Today's poem is by Monica Raymond

Sestina with Random Peace Words

The bird Noah sent second was the dove,
who watched the dwindling of the waterfall
to puddle. Doves and ravens don't agree,
not even on the definition of love,
let alone whether the wind's an angel,
if what they'd seen was carnage or was peace.

After all, each had only seen a piece
of the landscape. Somehow the version of the dove
won out. Raven, the darker angel,
lingered, jabbering godtalk with the waterfall.
So the dove got the monopoly on love.
It would be all cooing, sweet feathers, and I agree

with you, do you agree with me? I do agree.
Not a bit of a spat or a spark. A peace
that literally passeth understanding. Do you call that love?
All soothed in curves like a bar of the old Dove
soap—remember? Buckminster Fuller lathering up under the waterfall.
Whoosh—a rowboat's going over. Only an angel

can save it. But you did it! My angel,
pressing it upwards against the force of the water. And I agree
in this case with your besting the waterfall,
because death by drowning would definitely shatter the peace
of this poem, which is supposed to be dove
as in gray, not dove as in oh no, under the waters of love.

No, that's the cormorant's definition of love—
to dive so deep in it that no rescuing angel,
no Moebius wit of raven, mumbling dove,
can pull you from the dark currents of agree.
Drenched feathers sleek as fishscales, slippery peace
with the alien element, its cool weed waterfall,

trash, wrecks, wriggling fish in the beak, is the same waterfall
as the one of dazzled coins in the sun. It is the same love
guards our hungers, the same peace
holds us in its iron beak, same as when we briefly tweak angel
of the horizon, breathe sky, then agree
to descend, live in three elements, not better-best of the dove.

If you want peace, plunge in the waterfall.
See what the dove saw, high over wreckage of love.
Bind your light to the cormorant angel. Fly to agree.

Copyright © 2007 Monica Raymond All rights reserved
from Colorado Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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