02 January 2013

Another January First: a sestina

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Another January first, keep them coming:
I awoke early from my spiritual retreat
walking slowly toward breakfast after the bell,
past crumpled dark luminaries and frost ready
to melt, and I was in step with other seniors
some speaking, some silent with worshipful intent.

We woke early at our religious retreat
after a feast night with music, ringing the bells—
senior citizens waiting to hear God, ready
for earth's midnight.  We've gathered together, senior
moments on hold, radios turned off, so intent
on this December thirty first. Keep them coming.

We walked slowly toward breakfast after the bell
hoping to find even breakfast changed and ready
for anything but the same cereals seniors
eat daily.  But, I asked comrades, what if—intent
as we are on change—we miss the joy of coming
to familiar comforts with no need to retreat?

We look around, we dark luminaries, ready
to glow as suns in training, stars of the senior
class, ready to graduate, to commence, intent
on lighting the wicks of insight!  Keep them coming.
Today is not just a day—today ends retreat.
Finally this morning we know, so, ring the bell.

Let no one say we are over-the-hill seniors
depressed by cereal and eggs.  We are intent
on being heard in congress and we are coming
in droves to plant ourselves on the paths.  Since retreat,
we grow strong, bold again with a liberty bell
in our voices, soul riding on backbones, ready.

New Year’s Eve and day worship renew our intent
to move as God leads us and so we are coming
to walk on the wild side after this brief retreat.
We're full of enthusiasm this morning. Bells,
we eat granola and go to meeting ready
to leave retirement, graduating seniors.

January first's coming again.  No retreat.
Listen to the bells peal and send us out, ready
to love as only seniors can, with great intent. 

Posted for OpenLinkNight ~ Week 77 ~ Happy New Year!! at dVerse Poets Pub.  Happy New Year!  

Copyright © 2013 S.L.Chast



Mary said...

What a wonderfully optimistic beginning to the new year. I like "Listen to the bell ringing and break out......"

Sabio Lantz said...

Interesting play on the word "Seniors"
Oh how the baby boomers show us the foley of our finances.
Expecting the bottom to feed the top
Of every expanding taxes
And expense with no end

I hope some senior are indeed bold enough, with a strong spine
Hard decisions are needed and most of our Congress are seniors
Who could retire but can't get enough.

The retreat snapshot was fun.

BTW, Edit: We woke early at an late religious retreat --> A late

Susan said...

Thank you, Sabio! You make good points. A lot of the baby Boomers are seniors too. Fixed the edit.

Grace said...

I like the bold voice and rising above the depressed cereals ~ Let the bells ring loud and with enthusiasm & intent ~

Grace said...

I like the bold and rising voice above the depressed cereals ~

Let the bells ring strong and with intent ~

Brian Miller said...

smiles...i love going on retreat...it is so refreshing and invigorating...and to be around others that are focusing the same...i hope it does carry over for you and you dance the wild a bit and make a difference.....

happy new year susan

Claudia said...

We grow strong, bold again with a liberty bell
in our voice....ha...that is great...now go and walk on the wild side...i like...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

WOW! Now THAT'S the way to begin the new year! "Ready to love as only a senior can, with intent." Yes, keep them coming, new years days, mornings, bells, granola and poems. What a wonderful and joyous read this was!

Victoria said...

So much to love about this, Susan. I love the idea of a retreat to end and begin the year and it was an annual practice in my former lifestyle (see about) and I still try to spend extra time in prayer and reflection. I'm NOT a party kind of animal. Also, the sestina is one of my favorite forms. I love how the word choices lead to the poetic theme. Nicely done and happy new year.

Hannah said...

So many thought-provoking yet beautifully phrased lines here, Susan...

"dark luminaries, ready
to glow as Suns in training"


on lighting the wicks of insight"

Just to skim the surface...

Great writing and delving into your New Year intentions, too. :)

WabiSabi said...

Keep them coming.... a plea of sorts and repeated throughout.... perhaps for a time... until weariness takes over driving the bus. An anthem for young seniors but not necessarily the old seniors who have lived too long.

Unknown said...

nice wordplay throughout here. Nicely done. I haven't gone on a retreat in so long. Used to go a couple times a year, but just haven't made it recently. Quite an excellent piece Susan. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm impressed. Wonderful sestina. They are very difficult and this one just flows, the repetitions amplifying the meaning. Well done. (And happy new year!) k.