Monday 14 March 2011

Sestina A Day

I'm reviving this defunct old thing to challenge myself to write a sestina a day. they may not be good, but they scratch an itch in my brain. suggestions of sets of six key words very welcome.

This first one was suggested by Geraldine Byrne, who gave me the keywords 'damp, smoke, green, dark, stolen, free.'It is, as yet, untitled.

The flat is small and cold and smells of damp
and unwashed bodies, and the fragrant smoke
of cannabis, a sticky bag of green
lies on the floor. The room is growing dark
There's music coming from an ipod (stolen)
The lad is good at living cheap or free

He knows that he is lucky to be free
He'd rather be here in this tiny, damp
and smelly flat. Than inside. Cos he's stolen
More than ipods. And he tends to smoke
The kind of thing you purchase after dark
On street corners. He likes to see the green

Of city parks. In prison there's no green.
There have been times he nearly lost his free-
Dom, sent him running through the dark
The cops in hot pursuit, his forehead damp
But he can vanish like a puff of smoke.
He's not amoral. Everything he's stolen

Has been from rich old bastards, who have stolen
From us, the poor, for years as a green-
Eyed girl once said. She taught him how to smoke,
How to rebel, ignore the state, live free
A scared young runaway, afraid and damp
Lost in the freezing city after dark

Hers was the voice who called him from the dark
She shared with him a sandwich that she'd stolen
And said she knew a squat. Warm, not too damp
Where he could crash. Her eyes were emerald green
She said since she was 13 she'd been free
Her voice was low and scratchy from the smoke

Back at the squat she'd offered him a smoke
They'd cuddled close together in the dark
The boy felt that, at last, he might be free
To leave the past behind, a childhood stolen
And gaze intently into eyes of green
Remembering, his cheeks are growing damp.

But thoughts are free, and, when he starts to smoke
Though cold and damp, he doesn't mind the dark
Thinking of stolen kisses, eyes of green.

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