Sestina – At the Window


lace curtain window

Should you find the day vanishes
against the pane to imitate
darkness that slips its fragmented
fingers into your soul by chance,
tune your heart and mind to the breeze.
The magic windsong is subtle.

Gauzy breath ignites, fears vanish
into the gently stirring breeze
alongside mere imitations.
Fate welcomes a window of chance
grasp its hand before it fragments.

Framed in light, stars shine glass fragments
of new hope and not so subtle
cravings carve incredible chance
in concrete so as to vanish
stifled need from imitations.
Float new beginnings on the breeze.

Time and place shift through open breeze,
channel to connect fragmented
dreams only schemes can imitate
hearts align and shine through subtle
eyelet starbursts where seams vanish
on lacy frills and wind chime chance.

Tangled stars breathe life into chance  
caught up in a dizzying breeze
can’t sleep, don’t want dream to vanish.                 
What would we see if the fragments                                 
fixed themselves to the less subtle                                                   
surface? Where deep lies imitate.

Look within, no imitations
no scattered remains, just chance
blended with sunrise as subtle
as a  whimsical dancing breeze
so light, the teardrop-stained fragments
sparkle with joy, pain vanishes.

Trace hearts on the breeze, imitate      
nothing from past fragmented chance.
Sighs vanish into subtle night.      


I liked the window prompt from Tuesday and wanted to share some older photos that I took of windows near the Frisco Heritage Museum and this is as far as I got.  Wednesday is supposed to be a lighter day of writing for me, but then I took on this monster of a form.  I didn’t expect it to take me a day and a half to finish.  Not sure if I did the last three lines properly.  Out of all of it, that’s the part that tripped me up the  most.  It was kind of fun to play with, but let me just say if I never write another sestina, I’ll be okay with that. 

Poetic Asides                              





11 comments on “Sestina – At the Window

  1. Wow ! That must’ve taken some doing Lynn, deeply impressive, you must’ve had to call on all your considerable talent. I think I’d need to lie down in a darkened room after writing such a piece. Sestinas always remind me of Rachmaninoff’s 3rd piano concerto which has broken many a pianist !

    Liked by 1 person

    • colorfulpen says:

      Thank you, Nigel. Lying down in a darkened room sounds good right about now. The form certainly made my brain hurt. Oh, yeah! I can see why the form would remind you of that piano concerto. Technical stuff! Exhausting, I would imagine.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love working with that challenging form and you did so well with it. Like you, I like poetry about windows and when we got that prompt and I searched my archives, I was surprised at how many times I do feature windows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • colorfulpen says:

      Thank you! It is certainly a challenging form. There’s just something about windows. A kind of what lies within/what lies beyond peek into another place or time or just plain curiosity.


  3. jillys2016 says:

    I saw this poem in my reader a couple of days ago, but wanted a few quiet minutes to give it the time and attention it deserves. Firstly, there is a solid, steady theme with consistant motifs throughout; breath & wind, chimes & curtains, the real & the imitation, just to mention a few. The message of the poem required several readings for me. The truth of looking within ourselves to get past the lies of this life is a part of that. I love the word pane / pain in this 🙂 I’m rambling now – sorry. Now, on to the form. My bucket list includes climbing Mt. Everest, going over Niagra in a barrel and writing a sestina. Only kidding about the first two, though they seem more likely. I have this list of 60 + forms and when I have written one, I check it off. Sestina is still glaring at me. You have inspired me to conquer that one… I have actually written down my 6 end words. Oh yeah, and your final lines are perfectly done! Whew – now I am done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] must credit (or perhaps blame) my good friend, Lynn Burton at Colorful Pen for posting an excellent Sestina.  Her use of the form served as a reminder that the sestina has […]

    Liked by 1 person

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