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Submitted on
October 17, 2009
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She leaps and whirls to a ritual beat,
Bare feet kicking loose the earth;
None of us, idle by, know her name,
Or why, on Halloween, she comes -
Each year, the same slow night
Each year, her same swift sway.

No vaulted stars illuminate her way,
Lulled or snake-charmed by the beat
Resounding in this deep-well night;
Perhaps they, like us, crashed to earth,
To this place where dream-touched come,
To this place which has no name.

She mouths and mimes the names
Of the countless many who lost their way;
Those who would not, could not come
And herald thunder's echoing drum-beat:
Her hard footfalls on the loam and earth,
Her hard footfalls in the night.

Others curse and rail against the night,
Fearing demons they dare not name,
We feel them, restless, beneath the earth,
And stirred this night, always;
Awakened by the lady's pulse-warm beat,
Awakened by the night, they come.

Our fears, now shaped, are swift to come,
Rising with the tide of slow-fall night -
From chambers low and deep, an ascending beat,
Speaking to us who go unnamed,
Tempting us, offering us a different way,
Tempting us to a worm-fed womb of earth.

"Go back!" cries she, and grasps the earth,
Kneeling, shaken, the passion come;
"I have come to light the way
And hereon free you this hallowed night;
You who have come, unnamed,
You who answered a siren's swift drum-beat."

And now, the way is open; join the night,
Or steal to earth, forsaking she who has no name;
Dawn comes in a heartbeat.
My first sestina. Submitted for Sestina-ween - [link] . Topic, obviously, is Halloween. If you don't know what a sestina is, it is explained in that link.
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:iconlittlecloudflower:
littlecloudflower Feb 1, 2011  Student Writer
Wow, this is amazing...A sestina is so hard to write, yet you made the strict form into a beautiful and haunting story.
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:icontimeraider:
timeraider Feb 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, VERY difficult to write. And I consider myself a structural poet, largely.

Thank you very much for the kind words!
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:iconlittlecloudflower:
littlecloudflower Feb 4, 2011  Student Writer
Yeah, do tell. I had to write one for school once. It was fun, but the story didn't make much sense...^^; So I was very impressed by yours! You're very welcome! :D
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:icontimeraider:
timeraider Nov 22, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for reading, and for the favorite.
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:iconloveyoulater:
loveyoulater Nov 13, 2009
I admit, I've never read a sestina before so I followed the link to see what they were before I read. And, wow! I imagine that would have taken some work! I don't think I could've done it; I prefer my words free.

But I just love this; it paints such a vivid image. We don't celebrate Halloween in my country, but I think you've really captured darkness and eeriness in this piece. Gorgeous. I read with my heart racing.

My favourite line is; Tempting us to a worm-fed womb of earth.

But I also just adore; Dawn comes in a heartbeat. It brings the whole poem to a big dead-stop.

Great work! (And congratulations on winning second place!)
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:icontimeraider:
timeraider Nov 13, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the kind remarks.
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:iconrlkirkland:
rlkirkland Oct 31, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
First time's a charm.:)
Congratulations on your 2nd place finish.
Well done! :heart:
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:icontimeraider:
timeraider Oct 31, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
That's very kind, thank you.
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:iconrlkirkland:
rlkirkland Nov 1, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Your welcome :sun:
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