Blue Skies Tinged with Gray–dVerse Poetics

Blue Skies Tinged with Gray
a Sestina
Iambic Tetrameter

This morning I painted my world in blue,
dreamt of new days beneath brilliant clear azure skies
and floated in mem’ries of life borne on waves—
the summer we spent making love by the lake,
when our love sang so sweetly of hours in the sun
and clear water soothed pain that I saw in your eyes.

More often was hope gleaming in those deep eyes,
clear mirrors of mys’try—not silver, not blue,
reflecting the brilliance of summer’s lush sun
this faith that I found in those cloudless, pure skies.
We washed away fear in our bay at the lake,
floating hand within hand on her cool, gentle waves.

Sometimes we are crushed by the force of life’s waves
and excitement can wane, dull the spark in your eyes.
Then return to those days of our love by the lake
to renew what we knew when we dreamt dreams of blue,
streaked with hues of Payne’s Gray as we looked to the skies,
adding depth to those moments of light in the sun.

Summer’s end soon drew near and our time in the sun
gave way to the wind, to the chill in the waves.
Autumn clouds came too soon, hiding blue of the skies,
cast long shadows on joy, dimmed the glow in your eyes.
Succumbing to dark, nature cast off her blue.
Thus we tasted the close of our days at the lake.

Arid sands took you far from our love by the lake.
In Iraq you would know desert dry, scorching sun.
Did that world of brown erase recall of blue?
Did you dream of the days we had shared in the waves?
Or did you forget, horror blinding your eyes
to all of the plans that we held ‘neath blue skies?

For my part, I still hope for the day when the skies
shall return you to me, to our love by the lake.
When you rush to my arms will the tears in your eyes
still be there as they were on that day in the sun
when you told me they called to you over the waves
and you walked from my life for the red, white and blue?

I still look to the skies, shield my eyes from the sun,
wait for days at the lake, for the calming of waves,
lose myself in your eyes, wrapped in dreams painted blue.



This poem is in response to De’s prompt at dVerse Poetics where she invites us to reflect on Blue—however you wish to consider it. (De is coming down off a Lake Tahoe high).

I write this poem as a Sestina in iambic tetrameter (first draft.) It is a fictional narrative. I spent yesterday afternoon with a representative from a local veteran’s assistance program and, of course, that sneaked its way into my writing. Please join us today.

32 thoughts on “Blue Skies Tinged with Gray–dVerse Poetics

  1. Dearest, most talented, V, where do I start? I know precious little about the various forms of poetry. I simply know what touches me. Your poetry always touches me in different ways.

    These two lines: “We washed away fear in our bay at the lake,
    floating hand within hand on her cool, gentle waves.” I didn’t then know why these two were so fearful. I only knew the sensation of running my hands under the silky, cool waters of a welcoming summer lake. Thank you for reminding me on this very hot day.

    And this line: “to renew what we knew when we dreamt dreams of blue,” seems as if you are channeling Poe in Annabelle Lee. The line is melody itself! And Annabelle Lee is my all-time favorite poem (not by you!). 🙂 ❤

    The poem surprised me when it turned to a soldier. The fear made sense, but I wasn't expecting that. You are such a gifted storyteller.

    I am so happy I found you in this impossibly "YUGE" world of bloggers! 😉


  2. Bryan Ens says:

    What a tender sestina! So incredibly well penned, you make the form look easy (although I know that it’s not)


  3. I love the sestina, and this one in particular, Victoria. I had adopted it as my favorite form for a while, but haven’t written one in a while. I need to return to its charm! You offer blue wonderfully here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They say you either love or hate this form–I’m in the former category too. Once you choose words that work well together and consider the stresses if writing iambic, it seems to write itself. Sort of a “channeling” experience for me. I never know where it’s going to go. I hope you write one soon!


  4. annell4 says:

    A sad tale, beautifully tucked into your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jae Rose says:

    A sobering poem – which seems to play on the notion of ‘red, white and blue’ and the personal cost that can incur

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ManicDdaily says:

    This poem travels quite far from its opening scene as it were and the. Winds itself back– that type of journey is so well explored in a sestina with its echoing words– so hard to handle the length– but you do it really well and keep up a music and bittersweet narrative. Thanks. And thanks for Info re Lake Tahoe! So nice to hear from you! I hope all is well! I have a new children’s novel which I didn’t put in post but will figure out how to do that! Take care! K.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sad and touching. Beautiful poem.


  8. kanzensakura says:

    So beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes as I thought of all the men and women who served and still serve, those left behind keeping faith. So much to love in this. All those memories that hold us.


  9. The depth of emotion in this does not give away that this is fictional. Your choice of ending words was perfect — always the biggest challenge (I think) in writing a sestina.


  10. This is such a powerful piece – I too thought it was a true account.


  11. Waltermarks says:

    Hope the blue skies return. The verse is very romantic. Congrats


  12. Bkmackenzie says:

    War steels the blue from the eyes of our husbands and our sons. You make me reflect on the horror of it – the horror being the theft of the soul…bkm


  13. ladynyo says:

    Absolutely beautiful….heartbreaking, too. My eyes are clouded with tears, Victoria, so I will come back for another reading. I kept hoping this was pure fiction, your poem….the pain is so obvious…but it is the fate of many, and no less.

    Jane…by the way, that iris up top is one of the most muscular flowers I have ever seen! LOL! Beautiful…reminds me of an American painter.



  14. girlandworld says:

    I also write a lot about my country’s armed forces and basically spouses and I feel no matter which country they all hold the same essence of duty integrity and Respect…


  15. lillian says:

    What a wonderful tribute to our armed services – those who serve and those who wait behind. Truly a beautiful write!


  16. maria says:

    “I still look to the skies, shield my eyes from the sun,
    wait for days at the lake, for the calming of waves,
    lose myself in your eyes, wrapped in dreams painted blue.”

    Oh… this is poignantly beautiful, Victoria. ❤ Every word aches.


  17. Josslyn Rae Turner says:

    This is my first time reading a sestina. I’d love to try writing one someday. This is a beautiful story, and beautifully written. ❤


  18. Bodhirose says:

    What a beautiful sestina, Victoria. I can imagine that this story of lover’s being separated has been played out countless times. It never fails to tug at our hearts does it?


  19. Glenn Buttkus says:

    There is a universal truth here, & a terrific poetic fiction, partially grafted to facts, to veterans, to war, to death, of life, of other’s liberty, or love.


  20. Imelda says:

    Beautifully done. I love the languid and wistful tone of your piece, it’s story, and images. I wish a happy homecoming for those with love ones in the service.


  21. Truedessa says:

    This story has fragments of truth woven in the lines. I wonder do the veterans still see skies of blue?


  22. Sherry Marr says:

    “wrapped in dreams painted blue.” What a beautiful story you have told here. Loved it.


  23. Rosemary Nissen-Wade says:

    I guessed it wasn’t autobiography, but thought it might have been a true account of someone else’s story – and indeed, so it would be, of many others. The iambic tetrameter works well I think, to give it a timeless, universal kind of feel, along with the personal tale.


  24. I thought it was true as well. It moved me deeply. Thanks.


  25. Grace says:

    How terribly sad and touching to read Victoria. This part struck me most:

    Did that world of brown erase recall of blue?
    Did you dream of the days we had shared in the waves?
    Or did you forget, horror blinding your eyes
    to all of the plans that we held ‘neath blue skies?

    And my hat off to you for writing a sestina. Cheers!


  26. A most exquisite sestina, Victoria.. I could feel my heart throbbing as I read those last lines ❤ Beautifully executed.


  27. whimsygizmo says:

    Also, mastering a sestina makes you a rock star in my book! 😉


  28. whimsygizmo says:

    Oh, Victoria. This is wonderful.
    This brings me very near tears:
    “Did that world of brown erase recall of blue?”
    …for myself, as I always go through a post-summer Lake mourning period…for anyone going through a “desert place” sort of time…



  29. So well written I thought it was a true account; it works very well as a sestina!


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