The dream repeating in every night
Dreaming emptily and lightly of darkness
Deeper and deeper until the waking light
Afloat like embered paper-scraps burning
Over warm and scented gusts of wind
Ends my restless and loveless waiting
Within, the dream-walls echo, waiting
Wherein, breathing, some fragment of night
Drawing the air into lungs this wind
Exhaling heatened, the air to the darkness
Unknowing embraced by that silent burning
Unseen in those long moments without light
Oh, how long are the hours between light and light
How often do I spend those dreaming nights waiting
The candles too dear to waste in burning
Away the looming unseeing walls of night
And the heatened chambers, even in darkness
Stifling without the charity of a chilling wind
And what would I do, in those nights without wind
If in that restless sleep of slender light
Those rustling dreadful legions of darkness
slipped past my opened window and candle, waiting
Tumbled lit into the curtain to bring the night
Into a sudden furious holocaust burning?
That harsh and solitary burning
Flicked into life by some wicked wind
Flame asunder this peaceful night
Kindled blankets combusted under flame-lit light
And burn away the flannel under which lies waiting
My unknown soul hiding in darkness?
Better then to lie alone in that darkness
And forebear this tempting candle's burning
Spend rather these nights in restless waiting
And lock the casement 'gainst a vagrant wind
In timid fear of careless wax-lit light
And dream alone of endless night
Hold, darkness - birth me a passionate wind!
Spark a slumbering ember into burning light!
And fire! Consummate this waiting night!
Reading a set of annotations on Bujold's A Civil Campaign, I found myself reading about sestinas, and decided to write one to understand the form a little better. Back when I was writing bad poetry, someone accused me of being a "formalist", although my actual knowledge of the traditional forms was appallingly slight. I figured I ought to try my hand at this at least once.