in bitter winds

in bitter winds wht s

The waters rise,
and what is held trembling
is spirited away–
and what is left is enclosed
behind layers and layers
of ice and fire.

Water becomes a weapon, fired,
swirled, and eddied–to rise
and then submerge and drown in frozen layers
of sorrow–a trembling
grief with no direction, enclosed
and then thrown away.

No place to go but away–
no beginning or end to this fire,
the intensity enclosed
inside deceptions rising
until they burst, trembling,
circling back into themselves as layers

that explode again—echoing layers
that gather far away
like stormclouds—trembling,
unable to shed anything but thunder and fire.
The waters rise,
and what is built disintegrates, enclosed

by distilled heat, frozen and enclosed
in layers
waiting to rise
from shallow graves, to fly away
on wings of fire–
released into the wind, trembling—

into this weary wind that trembles
with an unsteady rhythm both enclosed
and exposed, a soundless fire
that frays as the unstitched layers
turn away
from the sun–as it rises,

held trembling behind layers–
its songs enclosed and spirited away–
in ice and fire, the waters rise.

Always a glutton for punishment, I decided to attempt another sestina, the dVerse form of the moment, for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  I approached it entirely differently this time, taking some lines I had written and just using the end words as they were for the rest of the poem.  It actually seemed much easier, especially since I made no attempt to keep the lines the same length or rhythm.

in bitter winds close up s

As some have already pointed out, Sue gave us this image in 2016.  I looked for my response after I had done my new art and poem.  I was much more optimistic then, and yet the words come from a similar place.

cracked-ice-wht-s

At each stage, the path
lies untested—short, brittle
as the frozen grass.

Beyond, the sky waits—alive,
waking the young day with fire.

 

27 thoughts on “in bitter winds

  1. One of the things I don’t like about the sestina is that often the infliction of end words means the same ideas get repeated over and over. You have managed to transcend that constraint and made the repetition of ideas into a great rolling wave of powerful images. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Victoria. The interesting thing is that I didn’t choose the end words–I wrote six lines and worked with what was there. And strangely, it was much easier for me to write a sestina that way. It’s an approach I’m going to remember for other forms I have difficulty with.

      Liked by 1 person

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