Photo by Amanda Flavell on Unsplash


Even now, forces battle for fractions
of light and dark, air and earth, truths and lies
the spoils, ripened treasures and abstractions
like oil, our foods, as humankind’s soul cries
split to the bone in factions
honed for overreactions

My soul’s not known for overreactions
compressing, sealing night into fractions
of morbid amusement, viewing factions
through porous veneers of their willful lies
unmoved by their biased cries
on currents of abstractions

Our sun will yield to night and abstractions
leaving the void and overreactions
light evening showers won’t drown-out the cries
of justice-seekers sliced into fractions
divided by clever lies
blinded factions fight factions

I welcome rain as night deceives factions
truth is our souls are merely abstractions
these lines dividing us all are sad lies
gains of few, fueled by overreactions
many fight over fractions
immune to his brother’s cries

I remain in-tune with my brother’s cries
but turn a deaf-ear to brother’s factions
I see us whole, and not just the fractions
bellies are filled by more than abstractions
stilled by overreactions
humanity’s fate still lies

I wonder which side will win through the lies
will we have our peace or feast on war-cries?
I still observe the overreactions
blackening hearts into soulless factions
they have killed for abstractions
weighing lives by the fractions

I wonder which lies will fell the factions
silencing the cries; soulless abstractions
overreactions leaving fractions.

Written for dVerse  Poetry Form: Sestina, hosted by Victoria C. Slotto. Other poets have contributed to this prompt here. The Sestina is an oily form, super-tricky to pull off, like Jello-wrestling a sexy, nude, female vampire who’s riding a velociraptor. Naturally, I had to give it a go (the poem, not the Jello-wrestling, though I’d probably be game for that too.)

Also sharing at Real Toads

13 thoughts on “Fractions

  1. I love your description for the sestina form! Make sure you wear goggles if you wrestle her. Skillful choice of end words and how you used them. These lines:
    “I see us whole, and not just the fractions
    bellies are filled by more than abstractions”


  2. “These lines dividing us all are sad lies.” I so agree. I wonder, too, whether peace or further discord will win out. It’s not looking good at the moment. Lovely to read you, Barry.


  3. I like the end words you chose, Barry, the way that they rhyme; the contrasts in the opening stanza work really well and I love the way you tied it all together in the envoi.


  4. Arrrrgh !!! I)magine having to write a sestina a day:) You did a great job. I think the trick is getting the right 6 words and building a poem around them ,. I did not do that and almost drove myself crazy,,,Happy poeming and enjoy your weekend.


  5. You picked such challenging end words for the sestina Barry. As to your question:

    I wonder which side will win through the lies
    will we have our peace or feast on war-cries?

    I am hoping for peace, though elusive that may be given the different factions.


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