Truth vs. Lies {a sestina}


What words will you speak tonight?
Cunning, pithy, sugary lies?
In a new morning
enchanted with light, think not I will forget
your prevarications when the droplets of dew
drip on tears of midnight’s blue.

Will words always be black, shaded with blue,
and spoken by day-shadows, too? Night
ends finally, as I wait for the dew
to evaporate in a pillar of cloud. He lies
quietly, like a lion ready to attack. Yet when Love speaks, I forget
the darkness and see the breath of morning.

I’ve danced in songs of mourning,
but also in streams turned yellow from blue…
Still, the enemy whispers, to tempt me forget
by eve’s turn, tonight—
to detract with false luster and reframed lies–
the sparkle that blooms in the dew.

To such as you, nothing is due,
sir- but you are no gentleman. Morning
makes it clear, your lies
disappeared when truth blew
on your thin skin, and so you will succumb, too. Night
will not swallow me; I will not forget!

The truth, no, I cannot forget
when Love has spoken as gently as dew;
those silver drops that vanish into stars tonight,
and the blush of the morning
when she steps out of darkened blue–
yes, Love speaks loud enough to shatter fragile lies.

But you would try further, to have me believe lies?
You think I’d flounder and forget
Love’s hope and promises? The day your words blew
in eternal wind, didn’t that do
for you? I believe in the hope of morning
and will remember the sunrise tonight.

From blue to yellow, deep truth springs from shallow lies,
Love will sing tonight, and will not let me forget
the hope of morning that shines in spheres of glistening dew.

This poetry form is called a Sestina, in which six words are repeated in an ordered sequence at the end of each line in each stanza, in the following format:
1 2 3 4 5 6         – End words of lines in first sestet.
6 1 5 2 4 3         – End words of lines in second sestet.
3 6 4 1 2 5         – End words of lines in third sestet.
5 3 2 6 1 4         – End words of lines in fourth sestet.
4 5 1 3 6 2         – End words of lines in fifth sestet.
2 4 6 5 3 1         – End words of lines in sixth sestet.
(6 2) (1 4) (5 3)   – Middle and end words of lines in tercet.

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