Leslie Alexis

(111111111 / Grenada)

Christmas (A Sestina)


Christmas is here, Jesus to the world brought peace
Everyone is rested as kids spend time with family
Kitchens are ablaze, wives creating good ol’ soul-food
Leslie and Destra, await their turn, under the mistletoe
Love is burning bright, outshining the fireplace
And playing kids fill the house with laughter

Worries are swept away, sadness replaced by laughter
As love flies through the air, enemies make peace
Whilst sweet carols are sung by the fireplace
We thank God for the greatest gift of family
As grandma and grandpa steal a kiss, under the mistletoe
My tummy just yelled: where is my soul-food?

Memories to the tongue, grandma’s special soul-food
Don’t know how, but to my tongue, it brings laughter.
Grandma and Grandpa are still under the mistletoe
Showing love so ancient, a picture of heaven’s peace
They are the beginning and measure of our family
Captured purely in pictures taken by the fireplace

Love bubbles deep within, and around the fireplace
As its oil fuses with the spice of Grandma’s soul-food.
Moriah, the youngest; four weeks added to the family
Her little eyes sparkle, her little face filled with laughter
Looking at her, so lovely, One is taken into peace
In times coming soon, her place would be the mistletoe

Her's would be lovely and her destiny the mistletoe
And she too, someday would have her own fireplace
As she grows to celebrate and cherish Christmas peace,
She would learn from Grandma, how to craft soul-food
Her kids would fill the house solely with laughter
As one day, she would have her a family

Fresh out the womb, Moriah completes the family
Even as Grandma and her boo are still by the mistletoe
Their love brings to the heart tears and laughter
Treasures of joy. Now we depart from the fireplace
To the table to dive into some soul-food
That the wives had made in love, and peace.

Thank God for family! Gazing at the fireplace
And the mistletoe, loving me some soul-food
That sets my tongue on laughter, I thank God for peace.

Copyright © 2009 Leslie Alexis

Submitted: Monday, August 31, 2009
Edited: Friday, April 30, 2010

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Comments about this poem (Christmas (A Sestina) by Leslie Alexis )

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  • Jake Erkens (1/29/2010 12:43:00 AM)

    You seem to grasp the essence of Christmas and your prove so in your beautifully penned poem. There is nothing much to say other than 'well done! '
    Sorry my reply is rather very VERY late.
    Please do send me a message for further notice on some new work. (Report) Reply

  • *_sakura ~daisy_* (1/10/2010 5:57:00 PM)

    wat a bright and cheerful poem...peace is a calming thing and to be with a loving family on christmas day...wat more could you want as such the grace of God... (Report) Reply

  • Marieta Maglas (12/28/2009 12:50:00 PM)

    Excellent complex (visual and cognitive) metaphor:

    Love is burning bright, outshining the fireplace

    Excellent abstract poem

    10++++++++++++ (Report) Reply

  • Noel Horlanda (12/25/2009 12:19:00 AM)

    Say hello and Merry Christmas to Moriah, she's the star of this piece I believe. Surely she will have her own fireplace one of these days. This is a family piece of poetry I suppose. Thanks for sharing. Again Merry Christmas to you all... (Report) Reply

  • Serenity Prayer (12/24/2009 5:33:00 PM)

    very lovely. it highlights some of the most wonderful things bout Christmas. Merry Christmas to everyone. (Report) Reply

  • Milica Franchi De Luri (12/24/2009 2:11:00 PM)

    Hi Les
    Merry Christmas. This is a really beautiful poem. It reminded me a lot on our Christmas gatherings with family members. It is also a very well written. Like any other form of poetry, sestinas have variations and i found yours to be meeting all of the requirements...........10
    Milica (Report) Reply

  • Walterrean Salley (12/24/2009 12:12:00 AM)

    Hi Leslie. Christmas is a time of miracles, and your poem is filled with such longing. What a blessing it is for Grandma and Grandpa to be alive. “Worries swept away.” “Laughter replaces sadness.” “The gift of family.” And “Heaven’s peace.” What a lineup! These are some of the greatest miracles. Also, they make wondrful Christmas gifts. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas. 10 (Report) Reply

  • Emu Getachew (12/23/2009 11:39:00 PM)

    Leslie, I won't dare to comment on the literary composition of this piece.However, I am touched by the sentiment the piece preserve as we are ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Merry X-Mass and a blessed 2010. (Report) Reply

  • Frank James Ryan Jr...fjr (9/7/2009 6:42:00 PM)

    Les, a stelllar effort, indeed, my friend. The Sextain, or Sestina, is arguably the most abstruse literary composition that any Poet could endeavor on, specifically due to its ostensibly neverending myriad requirements. As stated by other commentors already, you have successfully nailed the 6-6 requirement, along with
    its accompanying Tercet, or envoy. As far as that one repetitious line, that you do indeed include, it is my belief that it must appear in the last line of each of the 6 stanzas....and only the last 6 words of that line is to be repeated. Your 'mistletoe' line appears to be your repeition line, and though you mention it in different contexts in each stanza...you are employing it stanzaically variable, as opposed to in the very last line of each stanza(which i believe to be a requirement) , and with the exact same 6 words. The other issue is in what is called ''the retrograde cross'', which in other words means: the Sestinas ultimate migrain-initiator! lol! Now, those 6 words that you must use in the last line of every stanza? ...Well...they MUST read in a specific order, and this requirement is called''Retrogradatio Cruciata'' or as stated above, Retrograde-Cross.The order is set up almost appearing as a mathematical formula, but at least you don't have to do the math...The following is the pattern/sequence that these 6 words must follow, in each of the 6 stanzas:

    [We will use the #'s 1,2,3,4,5 & 6 to represent the 6 words that appear as the last 6 words in stanza 1. Below is the exact order these 6 words must appear in the last line of each of the 6 stanzas]Whew!

    Stanza 1: 1-2-3-4-5-6
    Stanza 2: 6-1-5-2-4-3
    Stanza 3: 3-6-4-1-2-5
    Stanza 4: 5-3-2-6-1-4
    Stanza 5: 4-5-1-3-6-2
    Stanza 6: 2-4-6-5-3-1

    Finally & mercifully, the ''Tercet'' or 3-line envoy must also include these same 6 words, but(of course) in this specific order:

    Tercet / Line 1: 1 & 2
    Tercet / Line 2: 3 & 4
    Tercet / Line 3: 5 & 6

    Les, if you notice, the Tercet is aligned to have those repetitious 6 words to be in the very same order as they were in Stanza 1.
    Again, great effort, indeed, Les! ...Me? I wouldn't go there(attempt a Sestina) with Poe or Dickinson by my side! You are a very brave young man, Les...and a fine scribe!

    FjR (Report) Reply

  • ~ Jon London ~ (9/1/2009 7:30:00 PM)

    Nice effort with this Leslie, you almost pulled it off....Sestina's can be quite a challenge...but I think with a little more practise you will be king of the hill.....a top respect must be shown when someone attempts this form...either way Leslie...I really enjoyed the poem, AND HOPE YOU CONTINUE TO IMPRESS! ! ! ! ! !

    10+++ (Report) Reply

  • Ency Bearis (9/1/2009 12:38:00 PM)

    a wonderful poem remarkable effort for the theme for the format.... kudos for the effort to make it perfect...... I agree with Carl some of the scheme is a mess up of which I tried it too this Sestina and it just gave me the headache to loss the sequence.......but I admire you for this.....I like the message of the poem... (Report) Reply

  • Dr Hitesh Sheth (9/1/2009 12:05:00 PM)

    Pleasure to read new form of poem.............you painted a beautiful picture of christmas with your colorful words......a good write........ (Report) Reply

Read all 24 comments »

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