July 2014 Sestinas
David Kann is a refugee from academic administration who returned to poetry and got himself into an MFA from Vermont College. Keeping his head down and teaching poetry—both reading and writing—is his pleasure and his reward for his misspent years.
Sestina of Creation
The creator lolls in the void’s embrace.
His infant gaze takes in the endless dark.
He cries in terror at the empty air
and silence. Loving him, the still void parts
herself birthing him and makes dark and light,
self-sacrificed to the sweet dream of form.
Enthralled by the loving promise of form,
he curls himself alone, in his own embrace,
warms in her self-destruction’s gift of light.
He knits the gulf between blaze and darkness;
in his green joy, water from land he parts,
spinning coasts out of the glittering air.
He drifts lazily through the soft, lush air,
longing to answer the question of form.
Tired of monotony, he fills the parted
land with life, no longer dull and void, embraced
by silky leaves; juicy, speckled fruits; purple
plums and silver-furred stems under honeyed light.
Sprawled in the new grass, he thinks of what light
might tell day of night, rises in the air,
slices bright luscious dawn from succulent dark.
Spinning, he flings constellations in their forms,
diamond stars across the void, time-embraced
in hot flecks. Sun from silver moon he parts.
Then he touches the face of the sea, new-parted.
Blue bright jelly waves toss in the young sun’s light.
He sees that this bright rowdy prairie embraced
by land is empty. From the glittering air
seizes bright scales, makes fish of abundant forms.
Great whales fluke-salute him from the wet dark.
At sunset, then, in the rising dark,
he discovers loneliness. Now parted
from his birth, he tears from the seething form
of his own shaping self the clumsy light
of fallible thought. He takes clay, breathes air
into bawdy man, shrouded in his embrace.
Now in the new dark he rests, dreaming of light,
from his mother-void parted, he sleeps in the air,
child-father of form, curled in his word’s embrace.