Friday, during my short lunch time break between classes, I made a new friend. After getting to know her for a bit I discovered she is also interested in creative writing. We began talking about scansion vs. free-form and I introduced her to the sestina which is a very rigid form of poetry that can take hours, days, or even weeks to finally complete, depending on your level of obsession. It's closer to putting a puzzle together than it is to writing a poem, and I have managed to work out only one of these 39 line beasts. After challenging her to attempt it I feel it's only right, be it to my chagrin, to release my own to the wolves. Here it is, enjoy, it's not just iambic, its a big mix. I sacrificed on alot of the iambic to make it fit the word repetition required but the metre is uniform; be gentle.
So there we sat, tingling all over,
staring at the dilapidated house
owned by the crazy old lady Miss. Fitz.
People rarely saw her. Armies of cats
could be seen but never counted, always
appearing and disappearing through holes.
We mustered the courage and emerged, whole
into view, still afraid to go over.
The cats noticed us and came from all ways:
out doors, windows, and from under the house.
We shielded our faces fearing a cat
attack, huddled on the ground like misfits.
The cats stopped and stared, “Yum, look! Two misfits
to eat!” their eyes told us. Surely the whole
posse had come; all shapes and sizes, Cats
on top of cats. Cats still coming over.
Being not eaten, we approached the house.
The cats parted like the red sea, always
watchful for their benefactor. Always.
Eyes everywhere, waiting for their Miss. Fitz.
We were sure that some cat inside the house
had warned of us. Our eyes scanned over
and under for attack from any hole
she could fit through, only seeing more cats.
From what direction would the giant cat
lady come? Perhaps from the ally-way
to the left. No. Too obvious. Over
the roof like a cat, a cat-like Miss. Fitz.
We moved in but still no one came. The whole
house was the same as any other house
except hundreds of cats; a huge cat-house
with cat food, cat bowls, and even a cat
lady. We moved through the threshold, the whole
army behind. We searched the house, always
quiet, until we came upon Miss. Fitz
towering in her old rocker, over
by the house’s fireplace. We looked, always
on our guard, but the cats had eaten Miss. Fitz
whole, just a Fitz-skeleton left-over.
By T.J. Seale
Copyright 2007 Thomas Taylor