March 6th, 2015


The Poetry Princess Project -- March

So, sestina was our chosen form for March.
Whether we liked it or not.
And I'm here to tell you that we mostly did not.
Whoa, boy, this form.

Six words that sit at the ends of the lines, over and over again in a varied but prescribed order -- at some point you just have to surrender and let the poem take you where it will. Little things like logic and meaning are sometimes sacrificed at this point. There is letting of blood and gnashing of teeth along the way.

But being that we didn't promise to post perfect poems all year -- just to ATTEMPT certain forms -- we're sharing them today and then moving on, quite giddily, to April -- well-known as National Poetry Month but now fondly looked at in our circle as I Don't Have to Write Another Sestina Month. :)

Oi vay. Here is my best effort to date...

March Sestina

I step outdoors into what makes no sense –

this season of promise, sweet like a lamb
except for the way it makes my heart break,
the way it teases with fat buds and hearty rays.
Standing in this golden moment, I wait for it to turn,
to sucker punch me, to throw me like a horse.

If I were strong, I’d yell myself hoarse,
if I were strong and had a lick of sense
I’d say, “That’s it! Now it’s my turn!”
I’d say, “Spring, you are nothing but a lamb,
nothing but a baby I can choose to raise
or, with my own bare hands, break.”

But instead I inhale and the sound breaks.
I yield like a chained dog, like a lame horse,
like the voice in me isn’t mine to raise.
I soak in the light with each and every sense – 
I can taste it, I can touch it, this light soft as a lamb.
I am like a planet, around each beam I turn

and turn and turn and turn,
positively dumb with love, my windbreak
against the possibility of lion eating lamb.
My eyes close to everything I know, my voice hoarse
and raspy, I swear I make no sense
but it doesn’t matter ‘cause the barn’s raised

the barn of suckling and honey is raised!
The posts and beams of expectation turn
in the mud, it’s nobody’s job, no dollars or cents
change hands, just hammers and light, until we break
for lunch, laid out on long boards, horse
trough full of water, we lap at it like lambs.

In like a lion, they say, and out like a lamb,
but isn’t it the other way around, spring’s rays
tender, warming each cloverleaf, each haunch of horse?
We start off skeptical, but then feel ourselves turn –
we can’t help it – so by the time there’s a late freeze, a break
in the light, a lion’s roar, we’ve taken leave of our senses.

Thank God, and God Damn that lamb that turns
me once again, raises me up slowly like a flag, flying, til I break
and the horse heads back to the barn. I follow. I sense that’s right.

Here is where you'll find all this week's Poetry Friday posts.

And here are my Poetry Sister's Sestinas:
Kelly Fineman
Andi Sibley
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Tanita Davis
Laura Purdie-Salas

They wow me, those gals....