Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Depths of Hungers ~ A Sestina (Poem)

Depths of Hungers ~ A Sestina 

Tie your life to the weather
and you soon learn the meaning
of everything elemental you cannot ignore:
how your body first will notice thirst,
then twist as your stomach withdraws in hunger,
then grow shaky, thinking warmth nourishes.

Food fills a part of you emptied but what nourishes
the dry interior isn't slow steady rain. You question whether
your wants matter when it's another's hunger
cracking open impoverished fields, reminding you of the meaning
of seasons in denial, of giving up and giving over to thirst
for the one thing you look to and cannot ignore.

It's true you do your best to ignore
where need settles inside, fast on what you know nourishes
the one not you. Long ago you learned to slake your thirst
in silence, never minding that quiet is the clue to how the weather
goes. Still, you seek in yourself ways to stretch meaning
from want, to climb out from the depths of your own hungers.

What's more than he could ever hunger
for, you give. What you give, you no longer can ignore.
You pick through remnants of time for tokens of meaning,
the celebrated ways an unexpected touch nourishes
reactions below the skin, resolves the days of stormy weather,
returns desire till it's spent, holds back your thirst

for more than he might offer. He does not check his thirst,
suffers no excuse to deny the appeal that hungers
outside your door, pays no mind to charting the weather
beyond the occasional storm cloud. What you would ignore
he has long since claimed your right, telling no one what nourishes
your loss of words, what leaves your life split in meaning.

So, imagine your story with a different ending; how, not meaning
to, you chance some connection borne of growing thirst
and discover how light even from a burned-out sun nourishes
what the eyes have missed, staves off return of hunger.
Count on everything elemental to be restored. Do not ignore
how your heart will race once you chance a change in the weather.

You trust deep thirst to be a sign you can't ignore
any more than a hunger you may not name. What nourishes
a heart through cruelest weather forever holds its meaning.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas
________________________________________________

My other sestinas are:

Memory of Stones, Reminders to Forget

The Interview

After-Effects of Fire

23 comments:

Glynn said...

Outstanding, Maureen.

Megan Willome said...

I am weeping, Maureen, weeping. This drought has affected me in ways I don't understand, at least, not until I read your poem.

L.L. has made me love sestinas!

Andressa said...

very good.

Hannah Stephenson said...

You are so good at these. I think what's working for you is the varied line lengths...

S. Etole said...

That last line found itself in my heart ... forever.

Brian Miller said...

maureen this is deeply moving...and great to form as well...may all hearts survive whatever weather is thrown at them...

Claudia said...

wow maureen - this is moving, excellent metaphors and deep wisdom.. really touched me

rgd. your comment...i've been to that place and of course had some gelati...smiles

Stephie Goldfish said...

Maureen, Your poem is deeply moving. I was over at Kelly's site just now and the title of your Sestina caught my eye. So glad I visited both places today.

nance marie said...

wonderful voice.

Glynn said...

I came back to read and comment again. You do some extraordinary poetry, Maureen, and this is one of the most extraordinary.

Patricia said...

a feast... i am full ... wordless...

Patricia said...

a veritable feast... I am full... wordless.

poemblaze said...

Wow. I've only written one sestina I was happy with. You're on a roll!

hedgewitch said...

Another fine sestina, worthy of many reads, full of a grounded sense of nature and self.

Louise Gallagher said...

I agree -- outstanding!

Poetic Soul said...

This could start a movement, its really good... hot weather in my opinion is the worst, hope it gets betterrt a movement, its really good... hot weather in my opinion is the worst, hope it gets better

Poetic Soul said...

This could start a movement, its really good... hot weather in my opinion is the worst, hope it gets better

Ruth said...

You craft such a fine poem with these forms, Maureen.

Ann Grenier said...

Wonderful poetry Maureen. Your weather metaphor is works beautifully.

jen revved said...

Powerful, beautiful poem, Maureen. No way to ignore your mastery of craft and of the sestina at this point-- I especially loved:

So, imagine your story with a different ending; how, not meaning
to, you chance some connection borne of growing thirst
and discover how light even from a burned-out sun nourishes
what the eyes have missed, staves off return of hunger.

Each of these stanza's is profound as anything of Rilke's, IMHO...xxxj thanks for posting link w/us.

Kerry O'Connor said...

A sestina is an exhausting thing to write, and one can become so wrapped up in the repeating words, one loses the gist of the poem. Congratulations on maintaining the flow from start to finish. Your last three lines really pack a punch.

Mystic_Mom said...

very nicely done...brava!

L.L. Barkat said...

I missed this one before. I'm glad I clicked through.

Your sestina satisfies, marvelously.