Friday, August 25, 2006

5 | "In this nocturnal street"       [sestina]

The night is dark and lonely
I walk the quiet street
existence is not only
a place to part and meet
the truth of things rests plainly
the heart's key   is its beat

The officer walks his beat
perhaps his job is lonely
he's dutiful   and plainly
he loves to pace the street
no lover does he meet
who is his one and only?

The sound of words is only
a color   with a beat
but in each word we meet
our union is less lonely
we share this common street
that stares at us so plainly

The voice would wander plainly
and find its solace only
in this nocturnal street
attentive   to the beat
its joy is soft and lonely
its pain   my hope to meet

How rarely do we meet
our fate is tangled plainly
no wonder we grow lonely
perhaps it isn't only
some problem to be beat
our desolation street

The nature of the street
allows that we might meet
no heart but has a beat
as living shows us plainly
yet seems it   I am only
an echo   faint and lonely

The street I walk is plainly
a place to meet you only
when beats your heart thus lonely


Blogger Rachel Dacus said...

David -- these are great! I especially like #5. I think you've found a form that suits you -- reminds me of your ghazals a bit, with the repetition of lines, the variations on which seem to be one of your specialties. Keep going!

Fri Aug 25, 03:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

Obliged for the encouraging word, Rachel, thanks. I've been surprised how much I fancy this form. I do find the rhymed sestina differs markedly in effect from the unrhymed (and I've not so far felt inclined to go in for the latter). I revised a couple lines in stanza 6 of this sestina #5 today (I think after your note here), btw. More to come inshallah.

Fri Aug 25, 06:03:00 PM PDT  

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