Roy Herndon Smith: Wedding Sestina

     Roy Herndon Smith

for Phoebe and Nick (and Benny), June 10, 2018

something old, something new
something borrowed, something blue

We gather together in waving wild fields—
babooming, fattening, old Father Big Bang;
balooning, exploding new Mother Presence;
twinning quarks sing duets; Phoebe and Nick dance,
following, not following, borrowed patterns
under this fathomless blue sky—we begin

again. Benny brings us back to beginnings—
bodies born and blooming again in old fields
on ancient hills in echoing new patterns
of waving, squirming, gurgling, laughing big bangs.
We borrow his moves in the joy of dancing
with him the blues of the past in the present.

We suffer jittering absence in presence—
old mourning breaking into the beginnings
of figures newly drawn by the wedding dance,
the distances in duets defining fields
of loss; borrowing desire from The Big Bang,
we ache the blues, cry out, go still, in patterns

of airs we jitterbug to between patterns
at the ends of the old tunnel of presence;
a sax wails, squawks, and croons new tunes to the bangs,
warbles, and echoes of recalled beginnings;
light borrowed from the primal blast falls on fields
of flowers under blue skies, where still we dance

and fall to the ground, close and part, stand and dance,
tripping the old steps, slipping the old patterns
into new, entwining, unraveling, fields
of resonating quarks. Each other’s presence
borrows the shattered universe to begin
again, to break us open in a blue bang.

We gather now with Phoebe and Nick and bang!—
joy flashes, floods into, reforms the old dance;
a first kiss, then a new kiss, then it begins
again. Benny comes tumbling into patterns
borrowed from these familes, in this present
heaven of boundless blue sky over green fields.

To the Big Bang, to borrowed old blue patterns,
under the yellow sun, we dance the present;
and all blossoms anew in waving wild fields.

Note: This form of this poem is a sestina, more specifically the variation created and used by Petrarch and Dante in early 14th century Italy.