Andrew Kiss CC
Sestina on a Winter Night
I’m running out of time and can’t remember
a thing it was I thought I should be doing
with all this time I’m running out of. Maybe
I’ll see if I can try to write a poem.
It doesn't seem, so far, as if it’s helping.
But anyway I might as well keep going.
I ought to try to work out where it’s going,
but if I did, how long would I remember?
I can’t imagine how this can be helping-
there must be something else I should be doing
instead of counting words to write this poem.
I should have gone to bed already, maybe.
But even though I think this isn’t maybe
exactly how I thought this should be going,
the more I keep on working at this poem
the more I think I might somehow remember
whatever I had thought I should be doing.
I hope it works, since nothing else is helping.
It could be someone else this poem’s helping
and that’s why I should keep on writing, maybe;
it could be that I don’t know what I'm doing
and never will, but still I should keep going
to help somebody somewhere to remember
how anyone’s supposed to write a poem
or how they’re not supposed to write a poem.
I’m sure there’s no way else I could be helping
and if there ever was I don’t remember
and even though through all this time there may be
no way for me to tell how well it’s going
it’s still the thing I have to keep on doing.
So this is what I’ve been up all night doing-
I had to find a way to write this poem
before I start forgetting that it’s going
to be the only thing I’ve done that's helping--
it’s almost morning. I’m afraid that maybe
I’m running out of time and won’t remember-
Whatever I’ve been doing, whether helping
whether not, I wrote this poem—now maybe
there’s something someone’s going to remember.
Matthew King used to teach philosophy at York University in Toronto; he now lives in what Al Purdy called "the country north of Belleville", where he tries to grow things, counts birds, takes pictures of flowers with bugs on them, and walks a rope bridge between the neighbouring mountaintops of philosophy and poetry.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.