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.

Watching the lake – sestina for dVerse

And at this moment, nothing is as real
important as this watching of the light
constantly moving on the moving lake,
that shivers like a mighty animal,
its muscles moving underneath its skin,
resting in movement, restless in its calm.

Rivers are smooth as this, but not as calm,
and here the seeming movement is not real,
this water patterned like a dappled skin
is like a mirror held up to the light –
but water can’t be tamed, like some soft animal,
tameness is the illusion of the lake.

What do you think of, looking at the lake?
In this bright sunshine, everything is calm,
there’s barely sound from any bird or animal –
do you believe this calm is truly real?
Wait here and watch the dancing of the light
and feel the sunlight seep into your skin,

then tell me there’s no wildness in this skin
of peace that hovers over this great lake –
thee’s constant movement, dust motes in the light,
and rippling waves make mockery of calm –
it’s all illusion. None of it is real –
you can’t keep water like some fettered animal –

it’s a wild creature, not some quiet, tamed animal
that can be stroked or petted. No, its skin
is scarred and shattered. It’s wild self is real
and underneat the surface of the lake
is something that is far from being calm
something that’s fierce and hidden from the light.

Streams raced to get here, shattering the light
into a thousand pieces. Something animal,
and toothed and clawed, is sleeping. Now it’s calm
enough, but underneath that skin
are muscles tensing, and this restful lake
holds for a moment, then flows on to somewhere real.

In this bright light, we only see the skin
of this wild animal, of this quiet lake.
We breathe the calm, and dream that it is real.

Oh me, oh my. My first sestina. I’m not entirely happy with it, but I’m posting it because I may never have the stamina to write another one. This month’s form for dVerse is the sestina, a form depending on repetition of end-line words in a particular order. It’s also probably the longest poem I’ve ever written. I need to go and lie down now.