Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tea Time Sestina


This is my first ever sestina! It's more than a bit rough around the edges, but hey, that's what learning is all about, right? P.S. I'm having an awful time with the formatting, so I appologize if it doesn't look right on your screens!

Tea Time Sestina

When I was younger, my girlfriends and I would gather for tea 
on a summer porch facing a fine garden. There, the sounds of ceramic
and laughter, scents of scones piled with cream, the warmth of sunlight,
sweet of sneaked sugar cubes from the dish, jokes about the highway
at the edge of town which would one day lead to new lives and old age
left our hearts enamored with the future’s beauty.

Too often we talked of movie stars and divine new cars, in regards to beauty;
brains stuffed with the fluff of pop culture nonsense. But during our teas
we tended to our wishes, hopes and dreams, befitting our age,
and so at once felt very young and very wise, and loved that the ceramic
tea sets and their elixir. One by one we grew up, and left for the highway.
Long and unknown, the road was inevitably bright with that warm sunlight.

We found the world a wide, wild place, full of all sorts of sunlight;
some dark and fierce, some blown open, some even pink with beauty,
(New England… Oklahoma… Paris),  making us drive our respective highways
blinded.  Babies. Studies.  Hubbies. Jobs good and cruddy.  And still, our tea.
Truffles and delicate eclairs shaped like swans. Roses on our plates. Gilded ceramic,
and the garden with fat pet rabbit beloved from childhood till old age…

each memory sweet as sugar, the secrets and the victories—and I’m a young age
still, for now. And when I am not, I shall build a porch to catch the sunlight
of the afternoons and evenings, and fill that bright place with the ceramic
remnants of people’s lives bought at estate sales; fragile, breakable beauty
of a mismatched sort, piled with delicate yummies to tempt those reluctant to tea,
perhaps a haven to even those prone to a life too full of the highway.

The day I build that porch may be far down my own stretching highway.
Each day it looks longer and fuller of hills; I think this must be age
hinting I’m finally becoming a grown up lady. Perhaps I should just drink more tea;
I’m determined to be young enough to not know what to believe of the sunlight
on my winding path. In that way, the stress of life becomes a taste of beauty
like bitter cocoa to the chocolate which melts on sunlit antique ceramic.

There are so many metaphors between life and tea. The ceramic
a participant in people’s lives, the drive of those lives down their own highway,
perhaps on the way to a tearoom to gather with friends (that’s true beauty)
and wonder  (when young) what will happen, and then (with age)
remind one another what did; the future and the past all aglow in the sunlight
shining upon a smart group of friends, enjoying a nice long tea.

This is why I love ceramic cracked with use and age
of some other person’s highway, dulled by some other sunlight
and filled with dreams of beauty and hope…such is tea.


  1. ... sestina ?... what is that ? gonna google it now ... never heard the word before ...

  2. I'd heard of them but never written one before this. Basically you recycle all the end words of the first stanza, until the envoi, where you include two end words per line. I cheated and used an online format generator to help me remember which line needed to end with which word, and still had a really tough time with it! Practice makes...errr...better. Lol.

    I think when they're well done they have a beautiful effect...

  3. My word ... talk about mind-boggling !!
    And I thought that A~Z was stretching my brains ...the sestina looks like a minefield !!! *giggles*