Today was a pretty good day, productively. I had a creative spell at the cafe, and made a fair dent in one of the long-form pieces I’m working on, then went back and answered several entries’ worth of comments on the blog. And now I’m answering the Samuel Peralta prompt at dVerse about tritinas, which really don’t get enough love. (All those people who bash on sestinas and even pentinas: start with a tritina and it will be easy to go from there.) Somewhere in there I want to fit some submissions in, since I haven’t done any of those in a while, and then there’s a couple other projects to attend to…

There’s some desperate energy in the air this week. Maybe I’ve just been drinking too much coffee. I’m going to ride the wave, though, most definitely!


From the top, I could see the countries we couldn’t know:
where they play fast and loose with metaphor,
where the sky is a snake-charmed bloodstain on the heart.

The rachides buoyed with light at the tips of my heart
when the late sun hid behind her clouds. There was no
sound but the summary of everything that came before.

Call me to prayer with the horizon’s semaphore.
Stars come out to swallow up the dazzled piscine heart.
They want adjectives for cities seen from above; I say, no,

I don’t know any names of God, only what the heart is for.

5 thoughts on “Minaret

  1. viv blake says:

    I misunderstood the instruction (what’s new?) – you have used clever rhyme instead of repeating the keyword. It makes a much better poem of the Tritina! Back to the drawing board.

  2. I have seen this variation of the form before and it can free the writer from the constraints of the form

  3. brian miller says:

    ha well i am all for breaking form to make it work you know…i like what you did with it…and it works…really like the last line, very tight and carries some nice truth to it…

  4. I love this poem – an expansive, ambitious theme – and structurally I tip my hat to where you bend the structure (end words and all). I have a sestina where I broke the form by substituting synonyms, so I can appreciate that you have to be able to work the form before you have the confidence to break it. However, the beauty of it is that this is not just a wonderful tritina, it is a wonderful poem. Period. A poem I absolutely wish I’d written.

    And, by the way, I appreciate that “Semaphore” gets a mention in the poem!

  5. seingraham says:

    As always, a brilliant take on the form Joseph … amazing to be able to do what you have done here … I sit in awe of such mastery


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