In honor of this month’s Inspirational Circle, ending today, I had challenged myself to write a sestina about friendship. It had been years since I had written a structured poem, so the “getting started” part was definitely the hardest. I brainstormed possible end words, what friendship meant to me and just started writing, only to realize later that I wanted more imagery in it to capture the mood and message that I wanted to convey.
Well, I finally had time to sit down and conjure an image in my head, a setting that could work for the theme of friendship, and settled on the beautiful mountains in China. I could recall climbing many hills and mountains the summer of 2008 where I had met many new friends and made everlasting memories. While I don’t communicate often with them anymore, the experience of climbing mountains and the bond we felt during that one summer in China will always be a part of me.
Even back in California, prior to and after my China trip, I have often gone on hikes with friends, lovers and family members through beautiful mountains and it has always been a wonderful experience. Therefore, beginning with a scenic mountain hike would be something everyone can relate to and work well for my theme. The end words I finally settled on, after writing my first stanza, was blossoms, mountain, cheeks, eternity, together and discovered. It was a fun experience for me writing this poem. Since it was structured by the end words, I didn’t really know where I was going until I had literally written it down. In a way, I journeyed up the mystical mountain along with my characters, so without further ado, I present to you my sestina.
A Journey up the Mystical Mountain
Hidden in the fog, but showered with cherry blossoms,
we continued on our journey up the mountain.
The floral sent drifted in our nostrils while the wind brushed against our cheeks.
We’ve only been hiking for a few hours, but it seemed like eternity,
walking through the winding paths together –
a wonderful journey to be discovered.
Not knowing what to expect, I looked at you and discovered
how you have changed over the years, how you have blossomed
into a stronger person from the last time we were together.
The experiences from the past have given you strength to climb this mountain,
knowing that what you uncover will inspire you through eternity.
Catching you return my gaze, I became embarrassed and turned the other cheek.
With the sharp wind brushing against my face, I envisioned how rosy my cheeks
must be. Hiking step by step, I have discovered
that I would love to live in this serene beauty for eternity –
high elevation, fresh air, sounds of trickling water, and pink cherry blossoms –
far away from the stress and demands of society, secluded in this mountain
with someone I trust, know and love – together
with you. We’ve had our differences, but we remained together.
I remembered the last time we took photos cheek-to-cheek,
we were hiking up the crazy Santa Cruz mountains
and in the midst of it, we found a gem, we discovered
the most elegant waterfall next to a yellow rose about to blossom –
it was a symbol of our friendship, something we’ll remember for eternity.
“Best friends forever,” it seems like we said those words an eternity
ago, when we were six years old playing in the sandbox together.
We had no idea how our lives would change or how our friendship would blossom.
I recall getting ready for dances – putting on lipstick and powdering our cheeks,
and gushing about love, while mending broken hearts. We had discovered
that life was full of winding paths and little hills, just like this mountain.
Step by step, hill by hill, we are finally reaching the top of this mountain.
Th sun is about to set, this will be the climb we talk about for eternity,
as sunlit rays shine upon us with mystical colors, we discovered
that we forgave each other for all the past tension. We were happy together.
Love and trust need to be challenged. Though we may not see cheek-to-cheek
on many things, we continue to water our friendship so that it can blossom.
High above the world, on this mystical mountain, we stand together
to capture a moment for eternity. You gently brush a tear off my cheek
only to discover that you were crying too, under the beautiful cherry blossoms.