In Her Library, the Day Before She Dies–dVerse Poetry Forms, Sestina

Image: Pixabay
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In Her Library the Day Before She Dies
a Sestina

I enter, hear the ticking of a clock.
The room is dim; drawn shades withhold the light.
Tick, tock, tick, tock—the thunderous passing time,
a slant of sun showcases motes of dust.
How many months since she has entered here?
Crushing mementos of the years long past.

Each shelf embraces mem’ries of her past.
Too many are the num’rous raucous clocks.
That one says twelve, but two o’eight this here,
and one that’s stopped is shrouded from the light
(so like her mind, unused beneath the dust
of years now gone, of unrelenting time.)

Photos of kin that mark an older time,
when she had naught with which to mark her past.
Piles of books, themselves becoming dust:
a lusty novel cached behind a clock,
and one, more recent, titled “See the Light,”
inviting her to grasp each moment here.

A cordless phone, askew, I find right here.
The musty air, oppressive, scents of time
elapsed. Let’s open windows, let in light,
diffuse the moldy taste of all that’s past,
quiet the ceaseless marking of the clock,
breathe deeply air that’s fresh and free of dust.

I cannot shake that cringy feel of dust,
the peering stares of generations here,
the constant toll of years, the ticking clock,
reminding me of my own fleeting time,
that days creep onward, leave behind the past.
I cannot silence dread of dimming light.

I search within to find the source of light,
to free my spirit of malignant dust,
discover there abundant joy. The past
is gone and beauty dwells right here.
How gifted I have been through boundless time,
not measured by the menace of a clock.

I view the past through eyes of sacred light,
eschew the nagging clock, the grimy dust.
Embrace grace here and in this hallowed time.

The poetry form challenge at dVerse today is the challenging SESTINA and I am pleased to be hosting it. I have attempted to write this in iambic pentameter. I’d be grateful for any critique you have to offer.

Please don’t be afraid to give it a whirl. It’s quite fun.

Excuse Me, Sir–Do You Have the Time? dVerse Poetics

Photo: Kyle Therrian

Photo: Kyle Therrian

Excuse me, Sir–do you have the time?

It’s time to watch the bees that ravish stems of lavender,
to listen to the cluck of quail, the song of wrens.

It’s time to hold our world, her pain, in caring arms,
to see great beauty in an aged face.

But can you tell me, sir, what time it is?

It’s time to feel your heart that beats within your chest,
to watch the setting sun slip out of view,

to touch the velvet smoothness of a rose,
or roughest skin upon acacia’s trunk.

Forgive now, for it’s time to heal the past,
to mend the wounds of rancor and of hate.

My watch has stopped, dear friend—
just let me know the time.

The time is now. It’s always, only now.




Written for dVerse Poetics where Mary has us reflecting on and writing about TIME. I suspect that, when I edit this, it will take on a few additional stanzas! Please take the time to stop by and enjoy. The doors open Tuesday, 3:00 PM EDT 

Finis–dVerse Poetics


I was there.

Weeks of waiting, watching,
wondering how you held on,
how you defied
the inevitable.

You clung to life,
her tenuous tendrils
all that kept you here.

I’ve watched the change
death brings
when so slow—
the fragile, fading
waning of vigor.

A life unnoticed—
when not a mark is made
or sound is heard,
you die alone.

But I was there.

This morning,
you let go
and fluttered to the ground
among so many others,

and I was there.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Linked to dVerse Poetics where the theme today is Calendars and anything the passage of time might conjure up for you. I hope you’ll stop by with a poem, or a poetry fix. I’m your hostess today.

I’m pleased to announce that print copies of Jacaranda Rain, Collected Poems, 2012 are now available through and are offered through all of their distribution sources. There are revisions and additions in this copy.

Cover Art: V. Slotto Photo: D. Slotto

Cover Art: V. Slotto
Photo: D. Slotto




Photo Credit: Matsumoto_Journal


Another year to archive.

I browse the aisles of Staples,
finger textures,
evaluate colors,
price and
I choose faux leather,
Weekly (seven days on two open-faced pages.)
I don’t need more than that anymore.

At home,
a journal from 1986 awaits purging.
Pregnant with midlife dreams,
I read the tiny script with wonder—
perfection forced into being—
tear my life of then to shreds,
reconcile what might have been
with that which is,

Writing sprawls across the page,
creative sloppiness.

Submitted to Karin’s prompt over at dVerse where we’re asked to consider treaty, truce. One of the challenges of the last part of life is to accept the reality of what is relative to what we thought it would be in our youth. A recent health issue, which has turned out not to be as bad as I anticipated, has me purging my old journals. It is mind-boggling to see how life has unfolded compared to what I had expected…and a bit disconcerting to realize that the issues of long ago are the same ones that hound me today, in gentler forms. Life is good when lived in the moment…and so much freer.