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"Poetry is the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." Leonard Cohen

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Foltinek was really tired when he called Segura
—his close friend, and urged him to come to his party—
Inside the blue and white split-level home
Marking the last day of classes, high spirited students
were celebrating, and Segura wanted Foltinek, his friend
to come over and party to the great music...

The kids in the house had bonded over their love of music
With his religious studies, love of cars, and ska, especially Jordan Segura
No wonder he tried to persuade Foltinek, his  best friend
To come celebrate, not realizing that to stay away from the party
Would leave Foltinek, one of the fortunate few students
Safe and sound, and still alive, in his own home

Three young adults were dead inside Segura's home
Said a neighbour, "It's not like there was loud music."
And they all got together all the time, these students
A blood moon from a rare lunar eclipse was set to break over Segura's
And he was in really good mood at his end of term party
And except for Foltinek, surrounded by all his friends.

Like Foltinek, the killer, invited to the party, was one of the friends
Came there directly from work, without going home
His parents apparently were concerned about him the night of the party
There still reportedly wasn't any noise, no loud music
One hour later, fatally stabbed, a victim -- one of five -- Segura
Foltinek, grown worried, appeared outside the house to wait, one of the students.

Bermuda Shorts Day festivities, a tradition where students
dress up to mark the end of term, gather with friends
as they had done here at the house of Jordan Segura
A rental that will forever more be known as "that murder home"
Where the kids who used to get together and bond over a love of music
met to celebrate and were slaughtered at a most gruesome party.

What sad beleaguered party-goers, students all, dance solemnly to death music
Friends by their side always, going to that final home, led by host Jordan Segura

Source: Edmonton Journal - Saturday April 19, 2014 - City and Region - A10 - entitled "These were good kids, in a safe place, but then..." (This was taken from a two page spread, coverage of Calgary's worst mass murder in history when alleged killer, U of C student, 22 year old, Matthew de Grood, went to a house party to which he was invited, and stabbed to death five other U of C students, celebrating the end of year, before exams were to start next week. So far it appears to be an unprovoked and motiveless crime and Matthew's parents are as crushed and traumatized as any. It is a most disturbing case. The five other students are: Joshua Hunter, Lawrence Hong, Kaitlin Perras, Zackariah Rathwell and the one mentioned in the poem, Jordan Segura.)

This will be one of your most challenging Oulipost prompts! A
sestina is a poetic form of six six-line stanzas. The end-words of
the lines of each stanza repeat those of the first, but in a differing
order that in each successive stanza follows the permutation:
615243. The entire sequence of end words is thus: 123456;
615243; 364125; 532614; 451362; 246531. All words and phrases
must be sourced from your newspaper text.


  1. Sharon, I can tell it's one of your favorite forms. It's nicely done. :-)

  2. How terribly sad. You turned the form so skillfully.

  3. Thank you both...I won't say it was a pleasure or a joy to write, given the subject matter, but it wasn't exactly onerous either, this one.


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