Shut Down (a sestina)

the sun has gone down
pulled up the covers and shut
up in a natural hole
wont balance
makes no sound
a breeze through all time

Sometimes I lose faith in human nature for a time
so that when I lay me down
breathing now with a deep groaning sound
It is for a fact, all shut
made to balance
for who the hell can’t dig a hole?

Who the hell can’t dig a damn hole
by saving the eggs out one at a time?
none of us pure sane until the balance
on a high hill and me rolling the rocks down
too heavy for me, it went shut
a sad, steady sound

a plaintive sound, a musing sound
cut up a tin can and hide the hole
behind them like a wall, shut
those men not worrying about anything except if there was time
like two candles when you watch them gutter down
we all spring into lift, to catch and balance

to ride on the balance
of their dead sound
broken down
eyes and mouth three round holes
a composite picture of all time
back to shut

nail it shut
the long swinging gleam of the balance
as though from beyond time
there will be no sound
from the back, through the hole
like he had wore hisself down

neither earth nor water, down
full of the land dug out of skull and holes,
where sin and love and fear are just sound.

– This sestina was created using lines from William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (with some added punctuation). Because when the government might shut down, you just have to write a sestina.
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