sestina #explore

For Val’s ASH challenge

  1. Write a Sestina having a theme of exploration
    six verses of six lines each, with a final 3-line envoi

started my explorations by travelling the world
exciting new cultures provided distraction
from a dysfunctional family that caused grief
escaping on a budget brought great satisfaction
oblivious that most misery dwells deep within
geographical relocation seemed a wise healing

curious about the unknown, hedonist not healing
side-tracked by exploring the world
new cultures, friends and foods a distraction
aiding my denial and avoidance of subtle grief
no clue of how or where to seek satisfaction
never occurred to me that it may start within

so socially busy no time for within
escape felt like healing
intrigued by this whole new world
felt like an exciting distraction
enjoyed a wondrous time with little grief
exploration brought temporary satisfaction

travel, belongings, quals offer scant satisfaction
life experience indicated it might be within
exploration delayed my healing
fascinated by this bewitching world
so absorbed in this educational distraction
exponentially compounded my grief

know now that distractions can cause grief
seldom resulting in lasting satisfaction
healthier to start exploration of within
a more realistic path to authentic healing
in this wondrous but bewildering world
juggling all those worldly distractions

I now try to avoid distractions
seek keys to unlock those causes of grief
learnt that meditation brings me satisfaction
that the real challenge began within
found lasting satisfaction in emotional healing
inner stability crucial in a changeable world

life and grief distract from obtaining genuine
satisfaction and healing, which arise from within

Seville where the architecture and food were a source of joy!


  1. Well done Kate! Your unique, poetic voice reminds me that we can can be completely free of life’s harsh distractions, but thankfully we can appreciate the positive shared from life’s more blessed ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A powerful poem that pairs so well with your photo!
    That architecture IS amazing!
    Traveling, adventuring, seeing new things, observing life…all can get us in a proper frame of mind to let the healing begin from within. All of THE most important and lasting things begin within. ❤
    What was your fave thing to eat there?!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So much to take in, and so relatable too. But the words “this bewitching world” were so captivating in itself. For me, those words were pure poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Stunning sestina! You owned the topic and the form in totality! I love the way the story unfolds to the conclusion that “life and grief distract from obtaining genuine satisfaction and healing, which arise from within” – Brilliant!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I absolutely love this poem!! I loved the simplicity and rhythm with which you as if narrated a life story along with conveying important life lessons on the way. Healing and Escaping can be confused for the other so easily. I have often pondered the distinction between venturing out of my comfort zone in the world out there, and the breaking of barriers within to face are core wounds that stand in the way of our genuine joy and authentic living. I tend to focus so much on the inner journey of healing and clearing, that I stay very slow and timid in my ventures in the outer world. I have always admired those who could travel on their own to unknown lands and as a result learn the art of being themselves. Some day I tell myself, I will find that courage too 🙂 I also love how you talk about the grief that is always waiting to be addressed no matter what other joys we convince ourselves of.

    Liked by 3 people

    • really appreciate your thoughtful comment!

      We need to be equally comfortable with both our outer and inner worlds in order to progress in a healthy balanced manner. The reason I try to ensure anyone really on the journey has an experienced guide, for I have seen some admitted to institutions and others induce ‘chronic fatigue’ like symptoms for more than a decade when they push the inner too much and neglect that outer balance. Take care precious, you can do it!


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