Disappearing into the woods- sestina for dVerse II

This meditation is like going for a walk
somewhere that she knows well. A place that stays the same
but always changes. In each orchard or wood
leaves show, and grow, and burn to fiery red or gold,
flowers form and fade, fruits swell to heavy sweetness,
grass grows, is cut, and grows again. The turning of the world.

She’s meditating on this lovely world,
her eyes turned downwards to the place she walks,
as if the world were nothing more than sweetness.
She’s gently dreaming everything’s the same,
that everything she touches turns to gold,
that she’s a princess in a fairy wood –

Would she believe it? I don’t think she would,
if someone showed the truth about the world,
the nickel underneath the skin of gold –
she’d smile, and shake her head, and then she’d walk
into a dream, where everything’s the same,
and air is heavy with a flowery sweetness.

Enchanted princesses are made for sweetness,
singing with bluebirds through the gentle wood.
Those over-cherished girls are all the same,
wandering wide-eyed through a candy world,
there’s always limousines, no need to walk,
there’s always food to eat and chains of gold

until their life’s leaves fade to red and gold,
and it all slips away, that youthful sweetness,
that gently swaying, young gazelle-like walk.
There’s always brambles in a real wood,
and thorns that scratch, and mud in the real world,
and that enchanted wood is just the same

cold winds blow through it, rain falls and the same
shadows lie stark, although the light is gold,
and you can choose to leave, and join the world
or journey deeper, always seeking sweetness,
losing yourself, those stray paths through the wood
will tangle you, beguile you as you walk.

You can pretend it’s all the same, that life is sweetness,
but maybe life brings gold, maybe that wood
divides you from the world. It’s time to walk.

I may have lied about never writing another sestina. This is my second one. I think my problem is I find the repetition makes it hard to progress, I just spiral round and round the initial idea. Anyhow, this is for Victoria at dVerse, where our form is the sestina. Check out her original post for a clear description, and for inspiration.

6 thoughts on “Disappearing into the woods- sestina for dVerse II

  1. A good use of the form. I agree it can be clunky. You only used one homonym; maybe stanzas would smooth out with more homonyms. I hope so. I used six of them

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yea! you did it. I hadn’t noticed the second one when I commented on the first. Again, the marvel of contrast between the fairy tale beauty of the woods/life and the reality that lies therein. I’ve really enjoyed both of yours, Sarah. But, beware…this form is addictive.


  3. A spiral progresses, though: it’s not just going round and round in circles. And your poem also charts a progress from the dreamy state to an acceptance of reality. Your beautiful words and phrases conjure up a suitably reflective state. There’s some lovely alliteration and internal rhyming, too. Altogether a wonderful sestina.


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