Here is my third sestina of NaPoWriMo, I have tried but by the end stanzas, went for rhyming words, ran out of use for the repeating words. I didn’t have a very clear idea with this one until the end, so I think it needs a lot of editing. I took the end words from Ian McEwan’s book, The Cement Garden.
Who first painted a sunset?
The sea has been haunting the sky, sending messages upstairs
On the wings of seagulls, cart wheeling, cat calling, concentrating
Retaining in the end only the surface of the question and behind
That surface only the echo of an answer, never finished
An essay with countless crosses and ticks, the markers pen wheelbarrows
Across its pages. The sea is in the sky’s bad books again, gone grey as cement
To reflect its mood, the rolling clouds all heavy with aggression, hardened cement
Churning above water, coating its liquid with solid colour. A painter alone upstairs
Locked in a loft raging at the blank canvas, wrist deep in his lacquer, burrowing
Into his mind ferociously. So does the sky deepen its palate of shade, concentrated
Fumes of red, gold, blue intoxicate the sea like a man might with a woman finish
Off the last drink, buy her another, throat full of emotion and liquor prompting behind
The scenes that we descry. I learnt a choir of angels and God designed
The clouds, orchestrated the movements of rain and sun smooth as cars on cement
Roads busy navigating between city and sea, never knowing they will be finishing
Up in the sky, no matter what direction they follow. Its loneliness sucking us upstairs
As servants always sleep in the attic, we sleep and wake to the sky’s call concentrated
As a dream, a vision who is voiceless, yet full of sight as bricks fill a wheelbarrow
Constructing the drama of a sunset, a dusk, a dawning, the wheels on body’s barrow
Turning and spinning us towards the grave, never looking in front or behind.
The sea is restless under the sky’s weight, its abundance is concentrated
In waves constant as seagulls never ceasing cry. Bound with a pull like cement
Narcissist longings for one another, constantly looking, two cats each end of the stairs
Both posing sleek as seals, rain pelts smatter their faces, the painter is never finished
Always picking up their brush and attacking the white, a book unfinished
An eddy of pigment chasing itself in circles, ceaseless as the tire marks of barrows
Nature teaching art how to breathe, life to life, together they ascend the stairs
Winding up inside a lighthouse, gazing out, sky-height and sea face neatly aligned They are making up adverbs, mouth to mouth, changing sentiments
The wind thrashing their sentences into shapes which continually concentrate
Endless repetition, beautiful as a kaleidoscope to a child who concentrates
On the patterns changing colours, fascinatingly unfinished, their sight famished
By humans overlays of the world by concrete, steel, cementing
The world together. For relief look to the sea, the sky, a wheeling sparrow
Visits both in its flight, seeking out South breezes salt tinged, behind
The disc of the sky is no one with no singing, banishment bodes up the stairs.
The stairs to get there hang between the painter’s brush, behind
His pastel scenes of country life, he concentrates on trying to finish, mind wheeling,
But is left with the borrowed plumes of a sunset, drying out to dusty cement.