sanctuary robes

Today, I was given the structure of a sestina in which to write a poem. A sestina must contain 6 stanzas with 6 lines each with the same 6 words required at the ends of the lines. The poem ends with a 3 line envoy containing those same 6 words.  The end words must be in a prescribed pattern or order (ABCDEF, FAEBDC…etc).  The end words in this exercise were also given to me — they are sanctuary, blue(blew), so (sew), tear, fabric, and light

This was not an easy task for me to work. I expect this piece could be reworked and refined over days and weeks, and years but I’ve one hour. Okay, excuses made…. oh dear, I am already missing the point of the poem.

I have yearned for true sanctuary

where this penetrating feeling of blue

might dive into complementary waters so

invitingly deep and clear, that the tear,

which eternally promises to dampen this fabric,

might instead be a prism of light


supported by such an embrace, i am light

released of the weight that burdens, for this sanctuary

simply gathers  me into the weave of life’s fabric,

where my grays flow with ease into blue

so that even this rending tear

is not received as too ragged to sew


i once dreamt of a garment so

flowing,  when it dressed me, my heart was light

as a maiden who has not known the tear

that will ravage her green sanctuary. 

The gown was the royalest of exquisite blue

as if fashioned from enchanted fabric


And I conceived being wrapped in such fabric

would embrace the whole of me so

that this earthbound heaviness, transformed by that blue

might be upheld by the presence of light

Was this merely a dream , this sanctuary

or might that great sea be enough for these tears


for the same salt contained in the tear

Is within all the waters of life, the very fabric

of every birth, and inherent within sanctuary

as womb of protection and growth, so

am I also made of such light

which I merely perceive as deep blue ?


I close my eyes now, wade into that blue

Wrap the sea in me ‘round that tear

until floating, my heart becomes light

as the graceful and billowing fabric

that this life has taught me to sew

from the deep compassion of



The whole of me is welcomed into the light of this abiding Sanctuary

The tear in that regal cloth, so precious, I needn’t labor to sew

for in the depths of this ocean, blue, we are all made of the same Fabric.


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