Poem 29: Split open wide

(As some of you know, I pick a specific poetic form each month, and any poem composed in that month uses – or tries to use – that form. It’s a way of giving myself a bit of discipline! This month it is the ghazal. I was inspired to attempt the ghazal by the late Cynthia Jobin and by my blogging friend Uma. I hope this attempt does them proud enough…)

Pierced by lightning, skies split open wide.
Thrashed with loss my cries split open wide.

Poppy bud bright red with fecund stamen
bursts out as soldiers die split open wide.

Gnarled log once lord of all the forest trees
on earthen floor now lies split open wide.

Full-term ripe womb about to shed its fruit,
breaks its waters, falls, sighs, split open wide.

We shake our words as dice in hand are played,
and Bruce has tossed his die split open wide.

11 thoughts on “Poem 29: Split open wide

  1. umashankar

    Bruce, that is a stunning ghazal! It travels like lightning right from that turbulent beginning (matla) till the very fatalistic end (maqta), leaving behind a world of things split open wide: your cries, soldiers, a mighty tree and the most breathtaking of them all —a full-term ripe womb. The motif of lightning runs deep in the composition, representing brutal forces leading to death, loss and grief. Symbols such as the sky, poppy bud and the gnarled tree are vivid and brutally pictorial.

    I am nowhere close to even a fraction of Cynthia’s power of analysing the form, but to me your ghazal has touched each tenet of the form with the force of a lightning. Each sher is a gem. The conclusion is in the tradition of the best practitioners of the genre. Since you have dedicated the entire month of July to ghazals, the treat has only just begun!

    And thanks for immortalising me in your posts!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      O Immortal One! Thank you so much for the analysis and the encouragement. It certainly is a form that is both challenging and addictive. I’m going to try and do one a week. Will you join me?

      Liked by 1 person


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