Until I scream – A sestina poem

It’s World Poetry Day, how could I not post a poem? Try to find a pattern in this one!

(You can probably scroll all the way down to find out how a sestina poem works – but that’s no fun!)

Also, my Creative Writing class is coming to an end – the one I wrote this poem for and boy has it taught me a whole lot! Not only do you make the coolest and most genuine of friends, but if you’re looking to step out of your comfort zone (in terms of writing) – this is the one. At one point, you literally have to sit in a room of about 18 people and accept their critiques of your short story – without the right to explain yourself if somebody says they didn’t understand ‘that one part’. It really stretches your writing abilities, and it teaches you things about yourself you didn’t know. Creative Writing (EN 2600); 10/10 would recommend. I should mention though that this course is offered at the Keele campus. Worth the shuttle trip, though, je te promets.

Until I scream

She recognized him by the way
his posture screamed mayday in her mind
Throwing her back to the day of the carnival
When her ice cream melted in her hands
Because she was distracted by his humour
And the curls of his hair as they spoke to the wind

It was never the same relationship the wind
had with her hair along the free way
It was like he communicated through humour
with nature and it liked him and he didn’t mind
And the aux cord was safe in his hands
Where he always managed to host a carnival

He could turn any car into a good carnival,
No need of the push of the wind
Nor the strength of men’s hands
It worked to the music and the way
his grace steered with no thought in mind
Unless he caught up with a passenger’s humour

She was the only one who could enjoy his humour
Colder than 9 o’clock in the night at Quebec’s Carnival
Sometimes he was mean but she didn’t mind
Unless it meant he would steal her wind
Making her feel less than loved in a baroque way
Unless her face was met by his hands

Not in a gentle way that hands
Are meant to stroke your face and humour
you when you’re already laughing some way
and crying, how did we get to this circus carnival?
It’s a mess and I’m struck by the carousel’s wind.
Timing the rotations in my mind

Waiting for it to stop so that I could mind
my nausea and clear my hands
from this sweaty horse and whirlwind
Of a relationship where humour
Has died and we don’t actually go to the carnival
And his attitude makes no way.

Now there is no mind for humour
No melting ice cream in my hands at the carnival
And no wind in your hair – I have gone my own way


This was not based on a true story so don’t worry, friends (& nana). It was inspired by a structure I tried to follow for class – which was super fun to write! Literally, I chose 6 words to work with and the poem just wrote itself. If you’re dying to better understand why I used the same words at the endings of each stanza (aka the answer to my earlier challenge for y’all; the pattern) check out how a sestina poem works here.

Happy World Poetry Day!



Categories: Personal

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