The Castle Within–dVerse OLN

Earthen Lamp–Labeled for non-commercial reuse.

The Castle Within
A Sestina
Revised 7/25/19

The Soul
Journey to a place that’s sacred,
travel above, below, within.
I walk a path of emptiness
not knowing who it is I seek.
Clouds catch colors that fill the sky
casting reflections on pure water.

Satan
Naked, submerged in fetid water,
utter words, evoke the sacred,
brandish ideas across the sky,
soak in lies that stir within
not knowing what it is you seek
embracing only emptiness.

not understanding emptiness,
your thirst ne’er quenched by stagnant water
you do not know the source you seek
cathedrals, temples, though deemed sacred
cannot answer those doubts within
though spires stretch, they reach not sky.

Drowned in mystery—above, the sky.
Below—a trough of emptiness
that murkiness you find within.
Troubled tempest of primal water
envelops all that you hold sacred,
eludes the meaning that you seek.

What is it, soul, that you seek?
To know who lies beyond the sky?
To touch the silk of all that’s sacred?
To fill the void of emptiness?
Blissful, to float in limpid water?
To satisfy yearnings within?

The Soul
Satan, begone, for here within
the castle of my soul I seek
not to probe the depth of water,
nor soar to crystal heights of sky.
You tempt, betray my emptiness,
eschew the gifts that I hold sacred.

Love Speaks
Your emptiness has birthed the sacred,
immersed in water—filled within
because you seek, you touch the sky.

(Based on the writings of John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila.)

I rewrote this 2011 poem for dVerse Open Link Night, paying more attention to the form–a Sestina with an attempt at iambic tetrameter.

The Castle Within

Castle in Papowo Biskupie-interior

Image via Wikipedia

In the 1500’s, Spanish mystics Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, spur-headed reforms in Catholic religious orders. Their works endure to this day. To us, it may seem that they quest for union with the Creator is complicated, but reduced to its simplest terms, they invite the soul to prepare a place for oneness with its Source. Both saints were poets and prolific writers. Teresa chose the metaphor of a castle to describe the journey of contemplation. I have written a dialogue between The Soul and Satan (the Self, the Ego) in which Satan encourages the Soul to abandon her journey to the within.

In response to Poetry Potluck’s prompt of Castles, Fortresses, and Palaces  http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com/ I chose to write a Sestina–a form that’s about as complicated as Teresa and John. This needs work and I welcome your critique..

The Castle Within
A Sestina

The Soul
I journey to a place that’s sacred,
travel above, below, within.
I walk a path of emptiness
knowing not who it is I seek.
Clouds catch colors that fill the sky
casting reflections on water.

Satan
Naked, submerged in fresh waters,
you utter words, evoke the sacred,
brandish ideas across the sky,
soak in lies that stir within
not knowing what it is you seek
embracing only emptiness.

Not understanding emptiness,
your thirst is not quenched by water
you do not know the source you seek
cathedrals, temples though sacred
cannot answer questions within
though spires stretch, try to reach sky.

Drowned in mystery—above, the sky.
Below—a trough of emptiness
that murkiness within your soul.
Troubled tempest of primal waters
envelopes all you hold sacred,
eludes the meaning that you seek.

What is it, soul, that you seek?
To know who lies beyond the sky?
To touch the silk of sacredness?
To fill the void of emptiness?
Blissful, to float in limpid water?
To satisfy yearning within?

The Soul
Satan, begone, for here within
the castle of my soul, I seek
not to probe the depth of water,
nor soar to crystal heights of sky.
You tempt, betray my emptiness,
eschew the gifts that I hold sacred.

Love Speaks
Enter the sacred room within, beloved
your emptiness filled because you seek.
Be bathed in water, clothed in sky.