A sestina about silence (inspired by the Sandman)

If you have seen episode 11 of the Sandman on Netflix, you will have come across a writer who is flooded with ideas – so many ideas that he goes insane. One of those ideas was “a sestina about silence using the key words dark, ragged, never, screaming, fire, kiss

I’ve written a few sestinas so I had to give it a go. If you aren’t familiar with the form, there are articles online about how to create one. It is a fun challenge and I encourage you to give it a try.

Here’s my version.


The hope of a thousand years is in the dark.

I had not planned to come here, ragged

breathless, empty of thought. No, never

in my life would I be found screaming

in a cabin devoid of fire

hoping in vain for an empty kiss


The world began with a kiss

that silently drew two people together in the dark.

only later, by the light of the fire

did they see their faces, how ragged

how disfigured, how screaming

with loneliness in a world that never


showed them love. No, never

in their lives had anyone wanted to kiss

them, for their hearts were screaming

in the silence, in the dark.

They had given up hope, like a ragged

butterfly finally admits it is time for the fire.


But then, by the light of the new fire

burning within them, a love they never

could have imagined bloomed from the ragged

holes in their hearts, a silent kiss

that made their fear of the dark

go away forever, screaming.


Silence is like this, a knowing that is screaming

into the void of existence, a knowing that fire

is the source of all that is dark,

because only there can light never

forget the first kiss

of a life that ragged.


Life that is smooth and easy, not ragged

with the fears of those screaming

fools who forgot what it is like to kiss –

that life is without fire.

Silence can’t be born from easiness, no, never.

It is born from hardship and the dark.


Oh ragged life, oh fire!

Tear forth from me screaming that I will never

forget the kiss of the dark.