The teacher asked the kids, 'what do you think?'
Then again louder for who couldn't hear.
Tapping the page with a delicate touch,
A student raised his hand, 'Ms., what's that smell?
I think Billy made a mess, I can taste
it.' 'Its the lawn crew laying new mulch, see?'

She asked again about the painted sea,
Another student raised her hand, 'i think
it's pretty.  It's so real like I can taste
the salt.  And the crashing waves you can hear
them.' The young girl raised her nose up to smell
deeply, then shuddered wrinkling her face, touch-

ing her nose.  The class laughed.  The teacher touched
the boat, a blurry man aboard at sea,
struggling alone in the darkness, the smells
mixed with experience, fear what we think
navigating life, miles away and here
simultaneously.  Personal taste

in home decorating, her outfits, taste
in aesthetics, her classrooms a nice touch
to vacation away in the mind. Here
the children all day are all that she sees,
and this picture has always made her think.
Another whiff, 'i really like that smell.'

The kids gag, 'its gross! It's an awful smell!
Can you light a freshener? Get the taste
out of my mouth!' she smiled, 'but just you think,
the plants will drink the nutrients and touch 
up the place real nice, and some trees you'll see
will grow huge delicious fruit, and you'll hear

all the birds making homes, and while we're here
we'll appreciate the gifts of life.  Smell
the air one more time, to see what I see,
and just see if you can't hold an orange, taste
the fresh juice of a well fed tree.'  She touched
her own nose and smiled, 'now what do you think?'

She closed the book with a light touch and smelled
the pages, hearing a murmur, the taste
of manure, 'See you tomorrow!  I think...'
Peanut butter honey banana sandwiches
Sestinas are tough to critique because of the sheer size of them so I will try to critique it: I do think that you have a good sense of rhythm, a little robotic but it will do, I didn't understand this line:

he smells
mixed with experience

What did you mean by that? Experience of what?

I also think that you can perhaps write in a different poetic form cause this seems to really hard to critique, there are too many words to choose from.
like the title, like the ambition, but I think you have a lot of polishing to do to pull this trick off.
'Touch' in particular seems to cause the most problems in terms of line endings, with 'smell' running a close second. Would the form allow you to get away with using synonyms, especially of the latter?
If homonyms are ok, why not synonyms?

Some brief observations

S1/L2 - This doesn't make any sense to me (who is the 'who couldn't hear'?)
S1/L5 - doesn't feel like something a kid would say. Where's the revulsion? The glee?

S2/L1 - feel a bit conned here since it's not clear that she asked about this before. Presents an opportunity to revisit S1/L1, something along the lines of the Sea being so real you could hear it?
The 'painted sea' from the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner?
S2/L5 - 'up' is redundant after 'raised' (and the enjambment on 'smell' is awkward)
S2/L6 - don't know enough about the form to know if enjambing midway through a word is cheating or not ... but it looks like it is! Smile
Why does she 'shudder'?

S3/L1 - awkward line
S3/L2 - how 'touched the boat'? And how would anyone see her do it?
S3/L3 - 'smells' really doesn't work that well here (and how are they 'mixed with ...' ?)
S3/L$ - this reads as if it is the 'smells' that 'fear what we think' (which baffles me)
S3/L6 - not a good ending to the verse. Too much of a jump from one thing to another.

S4/L2 - how are the 'classrooms a nice touch' (what does it mean)?
S4/L5 - is 'this picture' the one of the 'boat' or the 'painted sea' or the 'blurry man'? Or something else?
S4/L6 - who's taking 'another whiff'?

S5/L3 - shouldn't it be 'smiles' if it is 'the kids gag'? And should she be She?
S5/L4 - 'touch / up the place' doesn't follow naturally from the preceding (to me).

S6 - this feels a bit contrived (in terms of language) and where does the 'orange' come from?

S7 - again, ending a line on 'smelled' really doesn't work.

Best, Knot

Thanks for the help, I like practicing forms and breaking the rules so I'll see how far I can bend it without losing it completely, synonyms, why not?
Peanut butter honey banana sandwiches

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