Exercise #15 (page 239)

This exercise was to write a sestina.  It’s too hard to describe, so here’s a link to the Wikipedia article.

Life’s a frantic flurry, a blur
Of soul and colour and sound.
If I close my eyes I find
There’s even more to hear
And there’s no way to silence
The constant chatter, clatter inside.

Even closed eyes create light inside –
Though I can ignore the bright blur
Under my lids, I only know silence
By the relentless, resuming sound
Of my thoughts, which say “Did you hear
Us cease just then?  We’re back now, you’ll find.”

Yet, at times, an eerie peace will find
Me and leave me hollow inside,
Loosen my connection to the here
And now, focus the blur
Into sharpness and the sound
Into a damp and muffled silence.

A cool and detached fog to silence
Extraneous thoughts, to seek and find
All my weaknesses and make them sound,
With coats of liquid steel inside
A human shell, to reduce the blur
Of time to “now” and the place to “here.”

In these times, it is no challenge to hear
The thud of my heart in the silence,
The sensations that once raced in a blur
Become stately in their passage, find
A majesty in deliberation, inside
Me – room to resound.

In such calm of mind, it is joy to sound
The depths of me, from here
And there to gather loose parts of me inside
A dark well of silence,
With a knowing smile for others to find
If they too can escape the merry-go-round blur.

In these moments, the sound and silence
Balance; I hear the call to find
A like balance inside me the world can’t blur.


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