For the Ghost of Christmas Future
This ends my trio of Christmas ghost poems, in honor of David's dare.
I thought to finish with a sestina, one of the more challenging forms. Thirty-nine lines. Six stanzas of six lines each, then a final stanza of three lines. The words (or tricky forms of them) at the ends of the lines repeat in a rolling fashion. See if you can figure it. Then in the final stanza, all the words from the ends of the lines repeat in a particular order, to create a grand finale of word-inclusion.
If I close my starless eyes,
I can remember winter's future
where rooftops sing with icicles;
I dare them with red lips,
Drop your soul on me.
I cannot undo
the way they pierce my eyes,
sing a rhythmic do, re, mi,
coax the present to come early to my future
where carolers make o's with lips
on winter nights long-strung with icicles.
When sky turns velvet, breathing icicles
to carolers long overdue
on streets where I have whispered lips
to lips until you felt I'd
blinded you with promises of future
sung, and strung, a mistletoe of me
and we would tumble into infamy,
two royal loves with crowns of icicles
sleighing towards a holly-braided future
and there'd be much ado
for everything—especially your eyes,
especially my red and whispered lips.
Twelve golden fairies pursing crimson lips
might tend your hands that reach for me
to save my heart, my soul, my eyes
from slipping swords of falling icicles
that hurtle from the universe of do
and did and still-to-do for future
dreams of memories pressing to the future,
where rubied glass meets rubied lips
and we reach back to reach through time, undo
the snow lace falling, calling you from me,
calling you to merge your soul with icicles,
let them take the crystals of your eyes.
I still remember future nights when, starred, your eyes
meet rubied lips; it's all that they could do
to keep me stringing crowns, stop my turning into icicles.
Swing in Snow photo, by L.L. Barkat.