The heart is a vivant tableau

This poem is a Sestina. If you would like to know more about this type of poem click on this site, Sestina. The nouns used were randomly chosen. This is a very difficult poem to write and the content of this one may challenge you. I hope it does, my desire is that you take it to heart.

Everyone dreams from a fading tableau,
A trickster plays with our crowded memory.
A memory that rises from mental conviction
Anchored in the musings of unreliable experience.
The mind displays random useless imagery
Awakening dark and buried false reality.

How can dreamed fantasy pretend reality?
These illusions set on a chimera tableau.
Given to phantasm’s flighty imagery,
Nightly created by primitive memory,
They are selected from the mind’s experience.
These illusions bounded by haphazard conviction.

They are falsehoods of believed mental conviction.
What decides this misconceived mental reality
Viewed through the windows of mind’s experience?
Is the heart, or mind keeper of this tableau?
If not the heart then the rule is the memory,
The unleashed insane cauldron of imagery.

These dreams are but scraps of discarded imagery.
The mind projects a fractured conviction
Dragging up bits and pieces from memory.
They are illogical dreams not scripted from reality
Rather a collage to form a nightmare’s tableau.
There is reason none to trust the mind’s experience.

Its rationale masquerades as an experience,
Projecting dreamed vision in false imagery.
The mind does not select a rational tableau.
The only truth is that of the heart’s conviction.
The heart chooses life’s faithful reality,
Not the mind’s wild rambling confusion of memory.

The cerebral caverns are filled with culled memory.
But, the heart contains life’s true experience,
And that is the only single believable reality.
All other dreams are the minds twisted imagery.
The heart reflects all of life’s real conviction,
The Kodachrome emotions of dreamers cherished tableau.

The mind confuses memory as veracious experience,
Expressing imagery as a myopic conviction.
The reality of the heart is a vivant tableau.

Copyright: 2009, Donald Harbour

6 thoughts on “The heart is a vivant tableau

  1. I especially like the last two verses and the line “The unleashed insane cauldron of imagery”. It was a lovely read, very dream-like and watercolor-y. Oh, and I also like the line, “the mind does not select a rational tableau”.


  2. A sestina perfectly formed. It is like the kaleidoscope that shakes and turns a dream into a nightmare and back again.

    One quibble: “Projecting a dreams vision in false imagery.” as you have used the singular article, should it be Projecting a dream’s vision…?



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