So for some mysterious reason, I was struck last night at around midnight by the urge to attempt my first sestina. I think the idea for this was somehow influenced by Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance, whose new album, Genesis/The Opening of the Way, is an 8-section suite meant to evoke the story of creation. I finished this at around 3:30 a.m. Let me know what you think.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Now the earth was formless and empty,
darkness was over the surface of the deep,
and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."
- Genesis 1:1-2
Darkness at first, a photographic still Life: "Floorboards of a Deserted Stage," Perhaps, or simply "Desperation." Light Appeared out of the darkness. "Day" was formed For working; "Night" would be a time for rest. And there was evening and morning: the first day. On the morning of the second day, A wide expanse would separate the still Waters, an expanse called "sky." (The rest Was "ocean.") The expanse became a stage On which the cumulus and cirrus formed Circus acts, converging with the light. (My last intention is to make light Of these proceedings.) The third day Would give rise to "land," miraculously formed Out of nothingness. The land was still Unpopulated, at an early stage Of vegetable and sod. And still, no rest. Instead, the "moon" and "sun" were born; the rest Were "stars," or "gaseous orbs of heat and light," Barely flecks on a celestial stage, And utterly invisible by day. Despite their distance, ancient men would still Devise a science from the shapes they formed. By Thursday, whippoorwills and sharks were formed, Along with egrets, trout, and all the rest. And even then, there was something missing, still: The reptile's scales, the peacock's feathers, light Blue sparrow's eggs. Every day A step closer to the edge of the stage. His image was the final act. The stage Was set for great and noble things. He formed His arms, her lips, and every day They'd marvel at each other, taking rest In the Garden, shaded from the blinding light. At times like this, everything was still. And on the seventh day, the sea was still Made of water, formless as the light Of dawn. They staged a coup. You know the rest.