Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pittsburgh in Sestina

Buildings on Penn

Pittsburgh, you inspire. Here is where I will push myself harder, like I said I would. Today in sestina. A form poem, hard on my pen, on my mind.

Park

"Pittsburgh"

Snow has fallen on Penn Avenue,
as golden morning, fallen, melting
and I walk past Heinz dead sign
pouring wishes red by ruffled bird
head cut near booted print of water
gathered on these winter shoes.

Morning meets our faces, lights our shoes
traipsing past chrysanthemums on Avenue;
I wonder if this smiling man wants water
even as he fingers tunes, accordion melting
Pittsburgh into Italy like blue crow bird
balancing on wires, pointing like a sign

to better days or worse days, unsign
my heart in city's morning, under shoes
like memories of Italy if I were crow bird
coming faster than a ship to Avenue,
bringing back a tune for you, melting
from the sun, off my wings like water

and you like red accordion, under water
moved with motion slow, muffled sign
of lilting love trembled fingers melting,
lay your undulating heart like shoes
skirting ice, skirting mud on Avenue
tipping toes to sky tapping like a bird

against a building, aged, flocked with bird
and bird and bird, flicking winged water
at a golden sun, over market on the Avenue,
daring with their beaks a silver studded sign
directing cars to park like spotted shoes
that walked the day, trod your memory melting

like reflections on the glass, Pittsburgh melting
old against the morning like a crow black bird
in final flight, mocking if he could your tap of shoes
that crack and split the concrete, splash the water
of my heart, poured out like Heinz red neon sign
drifting 'midst lost tune of accordion on Avenue

fading, fading like the light of morning over water
dreaming, dreaming for the surety of one last sign
clapping, clapping like a shoe or bird on melting Avenue.

building reflections

Pittsburgh at Sunrise

Head of a Bird

Golden Bridge

Accordian Player

Heinz Sign

Ice Fingers

Pittsburgh photos, by L.L. Barkat.

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14 Comments:

Blogger Solveig said...

Nice! Love the verbal images, and the visual images even illustrated!

4:04 PM  
Blogger Glynn said...

I really like place poems -- and I love pictures of red accordions to go with the words.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

You almost have me crying with this one! My Home. Roads I've traveled. Place of my birth. Where my family lives. Where my heart feels connected.
I am jealous. A few of the pics show the bridge to my parents' home.
Didn't realize how homesick I was until now...
Enjoy one of my favorite places.

6:36 PM  
Blogger TUC said...

Bravo, very very cool poem. A lot of work I bet :-)

7:11 PM  
OpenID togetherforgood said...

Wow. I had to look up the word "sestina." I was all impressed with my occasional foray into the word of the sonnet, but the sestina is way more complex. I'm impressed. Your words are beautiful. :)

8:56 PM  
Blogger Jim Martin said...

Now that piece looked like work! :) Very good! Very nice pictures, L.L.

9:26 PM  
Blogger A Simple Country Girl said...

All of it is grand. I love the imagery invoked from "melting Avenue" and then I see the last photo...

Blessings.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Marcus Goodyear said...

I've heard people say a Sestina is one of the hardest forms to write in--and one of the oldest, I think.

My favorite lines:

a silver studded sign
directing cars to park like spotted shoes
that walked the day, trod your memory melting

7:22 AM  
Blogger deb said...

How do you do this.

And so soon after.
I was away, and still can't put any of it into words.
You are incredible.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Sam Van Eman said...

Never heard of a sestina until now, and that's when I noticed your willingness to break code a bit with "unsign." Nice.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Monica Sharman said...

Ah, we may be in Pittsburgh this spring. I'll have to take your sestina with me.
And oh, how you spur me on, challenging me on and on in poetry. You make it irresistible, so that now I must learn about the sestina and try one, no matter how my fledgling attempts turn out.
Thank you very much.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Pittsburgh holds bittersweet memories for me. I found her with the eyes of first love. Those memories...ahh, how I treasure the feelings they evoke. I last walked her streets with a gaggle of fifth graders (will visit her again with second son's class in April). The time in between laughed at me as i stood on the bank and gazed at the three rivers converging.

Life gives gifts everyday. There is nothing like being reminded of the gift of many years all at once.

4:34 PM  
Blogger nAncY said...

i really liked what you did with sestina. your words mademe want to visit there.

i just had to look up kevin solecki.

i love the photo of the bridge and tree. the light on the bridge and the colour it brings...ahhhh nice.

7:42 PM  
Blogger nAncY said...

i also wish i could have gone with you on your photo shooting.

7:43 PM  

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