the ghosts, their moaning sigh,
As hellish creatures fill up the night.
Soft padding sounds are coming nigh,
There is every reason for your fright.

The Werewolf will give the bravest, fright.
Even the most evil beastie fears his cry.
They dread each time the full moon is nigh
Fearing even the slightest bite,
For he is the Evil Ones creature of the night,
And as the moon wanes all can breathe a sigh.

Dracula has made beautiful ladies sigh,
With passionate love replacing fright.
But it’s only on a full mooned night,
That you will hear the damnedsels cry,
Lustfully pleading for another bite,
Or wishing that he were nigh.

Its when all hallows is drawing nigh,
That witches and warlocks give a sigh.
They know how to avoid Dracul’s bite,
And the werewolf never gives them fright.
Instead in drunken debauch they will cry
As they drink and revel through the night

But the human must take care this night,
For when are seen revellers drawing nigh,
Be wary when they give out their cry.
Don’t with relief give a pleasured sigh,
Instead believe it is a time for fright,
And best beware the shape shifters bite.

Too late now as you feel the bite,
Evil forms will take o’er the night.
Your muscles tensing out of fright,
Eternal damnation draws you nigh.
You were warned, you gave a sigh,
Soon it will be your turn to cry.

They’ve had a bite, and giving out a cry
Vanish into the night and all can sigh
No need for fright as the sun is nigh.


She comes deliciously after wine

She comes deliciously after wine,
See her peace, see her serenity.
Lying in the afterglow of love
And with the beauty of that glow
I watch, see her sleep, content
Knowing that evermore she is mine.

How dare I say she is mine?
I know she is tastier than any wine
And in that I am well content
To help create her serenity
And see her in the afterglow
That has been created by our love.

How do I know she is my love?
So many ways tell me she is mine,
See her eyes and see them glow,
That look is headier than any wine.
See her smile, see her serenity.
Her touch tells me she is content.

And knowing that she is content,
Only makes for my stronger love.
I will help maintain her serenity,
Forever more I'll make her mine.
She will come deliciously after wine
And I will bathe in her afterglow.

A life of creating this glow
A life of making her content
She came deliciously after wine.
With the gift of making love
And sharing her life with mine
Gave me a lifetime of serenity.

Her look shows me her serenity
Radiance greater than the suns glow
She looks and says she is mine.
She smiles and says she is content
To share an eternity of love
As I take another sip of wine.

I drink my wine in the afterglow
Her serenity, peace and content
Half of the love we share is mine.


Unearthly Feelings

Love is the giving of one to another
It’s the union of two finding freedom in one
It’s the freedom that a bird feels in flight
Hear its call and feel its spirit rising
Selfless when it is with its mate
The two in total harmony and thought.

When two lovers meet there’s no thought
There is no ken that they’ll become one
Rarely realising they’ve met their mate
Only the souls recognise one another
Little feelings of their spirits rising
It would be rare to feel hearts take flight.

But like the birds, love discovers flight
It becomes an experience beyond thought
When suddenly they found emotions rising
Linking their spiritual self’s to one another
And now appreciate what it is to be ‘one’
Waking up each morning with their mate.

Hearts are alive now with their soul-mate
As each night hand in hand they take flight
In soul formation, they fly together as one
Separate identities, they share one thought.
Fate has ordained they meet one another
After that find their spiritual feelings rising.

Like birds they fly, their feelings rising
Then that feeling of soaring with your mate
Suddenly realising they love one another.
Together forever there is this soul flight
Joined by the simple power of thought
But it is that power that makes them one.

Many lives now have you shared as one
Each life together, the number’s rising.
Sometimes you meet without a thought
It seems normal that you are with your mate.
Yet some other times there is no flight
It seems this life, you are with another.

What is this one, are we one or another?
Are spirits rising, and lifting off in flight?
Have you thought I might be your mate?


Winter Love

Winters black cloak now covers the land,
Spreading her fingers and freezing life.
Nature's colours are hidden from minds,
Withdrawn, sleeping from winters strife.
All around is bleak, leafless and bare,
And their love is sheltered, safe from harm.

Outside winter rages with hail-stones harm,
Inside soft candle-light and a log fires land.
Soft conversations laying emotions bare,
Music's soft, sensuous rhythms fill with life.
Each tightly holding, kissing, far from strife,
Being close together, even touching minds.

But love is more than two sharing minds,
And in that sharing there can be no harm.
Nor can love intentionally cause strife,
Instead warmth will cover all their land,
And those lovers will choose to share life,
Laying aside themselves, leaving ego's bare.

It is only when we can lay ourselves bare,
And truly join spirits as well as minds,
That two lovers can begin to share a life.
In this way they will come to no harm,
And enter into an eternal promised land,
That will contain freedom from strife.

What is love if there is no strife,
And must we be completely bare?
Is there such a place as Never-Land,
And must we share all of our minds?
Will secret opinions really cause harm,
And completely wreck our eternal life?

Such questions are the meaning of life,
For where there is love there is also strife.
We do wrong at times protecting from harm,
And sometimes hidden is better than bare.
Men and women have far different minds,
All the better for two share their land.

There is no life, there is no land,
Where there is not strife, or different minds
True love offers harm, when emotions are bare.


Xavier Beach

I saw the sea today and watched her awhile
Thinking remorseless perhaps, but constant ever.
In the morning I saw the Sun emerge from the sea
Half a lifetime later it was consumed by the waves
And my world went cooler and then darker
Then I saw a new world begin, a far different world.

In reality it is the opposite of the days world
And I stayed in that world for quite awhile.
Watching in awe as that world grew darker
Then I saw the thinnest sliver of light ever
A brand new moon was lighting up the waves
And once again I could see the sea.

Now I saw her in a different light, a different sea!
Using that different light she’d changed the world,
And in that morning light, had seen gentle waves
Much gentler waves that had stayed awhile
Gentle waves, and had never been violent, ever.
Never protesting as the night grew darker.

And then suddenly it was no longer darker
The moon had risen and had lit up the sea
Now was seen the best picture scenes ever
And that picture was within this world.
Thus it stayed on Earth, with us awhile
Whilst we watched and enjoyed the waves.

Tonight as I watched and saw gentler waves
I heard a sound as the night grew darker
I stopped and listened for quite awhile
It was the gentlest sound of the sea
As wave after wave kissed the sandy world
The most peaceful of sounds ever.

I would love to live in that light forever.
And hear the relaxing sound of those waves
It would become a far more peaceful world
Seeing the stars switch on as it grew darker
Lighting up white crested waves of the sea
Anyone would relax and stay for awhile

It’s the best scene ever, just relax, stay awhile
Listen to the waves, enjoy the peaceful sea
Share it with the world as it gets darker.


Zus Spak Ama...(Thus Speaks Love)

Sadness filters through me
Sitting listening and I feel
Somehow you are where I should be
Again I am not there with you
Yet everything about is real
Tell me please, what are we to do?

I already know what I’d like to do
And that’s hear you say you love me
How I wish that dream was real
You already know the way I feel
You already know that I love you
And wish that it will always be.

Together that’s how we should be
Sharing everything that we do
I realise that I am part of you
And am happy you feel part of me
It’s all about how you feel
And knowing that our love is real

Tell me again that it is real
Reassure me that it can be
Remembering all the eternities we feel
It is so easy for me to do.
If it is so for me
Is it the same for you?

It does not seem like an eternity with you
But I know the time we spent was real.
I knew then about your feelings for me
And knew that we would always be.
I want to know that you also do
Please darling tell me how you feel

Is it so much to ask about how you feel
The most important person to me is you.
It’s important to me that you do
Please, please tell me your love is real
Without your love I cannot be
Please, please tell me.

Tell me how you feel about me
My life revolves around you, how can that be
What need I do? Is this all real?

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Kevin & Ryter


No more is it the time of magic, its now of men
Merlin and all his kin have left the stage and sleep
Slumbering in their caves awaiting until when
Once more they must emerge from sleep so deep
And once again in battle we will see the way
How the mighty kings must field and fight the fey

Yet even Merlin might not believe the fey
Irrationality displayed of modern men;
So cold and calculating in our way
He'd trade this new reality for sleep.
But human personality runs deep
With vestigial extensions to days when

Life was only a small matter of when
The axe would fall. And so it paid for fey
Prestidigitation to run as deep,
With artificial order over men;
The way a serpent lulls a bird to sleep,
And pauses only briefly on its way.

But magic was always the hidden way.
And so often takes place, when
Heroes and warriors need to sleep,
So made judgements against the fey,
Saying that it was not the way of men,
Acting from fears that were buried deep.

We know that nothing is buried so deep
That logic will not find some way
To bring the balance back so that men
Can meet on equal footing when
Muscle and mind will be equal with fey
And at night heroes may find restful sleep.

Yet now the edge of night does threaten sleep
With razor thin incisions scarring deep
And severing that balance 'tween the fey
Wonder workers and those of logic's way.
Lest it be restored, time may soon come when
Neither magic, nor logic can save men.

Arise then, from sleep and awaken all men
To dreams so deep they continue yet when
What once was fey, again may light the way.

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Newell Elsworth Usher

Making my day

What a beautiful day it is today
as the sun starts to rise over my trees.
Birds are singing sweetly looking for worms.
A rabbit hops quickly across my lawn
over pretty flowers looking for food
a squirrel digs shallow; buries a nut.

And another squirrel picks up a nut
as all nature thrives, smiles, alive today
hurrying, scurrying looking for food
on the ground, in the air growing on trees
and little birds are looking in my lawn
looking for grass seed and fresh morning worms.

As yesterday's rain brought up some new worms
I see one crawl over the squirrel's nut
there by the fence post aligning my lawn.
Beautiful music is playing today
as the wind blows the leaves softly through trees.
all nature dances to the gait of food

Ev'rything feeds and is another's food
as the owls eat rabbits; birds eat the worms
all watched by the many eyes of the trees.
A little squirrel eats a tiny nut
and ev'rything is beautiful today
as dawn has passed and sun is on my lawn.

And as I walk around to view my lawn
I remember that I too must have food
and so I pick some apples for today
a looking for small holes of little worms
as I will make desert with a small nut
from honey and some apples from my trees.

And as I sing along amidst my trees
I see a little fawn upon my lawn
watching two squirrels fight for a big nut
as he is also searching for some food
as little birds now see the little worms
and all of nature dines again, today

Today is wonderful across my lawn.
Trees surround and animals find much food
worms eating fruit and looking for a nut,

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