Escape From Paradise

Seaside sunfish sibs rest, side by side, like painted soldiers stretched out tall,
Until the salty breezes, like bugle taps, come calling,
And in reply, their whites soon billow on the wafting winds,
That once onshore, would merely swirl within the cove,
an undercurrent, ever present, down-propelling eddy-swirl,
From which there would no escape.

Drear days and endless nights she plotted, blind, obsessed, crafting her escape:
She’d gather in the dusky dawn, prepared to scale the lofty wall (too tall),
Then like a seagull, hovering unseen to snatch a hapless mollusk tossed within the briny swirl,
She’d wait for perfect moment; then in a flash, she’d slip away neath the cover of the calling
of the circling gulls that daily pierced the silence of the cove,
She’d race to join their quest against the gathering winds.

Because there’ve been too many nights of howling back at howling winds,
When she felt hopeless, no escape
from paradise, imprisoned in her cove,
Where every sun-filled day brought lithesome beauties, bronzed and tall,
Self-absorbed, and ignorant of her desperate calling,
Alas, her cries could not be heard above the maelstrom of the seas a-swirl.

Once she too, had lolled oblivious (like them) sipping on her pour of tasty swirl,
“Come, Love, share a sip! Soar with me, let us ride the thermal winds”
A hand-blown, crystal bowl of Burgundy, would mesmerize until, giggling, calling
to him: “Let’s Escape.
We’ll hide beneath cabanas tall,”
And so they did. Content (as wine within the glass), secure within, their secret cove.

His glances long ago had turned away, and since, she sought to leave Iguana Cove,
But he refused to set her free; yet dove again into the island swirl,
She watches when he cannot see; he, hanging ten and riding tall,
Acrest the waves and winds,
She must escape!
This tortured day to day, is not her calling.

The gentle calling,
cooing of the mourning doves sustains her soul, uplifting her from darkening depths of cove,
She hears their free-song, yearns to be them, as she fashions her escape,
She’ll be the mimic, but she cannot fly, or soar above the swirl,
Her song, long silenced, must command the winds,
Her wearied wings must somehow mend to bolster tall.

Instead, she’ll stealthy claim a sleek, bright craft, on which she’ll take the swirl,
Swiftly, she’ll escape from prison cove, set sail to catch the winds,
Once out to sea, she’ll steady up; the calling of ‘true north’ will soon her compass be, until at last, once more, she’ll (free) stand tall.

This is my first attempt at the poetic form known as sestina, prompted by my friend and fellow chorister, Ginny.

For more information and examples of the sestina form follow this link:

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