?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

I think this is a sestina

I wrote it in the spring of 1977 and found it a couple of weeks ago, stashed in some papers in a bag in my basement:

Thieves

The type of crime depends upon the thief.
The young ones grasp at fortunes straightaway
And pause not for a careful strategy,
But headlong rush the vaults, a show of force
To compensate for all the skills they lack
That only long experience can teach.

Impatience, though, means life will never teach
The hungry, eager, lightning-fingered thief
About the cunning and the guile he lacks.
Impulsive, he must act, and right away
And hope his boldness overwhelms the force
That seeks to stop his lawless strategy.

But he is young, and so his strategy
Lacks subtlety that only time can teach.
This youthful blindness is a potent force
That often is the downfall of a thief.
He sees this as the law locks him away.
His time in prison shows him all he lacked.

An old and artful thief has no such lack.
His years have long refined his strategy.
His youthful habits long since thrown away,
He knows that time, indeed, had much to teach.
He’s learned so well, this cunning, crafty thief.
He laughs aloud at any lawful force.

His guile is second nature, never forced.
Experience is the last thing that he lacks.
This knowledge is so vital for a thief
If he’s to plan successful strategies.
He skill is something he could never teach,
But still, he knows it will not slip away.

He knows the law cannot put him away.
He sees it as a powerless, futile force.
His every heist’s a lesson that will teach
Detectives that there’s so much that they lack
As they guess at his well-wrought strategies
That he’ll remain at large, a brilliant thief.

The law force put the younger man away.
His strategies all suffered from a lack
Of what time had to teach the older thief.

Latest Month

March 2017
S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

Wish I'd Said It

Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow