by Thomas Davis
To John Stevens and Nick Moore
The dragon, deep inside the earth, the cave
Warmed by the bubbling natural pool,
Its scales half-moons that glistened blue
In light that emanated from the fires
That seemed refracted off a mirror’s shine,
Stared at the mages’ mumbling sing-song words.
Their incantations changed from spoken words
That echoed through the darkness of the cave
Into a rain of rainbows, dropping shine
Into the watered depths inside the pool.
The dragon’s eyes began to whirl with fires
Intense with cold and sparks of sapphire blue.
As light shot out from dragon eyes, a blue,
Dark luminescence glowed with rainbow words
That seemed as if they burned with endless fires
As timeless as the dark inside the cave.
The mage’s eyes, the dragon’s eyes began to pool
A meaning from the deep, dark water’s shine.
“Time is a watch,” the first mage said. “A shine
That lets a human get through heartaches blue
Enough to color universes, pool
Through generations into endless words
That forms an understanding of the cave
That makes of human minds great human fires.”
“Time is the earth,” the young mage said. “It fires
Up summers long with sun, then brings fall shine
To forests dancing red and gold as winter’s cave
Spreads fields of snow beneath skies’ frigid blue
Until the birds of spring begin to sing and words
From poets makes the world a spring fed pool.”
The blue-scaled dragon blinked its swirling pool
Of rainbow eyes and flicked its tongue at fires
Beyond the sight of mages, made its words
Into a stream of images, a shine
That showed the Book of Time as water, blue,
That bubbles warmth into a deep earth cave.
And time spun from the darkness of the cave
Into the world above and skies shined blue
As hearts lived lives inside time’s endless shine.
Note: A number of poets have been writing sestinas and publishing them on their blogs. There are different kinds of sestina, of course. The pattern used here is: 1. ABCDEF, 2. FAEBDC, 3. CFDABE, 4. ECBFAD, 5. DEACFB, and 6. BDFECA. The last three lines in an Italian sestina are used to summarize the poem. I have dedicated this poem to two masters using traditional forms: John Stevens and Nick Moore, who inspired me to write this after they published sestina masterpieces on their wordpress sites. I wish I could write with such mastery of craft and form.