Thursday, August 15, 2019


come dusk, you cross stitch your words 
into canvas, musing if gold threads 
can appear from air.  you marvel 
at frayed hues of butterfly, black wings
of crows, perched on street lines- 
you wait as moon grazes the night sky

imagine- sketching your face in sky

with bonsai trees & feathers, words
buzzing in your ears, squiggly lines
twirling in sand dunes, what threads
can capture, hold this  - your wings
are edging you to unknown - a marvel

of stars & beyond, a marvel
of abyss, uncharted dark sky
you capture what you see, wings
clipped, broken, then free as words
you don't need a map to spool threads
what you need is space, no lines

as you paint on walls, out of lines
where boats tug wispy clouds, a marvel
to catch on shorelines without threads -
now, you are running breathless, sky
is grey, with need to plump out words
bigger than your canvas, your wings

wandering bring me hope, my wings
one day, will unfurl, wriggle past lines
of square boxes, marry words
with panache and spice, I'll marvel
at tiny beetles under sky-
all the hands that nurture, pulling threads

apart, until threads become lines
inking wings and forests, a marvel
to see -sky of birds, my body of words

Posted for dVerse Poets Pub - Sestina, Poetry Form, hosted by Victoria Slotto.   This is a my first work-in-progress sestina, so any feedback is appreciated.   This follows the pattern:

1. A,B,C,D,E,F
2. F,A,E,B,D,C
3. C,F,D,A,B,E
4. E,C,B,F,A,D
5. D,E,A,C,F,B
6. B,D,F, E,C,A
7. BE, DC, FA (The envoi of three lines with BDF midline and ECA as the end lines.) Note: The Poetry Foundation gives this variation on the envoi: FB, AD, EC. Use either one.


  1. I love the theme here, it feels like an autumn walk, the nature theme is wonderful. it's a real feat to write your first.

  2. The simple title is intriguing – a blank canvas, so to speak – and I like the minimal use of punctuation and no capital letters, which leaves room for intricacy and creativity in the choice of words. I enjoyed the extended embroidery metaphor very much, Grace; your sestina is beautifully stitched.
    I love the ‘frayed hues of butterfly’, ‘black wings of crows, perched on street lines’ and the lines:
    ‘you capture what you see, wings
    clipped, broken, then free as words
    you don't need a map to spool threads’.

  3. A canvas upon which to stitch....pulling threads apart until threads become lines,,,becoming a body of words. So beautifully done. I love the way the lines break and continue the thought into the next stanza. And these words "marry words with panache and spice" made me smile.
    You are a master at description....and you've mastered the form. Just a beautiful write!

  4. Your imagery is, as always, so "delicious." I feel immersed in a world of creative and natural beauty. You have woven this together with expertise. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this challenge, Grace.

  5. Sure words that create a big canvas indeed at your feed.

  6. Grace, your sestina has a spiritual feel for me, like the great designer in the sky and how the designer goes about creation, including how you were wonderously created to be the poet that you are. Such a light feeling with the master painter dabbing here and there.

  7. A beautiful poem that surely tells me, you are already there. Thank you!

  8. I Love the image of those wings. So spiritual and uplifting.

  9. This is a beautiful explosion of life. Your word choice is perfect. It opens possibilities in the form for me (I haven't attempted it yet, it seems too daunting)

  10. This certainly does feel like autumn. I especially liked the 2nd stanza, but this is strong writing all-around.

  11. I believe this beautiful piece is about the freedom that inhabits artistry. I'm surprised to know this is your first sestina, as you have captured the essence and cadence of it so very well! Lovely.

  12. A spacious, inspiring canvas of words, Grace, completely unstifled by sestina form!

  13. “Cross-stitch your words onto canvas”

    A beautiful image to begin this wonderful sestina.

  14. Enthralling to read. I love the long, sustained lines/images, the metaphors, the music, the mood and message.

  15. I love how your words describe multiple arts for a canvas. Your words made me feel the painter, stitcher and writer in you.

  16. I love the way this canvas does cross stitch the words. A great way to describe a sestina. This carries the beauty of the dark for me as it fills up the sky. And then the poem too is created by 'nurture pulling threads'. Lovely metaphors.

  17. You have created a beautiful canvas - these two lines strike a chord within me.

    of stars & beyond, a marvel
    of abyss, uncharted dark sky


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