Poet's Notes



I use the classical formation (below)

for end word pattern in both parts 1

& 2, with leeway given to modify

some of the key words in the tercet.


Stanza 1: ABCDEF

Stanza 2: FAEBDC

Stanza 3: CFDABE

Stanza 4: ECBFAD

Stanza 5: DEACFB

Stanza 6: BDFECA


Phew! These are hard to do!

Sticking to the required pattern

almost had me tied in knots!


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Part One

Now Zeno was a ladies' man, It's true.
He had the looks, the charm, the way with words
To woo most any girl, and win her heart.
But Zeno was a scoundrel, that's a fact.
He lured each lady to his web with lies;
Disdainful of the damage that he caused.

Each tear that fell, each heart that ached, he caused;
For he could not in any way be true.
He'd used each girl, cajoling them with lies;
Sweet poison in those sugar-coated words.
He fed them fantasies devoid of fact,
And then he'd go and break each tender heart.

Indeed, it could be said he had no heart,
Considering the carnage that he caused.
He was a heartless libertine, in fact,
With no intention ever to be true.
He was a master craftsman with his words,
But almost every sentence contained lies.

Yes, Zeno had the guile to speak such lies
As though they came straight from a loving heart;
When in reality those very words
Were poisoned arrows in disguise, which caused
Such pain within those tender hearts so true.
The varlet had no conscience, it's a fact.

And let me add here yet another fact:
On top of all the rogue's seductive lies,
He gave cheap trinkets, feigning love so true.
By such foul means he won each maiden's heart.
Oh, think of all the mayhem Zeno caused,
With dirty deeds and sweet, deceitful words!

But liars can be snared by their own words,
And such a thing did happen here, in fact.
His own mendacious tongue caught him and caused
Distress for Magda, who saw through his lies.
She knew at length, though feeling sick at heart,
That such a blackguard never would be true.

This caused her then to use her own choice words.
What Magda said was truly based on fact:
She said, "I've seen your lies! - and your cold heart!"

Part Two

Yes, Zeno was a ladies' man, for sure;
And every girl, he thought, was there to use.
His facile charm hid well his darker side,
As women danced, unheeding, to his tune.
His list of lovely conquests was quite long,
And it would surely grow, if given time.

He'd worked his evil spell time after time,
And thought that things would never change, I'm sure.
He'd cheated trusting Magda for so long,
He took it as a given right to use
His 'talents' tailored to his own sweet tune.
But all the while he hid his shady side.

He must have had the Devil on his side;
But even demons can run out of time!
Soon fate would play a different kind of tune,
And Zeno would be made to pay, for sure.
Then all the cunning ploys that he might use
Would miss their target, and fall short - or long.

Yes, such a thing did happen, ere too long,
As Magda - who had seen his darker side
And suffered by his hand - now vowed to use
Whatever means she could (all in good time)
To bring him down. And now she felt so sure
That she could make him play a different tune.

She found a rough-hewn chap who was in tune
With her own feelings, and before too long
They'd hatched the perfect plot, they both were sure.
And so, with this young ruffian at her side,
The vengeful Magda knew that it was time
To put her willing henchman to good use.

She paid him well, but bade him not to use
Excessive force when beating out a tune
On Zeno's ribs! "And now," she said, "It's time!"
Poor Zeno was attacked both hard and long,
Before collapsing, dying on his side!
The henchman had used too much force, for sure!

Fate's fickle tune changed key that day, and sure
Enough, would use those notes in triple time
For long-lost souls - one dead, and two inside!


Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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Date: 5/9/2018 7:46:00 PM
Expertise such as this is so rare these days: The discipline, the craftsmanship, the patience. Bravo! A FAVE of mine for sure. I hereby award you, by the authority NOWHERE invested in me, a solid-gold trophy for UTTER EXCELLENCE IN TRUE POESY. Very, Very, impressive, Robert. Best regards, Gershon
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Robert Haigh
Date: 5/10/2018 3:14:00 AM
I feel humbled by your praise, Gershon! The Sestina is a difficult form to undertake - especially if you want it to make real sense - but with patience it can be a rewarding writing experience. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Have a great day!
Date: 5/7/2018 8:33:00 AM
A poetry of eloquent magnificence dear Robert. What a cad was your Zeno and what a payback. Expertly written. I've never seen this style it will be difficult but so well executed by a master...Maria :)
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Robert Haigh
Date: 5/7/2018 4:04:00 PM
Thank you, Maria! I enjoyed writing this tale, but yes, it was difficult!
Date: 5/2/2018 11:59:00 AM
WoW! The big payback came w/a heavy cost, Robert. Such a well-woven complicated structured poem. Expertly done by your more than capable pen, my dear friend. Love and joy always.
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Robert Haigh
Date: 5/2/2018 12:51:00 PM
Thank you for your generous comment, Freddie! Much appreciated!
Date: 5/2/2018 1:46:00 AM
Excellent. Great and magnificent use of rhyme. Well executed. Thanks for sharing it.
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Robert Haigh
Date: 5/2/2018 2:21:00 AM
Thank you very much, Ravi!
Date: 5/1/2018 1:28:00 PM
Thank you for a poem so perilous toward woman and a generous payback. A dastardly rogue that net his doom!
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Robert Haigh
Date: 5/1/2018 1:45:00 PM
Thank you Ralph! Yes, bad karma has a way of paying back in kind, I believe!
Date: 4/30/2018 4:04:00 PM
intricately woven where quarreling 'gods' compete for power... epic work, robert; you outdid yourself!,,huggs
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Robert Haigh
Date: 4/30/2018 4:24:00 PM
Thank you, Nette, for your kind words!
Date: 4/30/2018 6:57:00 AM
A Sistine Chapel of a Sestina...superbly executed my friend...stay in the poetic light...^WW^
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Robert Haigh
Date: 4/30/2018 7:04:00 AM
Thank you, WW! Much appreciated!
Date: 4/29/2018 8:12:00 PM
Robert, remember you gave me a very short list of poems I had not seen of yours? I know I saw one of them. I can't find that soupmail from you now. Do you recall the other one? I know there were at least two!! Hope you are having a good day. I nearly got through all the things on my to do list today.Just a few more and I can relax with dinner!
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Robert Haigh
Date: 4/30/2018 3:00:00 AM
Hi Andrea. I know one of the poems was "These Paths and Lanes." Also, "Grandma's House" is one you might like. Anyway, have a great day, whatever you you!
Date: 4/29/2018 7:53:00 PM
OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG OMG! This is frickin cool as all get out! I am in utter amazement! Holy crow. I am so jealous. You just know I'm going to have to try one now...But not until I have a few drinks (and I don't drink...enough to write one) Wow!
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Robert Haigh
Date: 4/30/2018 2:53:00 AM
Thank you Rhoda! I'm glad you like this write!
Date: 4/29/2018 2:12:00 PM
Did you just say Phew, Robert! I said that a few times while reading, let alone if I were to write it! You did a great job and offered us an entertaining narrative. Any Sestina writer deserves a medal for bravery:) Best regards // paul
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Robert Haigh
Date: 4/29/2018 3:39:00 PM
Thank you so much, Paul! Glad you enjoyed the story!
Date: 4/29/2018 11:08:00 AM
Wow Robert you sure have excelled here, love the story..and so interesting it is too.
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Robert Haigh
Date: 4/29/2018 12:20:00 PM
Thank you Harry! Glad you liked the story!
Date: 4/29/2018 4:51:00 AM
At first I thought you were referring to the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno but my disappointment turn to joy by reading this fabulous poem of yours my friend, Robert! Superbly written in all respects!
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Robert Haigh
Date: 4/29/2018 5:00:00 AM
I thank you for your kind words, Demetrios! Glad you enjoyed the story!"
Date: 4/28/2018 5:07:00 PM
Bravo, Robert, magnificent use of rhyme, making your story wonderful and very enticing to keep reading. Hugs dear friend
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Robert Haigh
Date: 4/29/2018 3:37:00 AM
Thank you so much, Eve! Much appreciated!
Date: 4/27/2018 9:23:00 PM
Hey, good news. Hubbie called and said was going to be late from work. So I got to read your poem before leaving here tonight. And I am at last caught up here (for the time being). I really liked how you used the form to create a story. I find this form to be very boring when poets write long lines and do not do interesting topics. I enjoyed seeing KARMA play out. Does the Karma contest have a line limit (because I was thinking Karma as I read it!!) WELL DONE, good Sir!!
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Robert Haigh
Date: 4/28/2018 3:11:00 AM
Thank you, Andrea! I'm glad you found the time to read this, and glad you enjoyed it!
Date: 4/27/2018 8:56:00 PM
Oh, i see you posted it and I have to get upstairs fast and prepare dinner. I promise later to take a look see!!
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Date: 4/27/2018 6:03:00 PM
Robert, I'm elated you've written a sestina. The story is fantastic. I enjoyed every line immensely. This is an excellent write. I loved it! Yes, I agree with you. Sestinas as very difficult and I certainly don't plan on writing another. One is enough!
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Robert Haigh
Date: 4/28/2018 3:09:00 AM
Thank you, Tamara! I'm glad I wrote this, but it was an ordeal at time!
Date: 4/27/2018 3:04:00 PM
Loved your story. It does have a moral: two wrongs don't make a right.
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Robert Haigh
Date: 4/27/2018 3:12:00 PM
Quite so, Victor: two wrongs don't make a right. Glad you enjoyed the tale!
Date: 4/27/2018 1:37:00 PM
This made my hair hurt just trying to keep up with the pattern. Your a better poet than I Robert Haigh. well done...
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Robert Haigh
Date: 4/27/2018 2:31:00 PM
Thank you for the gracious compliment, Charlie. You are too kind! These are very hard to do, I won't pretend they are not. I won't do another one in a hurry!