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My Sestina Masterpiece

Once upon a time I took a creative writing class in high school.  Our most difficult assignment (for me anyway) was writing a sestina.  This is a type of poem with a very particular set of rules, including reusing the same six words in a certain order throughout.  I haven’t really done much poetry writing since my angsty teen years, but this one was a true feat to write, and after the darkness comes a glimmer of light, so I decided to share (did you catch my internal rhyme back there?).

fading memory

Faded memory

Much lost time had elapsed since this woman

Could bear the abuse of her forgotten

Past.  Now she’s silent and sadly withered,

As she is paralyzed, feeble, and old.

It is not her fault that she is so sad

And alone.  She just remembers the rain.

Many things had happened in this dark rain

That could not be put aside.  This woman

Had to block out the memories of sadness

And pain, which still linger on forgotten

Bruises and scars.  Searching through her dark old

Eyes, are few memories but of old withered

Roses she had no time for, which withered

And died from lack of soft fallen rain.

Then she viewed the garden with roses old

And dead,  A death this mistreated woman

Could not understand or ever forget

In her future, now present.  And how sad

It is.  Now time slips by in a sad

Way.  When she was a young girl, her withered

Aunt would say, “You’ll, too, be forgotten

And ugly soon.”  And on the window, rain

Would pelt to enforce the words this woman

Said.  The girl trembled from these awful old

Words, then joined by those of the other old

Ladies who would tell her that she was sad

And worthless.  Feeling as if the woman

Had stabbed her and made her become withered

In pain and grief.  All this time the hard rain

Would beat in the poor girl’s mind.  Forgotten

As she has, the abuse, she can’t forget

A sharp pain buried in her loving old

Heart.  She looks back at all the times it rained,

And does not know what she feels, but a sad

Memory she can’t find in her withered

Mind.  She is a loving, simple woman

The rain now can’t touch.  Forgotten and sad

She is not, nor too old and withered.

Forgiveness makes her a happy woman.

–Terree L. Klaes–  1995

The Book

What  a profound title… or not.  This has always been my favorite of my poems.  Although vague, it has always been very personal to me.  But then again, most poets have those special selections, right?  It just so happens that other people have always liked this poem as well.  I’m not saying this to brag- just making a statement.  Of course, I’ve always felt nobody really got it.  That’s the thing about poetry: no matter how much one analyzes and dissects the poor creature, nobody will ever really know what the poem is unless the reader can go back in time to the moment of the poem’s conception and get inside the head and heart of the artist.  Since, to my knowledge, that remains impossible, our poems remain always a bit of a secret.  I like that.

The Book

Should my heart be an open book,

for everyone to see?

My chapters are long,

and hard to read.

My pages barely touched,

yet yellowed and delicate,

tattered and torn.

If walls could talk,

what would my heart chambers speak?

Read my forgotten book.

These walls and barriers do fall down…




It is purely a mental game,

in which my feelings play.

The book is open,

but not plain to read.

To see me, one must

read between the lines.

I swear I am there,


down… somewhere.

Read me.  Find me.

Join the story.

Become a part of me.

If you do, it will be seen,

somewhere in this book.

The book…

It is me.

–Terree L. Klaes—


Morbid Whimsy

I can’t keep avoiding the need to write new material much longer… I just hate to begin something and not have time to really dig in.  To begin creating a world and the lives to fill it up, only to have to abandon it and the characters for indefinite periods of time is difficult for me- separation anxiety or something.  It’s like I’m afraid of what they might do without my supervision, and I’ll miss them.  Yeah, I’m well aware of how crazy that sounds, and I’m ok with it.  If I could, I’d lock myself away for days to write out a good story.  Instead, I spend days writing out lesson plans and essential questions (if you’re not a Learning Focused teacher, don’t ask)…

So, just for the sake of posting something different from the string of recent serious posts, I’m sharing another old poem of mine.  My mom and sister (mostly my sister) used to tease me because of all the depressing poetry I would write.  But hey, I was in high school.  Anyway, this poem comes off as a bit morbid, but I had fun writing it, because it wasn’t really serious at all.  Well, you’ll have to read what I mean…

My Death by Terree L. Klaes

I died while walking

on the beach one night,

In the chilling cool water,

and the shimmering moonlight.

My body sank deeply

into the sand,

With nothing exposed,

not even a hand.

My corpse quickly

was engulfed by waves.

And I was sure my body

would not be found for days.

But then slowly I opened

my eyes to see…

I had simply fallen asleep

next to the sea.



Something I have NOT done in years is write poetry.  I enjoy prose more, but I used to write poetry almost exclusively.  Here’s one I always liked.


I’d like to free the night

And walk on the ocean

I’d like to touch the rain

As it drips from the sky

I’d like to hear a whisper

Carried off in the wind

I’d like to see the air

Resting all around me

I’d like to smell the moon

As it sails through the night

I’d like to taste the sun

Setting slowly at sea

I’d like to pick a yellow rose

And never let it die

I’d like to feel you with me

When you can’t be by my side

-Terree L. Klaes-