This one takes a little explaining. This challenge was to write a sestina. This was probably the hardest challenge yet. I'll let Robert Brewer explain how a sestina works:
* It's a poem consisting of 7 stanzas.
* The first 6 stanzas have 6 lines; the final stanza has 3 lines.
* There are only 6 end words to each line throughout the 39-line poem.
* They rotate in the following pattern:
1-End Word 1
2-End Word 2
3-End Word 3
4-End Word 4
5-End Word 5
6-End Word 6
7-End Word 6
8-End Word 1
9-End Word 5
10-End Word 2
11-End Word 4
12-End Word 3
13-End Word 3
14-End Word 6
15-End Word 4
16-End Word 1
17-End Word 2
18-End Word 5
19-End Word 5
20-End Word 3
21-End Word 2
22-End Word 6
23-End Word 1
24-End Word 4
25-End Word 4
26-End Word 5
27-End Word 1
28-End Word 3
29-End Word 6
30-End Word 2
31-End Word 2
32-End Word 4
33-End Word 6
34-End Word 5
35-End Word 3
36-End Word 1
37-End Words 1 and 2
38-End Words 3 and 4
39-End Words 5 and 6
Usually, the best strategy is to pick out 6 words you think you can have fun with and that are probably somewhat flexible in how you can use them (this includes modifying a word here and there--like changing "cold" to "clod" to fit your purposes). Maybe throw in a word that is a little unique--if you really want to challenge yourself. And remember to have fun."
Did you get all that? Don't worry, I had to keep the window with this explanation next to the window I was typing in. Anyway, here were my words:
And without further ado, my poem:
In this world, is there anyone you can truly trust?
Who can you, when everyone is out to make a killing?
You meet that special someone, who is simply lovely.
All too quickly, one or both of you become distant.
If it is the other, don't you wish you could trade?
All too quickly, she turns to another knight.
It could happen in the dead of night,
When even your eyes you can not trust
You can't sleep, for your love she has traded
For the guy if you saw you would likely kill.
You would chase him down if you saw him from a distance
for stealing your soul, you're only love.
Don't get me wrong, I've kept my true love,
I continue to hold her all through the night.
Though sometimes I'm accused of keeping my distance,
She stays, and though I'm unworthy, gives me her trust.
Of my heart, she has made the kill,
Though revived, of her, I would never make a trade.
For her, a life of solitude I have traded
For eyes ablaze and skin so lovely,
If anyone hurt her, I would likely kill.
In my best shining armor, I would be her knight.
If I did that, she would not question that it was me she could trust.
More often than not, though, I choose to stay distant.
I gather no comfort from my distance,
For compassion and intimacy, I would gladly trade
I am so undeserving of her trust
Yet she stays, making me feel lovely.
Yet I'm still awake at night,
trying so hard for my timidity to kill.
And why is it this hard to kill
that thing which makes me seem distant?
That would make me a brave and noble knight,
chivalry being my trade,
I would rescue the damsel, so lovely
and in me, she would know she could trust.
She could trust me to make that kill
And keep her love close, never distant
Worthy would this trade make me, to hold her through the night.
-Justin M. Howe