The Journey as Sestina

 I felt like writing poetry today, and decided to challenge myself by writing in a form called Sestina. I’ve only used this form once before, in a poem I wrote years ago for my sister called “A Sestina from the Heart”


Box by box, item by item, I pack for our move
to a place both familiar and yet unknown
pursuing a life or perhaps a dream
of days filled with fulfilling work and challenges
met with a smile, a laugh, and joy
and evenings filled with stars, friends, and peace.

What will it take to find that peace?
Does the solution lie with this next move?
Or does the truth lie with inner joy
and acceptance that life is a journey into the unknown
with every day bringing new challenges
as we pursue our ever-changing dream?

What happens when we become unsure and dream-
less, tossing and turning at night in search of elusive peace?
Perhaps the search for a new dream becomes one of the challenges
which keeps a soul vibrant and constantly on the move
always  embracing the unexpected and the unknown
which will sometimes bring sadness but more often joy.

What if you find life is not filled with joy?
Or that everything you hope for is only a dream?
Then the next step becomes another unknown
followed by another, and another, and another until you find the peace-
ful place inside your heart which encourages a move
toward other dreams, other stories, other challenges.

Unless, of course, you wish for a life without challenges,
but for me that seems like a life without joy.
For me a successful challenge is a move
toward the next step of the journey and piece of the dream.
Knowing I can handle what comes gives me a sense of peace
even as I journey into the unknown.

I knowingly take steps toward the unknown
trusting that life will not give me any challenges
I cannot face. Knowing that even days not filled with peace,
can still be filled with joy.
As long as I keep working toward a dream
then nothing bad will happen on this, or any,  move.

While I don’t know what challenges this move
will bring, I believe that the unknown dream
is the one that will bring me peace and joy.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julia Skinner
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 10:23:52

    I’m going to look up Sestina. This was a really great read. You are good at poetry (I think I’ve said that before!)


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Aug 20, 2011 @ 10:25:39

      Thank you Julia. I meant to link to a page describing a Sestina, but forgot. I’ll do that now.


  2. Julia Skinner
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 10:25:56

    I’ve looked it up – blimey! It’s maths as well as literacy!! Brilliant!


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Aug 20, 2011 @ 10:30:36

      I love that you just said “blimey!” I approach it by writing the first stanza, and then listing the words on a chart so that I can reference them as I work through the rest. I also write down the order they are supposed to be in, otherwise my head hurts.


  3. CMSmith
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 11:35:25

    Hope you find your peace. I, too, am going to look up sestina. I wrote a ghazal once for a poetry class. Maybe I’ll post it next time I have an uninspired day.


  4. Barbarann Ayars
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 12:08:21

    Sestina is a lovely work requiring disciplined thought, or at least, organized thought, at least for the Sestina!

    Finding peace is a work in progress, often with only enough of a glimpse to keep us doggedly moving toward it. Sometimes we find it in the midst of chaos, as repite. Sometimes we find it in a starry night….I often hope at least for stars when sleep eludes me. Sometimes we find it in the soft brown eyes of the unconditional dog. And sometimes it is buried too far under the messiness of living. Zen, which is just beyond me, works well for those who grasp it. When I’m really whacked, my daughter tells me to go see a movie. Think I’ll do that tomorrw, I loved The Help, and thnk the movie worth watching.


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Aug 20, 2011 @ 12:24:44

      You will have to let me know how it is. I loved the book as well, and I want to see the movie, but I’m not sure when or if I will get the chance. I enjoyed writing this sestina as it helped organize my thoughts and guide them toward what I am really looking for, peace and joy.


  5. She's a Maineiac
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 13:03:28

    That was a wonderful poem! Loved it.
    “Knowing I can handle what comes gives me a sense of peace
    even as I journey into the unknown” Beautiful line!


  6. nrhatch
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 13:06:22

    Well done, Lisa. Beautiful sestina.

    When we have faith that everything will work to our advantage in the end . . . then it doesn’t matter what is happening right now.

    It’s all good. We feel peace.

    For example . . . the fire in the place you were going to rent kept you from a move you didn’t need to make . . . and kept you from signing a lease you would have been compelled to break.

    The fire (which caused uncertainty) worked to your advantage.

    When we stop wanting to judge this “good” and that “bad” . . . our energy is not dispersed in non-productive ways. It’s all expended to keep us moving forward.

    Just start . . . and let the path unfold before you.


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Aug 20, 2011 @ 13:48:12

      I think the fire was a blessing in disguise for many reasons. My friend, who was renting the house from us, was in many ways released from family pressures because of it. And it certainly made our decision easier.


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