Enduring Love

Photo: pexels.com labeled for non-commercial reuse

Photo: pexels.com
labeled for non-commercial reuse

love that endures
a sestina

you sit beside the hearth and dream
of years long past, of youth
those days so filled with dance, with life
that you do not forget
you walked in worlds of swirling greens
gave birth beneath the sky

you revel ‘neath cerulean skies
and catch a glimpse of dreams
and thus the burgeoning of green
as you reclaim your youth
those signs of spring you won’t forget
for you still pulse with life

in aging, still you sing of life
your eyes reflect the sky
you smile at love you can’t forget
those memories of dreams
fulfilled when you were full of youth
midst flowers, in fields green

you stood by him in days of green
he held you throughout life
you gave each other joys of youth
‘neath bound’ry of the sky
he was the answer to your dreams
you never will forget

a love that’s easy to forget
cherishes flowers, the green
of grass and sun, the blissful dream—
can these endure through life
when clouds obscure the blue, blue sky
and aging foils youth

how easy to enjoy one’s youth
and facile to forget
the promise made ‘neath azur skies
delight-filled days of green
yet to endure the stuff of life
we need more than to dream

beyond your youth, those days of green
(lest you forget) the greatest life
soars to the skies, surpasses dreams

Throughout the month in which we celebrate Valentine’s Day, much is written about love–most of which is about younger people, with an erotic twist quite often. Today, I want to write about love that has lasted throughout the ups and downs of a relationship, of the years. Love that the Greeks refer to as agape, love that is about the choices we make for the well-being of another. I have been privileged to witness that sort of love in my life as a nurse, when a caregiver puts aside oneself for the sake of his ill or cognitively impaired loved one.

I wrote this in response to a challenge from a fellow poet, Bjorn, to write a sestina in which the end words of each line follow a specific pattern throughout six stanzas, each of six lines, ending with a tercet that uses the six words in internal rhyme, also following a pattern. If you want to learn more about this complex form, go here

I will post this for OLN on Thursday and on my Christian Blog: Be Still and Know That I Am God. I am also linking this to Sanaa Rizvi’s Prompt Nights.


33 thoughts on “Enduring Love

  1. Sean Michael says:

    You did a good job with this poem, and I like the way you described that a certain love. We need more of this love in the world.


  2. Bekkie says:

    Now that I’m older I have to remind myself of how love used to be and although love ages it’s still good. Nice job Victoria I could never do one of these.


  3. Kate Mia says:

    LiFe n0w..:)


  4. therisa says:

    Thank you, Victoria, for furthering my poetic education, which I must admit, ended, in 1990, when I finished high school. As poetry was made almost impossible for me, given my various learning disabilities. In reading, this poem, am reminded of my oma and opa, and their 53+ years of shared loves, spanning two continents.


  5. Anna says:

    Agape always reminds me of Saint Sophia and her daughters; I wear her necklace. This is a beautiful and deeply spiritual poem, and refreshing in a culture obsessed with youth. The sestina form can be so challenging but you make it seem effortless here.


  6. “yet to endure the stuff of life
    we need more than to dream”
    A powerful thought woven into an eloquent piece. I can appreciate the effort that must go into this form. Beautiful !


  7. Bodhirose says:

    I love the sestina and you did a superb job of it with your meaningful subject. We can learn a lot through the example of those who can maintain their love for one another through the trials of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. .Victoria, this is strikingly beautiful! That’s the lasting kind of love.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ShirleyB says:

    Oh, Victoria, what a beautiful sestina. Depth, flow and meaning. Perfect 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Misky says:

    This is a brilliant poem, and so worthy of several reads. A treasure.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. sreejaharikrishnan says:

    So good to read and here love is so divine…loved this!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A very dear read remembering youthful love and promises kept…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Bryan Ens says:

    The difference between love and list is huge. One is self focused, but when love is focused outward…now that is a beautiful thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Em says:

    Oh my, how I love this:
    “those days so filled with dance, with life
    that you do not forget
    you walked in worlds of swirling greens
    gave birth beneath the sky”

    And these:
    “you smile at love you can’t forget”
    “a love that’s easy to forget
    cherishes flowers”

    How do you guys do this??? I’m in awe.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. whimsygizmo says:

    How beautiful, Victoria.
    Sestinas are the burpees of the poetic exercise circuit. I was tempted to pick up you and Bjorn’s gauntlet this week…but alas, have not had the time needed. Plus also: they are my nemesis. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Beautiful call Victoria! Read both yours and Bjorn’s. Just amazing. Takes lots of thinking to come to this. Hope to try it sometime later. Yes, the untiring love and unselfish sacrifices of caregivers can never be understood but admired wholeheartedly. Great!


    Liked by 1 person

  17. Grace says:

    Wow a sestina Victoria ~ I love the flow of verses that tells of enduring love ~ This part really struck me:

    in aging, still you sing of life
    your eyes reflect the sky
    you smile at love you can’t forget

    Liked by 1 person

  18. narcissus101 says:

    very touching,extremly beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh this is so splendid… there is a sense of infinity and length in the form, and with those barely noticed shifts in end-words you really enhance the feeling of that life-long love. I think it’s an excellent way to combine subject and form… Thank you for the challenge… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. This is beautiful, and your end note makes it even more striking. To be in love in the beginning of a relationship is easy–there are so many wonderful things to delight in. But there is magic and strength in love that continues blooming in winter, love that makes dreams feel jealous. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Mary says:

    This is absolutely stunning, Victoria. It is nice that even when one ages one can still sing of life! I liked the way you wrote about both the time of youthful dreams and promises as well as the memories one has to think about as one ages. Maybe the last stanza points to the hereafter…which will definitely surpass ALL dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    Such a wonderfully woven Sestina; especially love “in aging, still you sing of life, your eyes reflect the sky, you smile at love you can’t forget.” Beautifully executed! Thank you so much for participating at Prompt Nights 🙂

    Lots of love,

    Liked by 1 person

  23. This is simply lovely — a perfectly flowing Sestina. And I love that you used the phrase “cerulean skies.” My favorite color of sky. Peace, Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  24. O brave Victoria, naughty Bjorn – sestinas are the very devil to write, I know for I have written several but vow never again. However yours is an inspired love poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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