Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Weir Canyon sestina

Here is the poem I wrote this week. As you can see, it isn't a narrative at all, but a sestina.
Weir Canyon Afternoon
The truck bumps along a dusty trail,
past hills and fields of mariposa lilies
the exact shade of the moon.
So much still to do and so little good
light left. A hive hums in the oak tree's hollow
and the bees cast crazy shadows.

A hummingbird small as a bee shadows
us; a lizard darts across the trail.
Here, bandits stashed their loot in hollow
rocks. Their bones, as bleached as lilies,
lie in fields gone gold with grain. Good
weather, but the mournful day-time moon

a lidded eye, hangs high above a moon-
white rock, where I perch in the cool shadow,
dreaming of too many good
bottles of whiskey, lying empty on the trail.
Clouds like giant lilies
arc across the canopy of sky, hollow

as the shafts of arrows, hollow
as a carcass, ribs sickled like the moon,
overgrown with lilies.
From the field of prickly pear flat with shadows,
small suns of monkey flower spill onto the trail,
and the bird tracks, like runes, sugest good

feeding must abound, good
protection for the nestlings in a hollow
cactus log, far back from the trail.
And all the while, the jaded moon
scowling in harsh daylight, seeks out shadows
hiding there among the lilies.

In their proper hour, the purple lilies
rise like a chalice, their good
thick stems swollen with shadows.
I sit in the rock's hollow
carved by wind and watch the moon,
as darkness creeps across the trail.

This is the time when hollow lilies,
purple as the dusk, find evening good, and the moon
at last, follows its nightly trail among the shadows.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful poem--loved the recurring lilies and moon imagery! Great job, Robbi! This form really brings out the lyrical magic in your work!

Robbi said...

Hello anonymous. Who are you? Thank you for the kudos and the kind comments.

Lou said...

Their bones, as bleached as lilies,
lie in fields gone gold with grain.

These are my favorite lines. I think you chose your repeated words well, and these two lines have a pretty cadence.

Robbi said...

Thanks Lou. Those are my favorites too. Whenever I take on this form, sound seems to loosen up or even go by the wayside. I'm not sure why.

Robin said...

Hi Robbi,

somehow my name got lost in translation!

Robbi said...

Thank you Robin. I feel a little less secure with the poem than you do, but I like lots of the lines.