The Stabilising Vane

I thought of this whilst reading a poem by Kalsooni titled “A Poem A Day (Day #11), which I really liked.

The poem I’m writing for you is in the form of a Sestina, which I again subverted in an earlier poem called “Monotone Love Affair”.

A Sestina is a poem made up of six stanzas of six lines, and a closing triplet. The six end words of each line of the first stanza must appear at the end of the following stanzas but in a different order. An example of this – if each line of a stanza was marked A-F) – would be :







with the final triplet being ECA or ACE, using all six of the end words.

Without further ado, here’s my sestina!


The Stabilising Vane


You are an infection.

A blood-curdling virus

that runs through my veins

and arteries like a lie:


but always changing.


I am changing

because my attraction

to you is incapable

of reason – like us

incapable of communication as we lie

together, our thirst for happiness in vain.


The stabilising vane

has come loose, changing,

morphing. Rot and pain underlie

our relation-

ship has sailed. Only curses like puss

tread these bogged waters. Able

to. We lie

through our teeth, mixing fable

and non-fiction

but to turn to a more serious vein

of thought: What is happening

to us?


There was once no sign of infection,

of anger slipping through the cracks. We could lie

with no hint of disease in our sheets. We could discuss

our problems without a vein

of annoyance at night; less culpable

than that very same morning


with no arguments, no poisonous words

words. No lie

on the tip of your tongue burning

a hole through my lungs, unable

to speak past the smoke – the true vein

of our love inches closer to extraction.


But it’d be a lie to say I want this to end. In my veins

I know we are capable of changing

to fight the infection that is us.


2 thoughts on “The Stabilising Vane

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