July 2014 Sestinas
Michelle Young is currently a board member of the Chattanooga Writers' Guild, and has been published in the poetry anthology Blanket Stories by Richard Jochum and Ruth Zamoyta. New to the world of poetry writing, she has become enamoured by form poetry—especially the Sestina. A singer and song writer by trade, Michelle has found that the transition from writing songs to writing poetry is a fun challenge, and she is learning a lot in the process.
Michelle lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with her husband Corey, and is also a vocal and song writing instructor at Music Instruction Studio.
The Book of Poems
She escaped the tower with naught but a book
Effervescent, her happiness bubbled through a laugh
Sixteen years she had roamed the land
Turning every rock, climbing every tree
Ignorant that she was not the only lady,
Not the only one looking for her lover
Separated by promises broken by her lover,
Ensnared by poems they had shared in a book
She decided she would again be a happy lady
Though for many years she could not laugh
Invigorated only by the view from a tree
Never staying long in the same land
She followed rumors throughout each land
Every place held evidence of her lover
Shades of foreshadowing beneath a great tree
Though she could never find the right book
Instantly she would open them and scoff with a laugh
"Not the right one" would sigh the pretty lady
Somewhere south of Nowhere came the lady
Especially tired from walking the land
She spotted a tower and began to laugh
There she knew would be home of her lover
In a wink she was in, and stealing the book
Now again she could read their poetry beneath a tree
She climbed hurriedly up into a nearby tree
Even though it was not becoming of a lady
She climbed even higher, holding tightly the book
The fear of being discovered, she hid in the land
Instead of dreaming of her lover
Night brought her another renewed laugh
She finally had the last laugh
Encouraged, she reclined beneath a shade tree
Sensing the ephemeral presence of her lover
Today she was a new lady
Interested not in travelling the land
Noticing only the lines in the book
As she re-read the book, she began to laugh
Again in the land, beneath the tree
A happy lady remembered her lover
On The Bridge
She was mesmerized by the summer shadows gliding across the bridge
and over her black shoes. Koyaanisqatsi. Enter the flood
zone if you dare, but I suspect
you will attempt to silence the messenger.
"Life out of balance", the cicadas chant.
"Life that is taken from us in one chemical swipe."
She finally moved an arm, only to swipe
at the gnats that held court on the bridge.
"Go to the lowlands" chant
the frogs. A dark flood
of red, and the messenger
has become the suspect.
Who would suspect
that with one swipe
of the pen, I would become the messenger?
There is a great gap to bridge
A stab of light, and yes, a flood
of words as the ravens begin their chant
"Join us in our chant".
they say. They do not suspect
the truth. My words were lost in the flood
of bitter that dribbled from my lips. A swipe
of anger, and I would cross that bridge
of wrath to become the furious messenger.
"But don't silence the messenger"
The will-o-wisps chant
into the wind. Still I stand on the bridge.
I don't suspect
a thing, but the gnats gather and I swipe.
Too many truths, and they swarm in a flood.
There is no dam to refrain the flood.
These truths fly, and I am the messenger.
"It just takes a swipe
to clean your mind" chant
the frogs. I don't suspect
I'll be returning to the bridge.
That bridge crosses the flood
which I suspect made me the messenger.
The cicadas continue their chant, and at the congregation of gnats I swipe.