Tag Archives: ghazal

Poem 103: ANZAC Day – Only the dead

(Today is ANZAC Day in New Zealand and Australia, when we remember those who fought in wars. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The date is set on the day of the greatest military loss of both countries in a single day: Gallipoli. The form of this poem is modelled on the Ghazal).

Foolish folk sometimes dream the end of war,
but peacetimes never mean the end of war.

No more dog eat dog; lion and lamb lie down;
is this a sign of being the end of war?

The cosmos consumes itself in chaos;
yet night sky seems serene, the end of war.

Let’s pray that earth will smack of peace, and know
in air, space, land, marine, the end of war.

Poor Bruce repeats old Plato on this day:
Only the dead have seen the end of war.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 100: Falls into silence

The lake, as waterfowl take flight, falls into silence.
Limitless stars appear; the night falls into silence.

Sports fields and schoolyards ring with songs of children’s laughter;
Summer lawn with no such delight falls into silence.

The burgeoning kowhai tree in spring weeps golden tears;
Winter shade shedding lustre bright falls into silence.

Parents watch each child leave to face uncertain futures;
The pathway, steps that fall from sight, falls into silence.

Lovers for the first time disagree on little things;
Each, baffled how to solve such plight, falls into silence.

Trains approach with clatter and clashing of steel on steel;
Tumult passes; the scene of might falls into silence.

And Bruce, his time perhaps nearing certain certain-end,
Defying fading of the light, falls into silence.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.
Apologies for poor quality – broken mic and wrong mic settings! – I have to crawl under my desk to make a recording, which would make for an excellent photograph should I know how to operate the camera’s time-lapse button.

Poem 98: On a child leaving home

All shall know a time of knowing raindrops on the window.
Storm clouds break apart, bestowing raindrops on the window.

Woven branches of a boulder river’s plaited pattern
echo tangled paths of flowing raindrops on the window.

No sunshine in this early morning’s churlish rooster’s call.
Stay in bed! The cock’rel’s crowing “Raindrops on the window!”

Some folk imbibe a fear-filled brew, and full of sad dismay,
dread the storm, dislike the growing raindrops on the window.

The cellist plays a longing air of now-gone, buoyant years,
enthralled in thought, rapt in bowing raindrops on the window.

Bruce knows the time has come for you to step from where you grew.
Blurred sight hides your pathway going. Raindrops on the window.

Listen to this poem being read HERE!

Apologies for the poor audio quality… broken mic.

Poem 94: More blazing than the sun

The song I heard you singing falls more blazing than the sun.
The woodlark in the coppice calls more blazing than the sun.

It’s little things that seem to joy our peace-filled days and yet
any sullen silence quick-galls more blazing than the sun.

Children frolic on back garden lawns with shrieks of laughter,
and then a bee stings one who bawls more blazing than the sun.

Wings of butterflies, rasps of crickets, hung webs of spiders,
the ordered world of ants, enthrall more blazing than the sun.

The distant haze of blue, line-dancing mountains row on row
makes late afternoons stop and stall more blazing than the sun.

The tiny flower, unnoticed, hidden, nameless, lost, unknown,
outshines the fields of peonies tall, more blazing than the sun.

And Bruce, his song so incomplete without your voice to sing,
entrusts you hear his words, though small, more blazing than the sun.

To hear the poem read click HERE!

Poem 90: Blue

Kingfisher waited near fish-filled stream and flashed blue fire.
Distant thunder grumbled to a scream and flashed blue fire.

A welder melded into shape tough unbending steel;
this artist’s arc launched one steady beam and flashed blue fire.

The frantic horse’s metal shoes on stony gravel
broke the silence of the morning’s gleam and flashed blue fire.

Massed irises turned their heads towards the rising sun;
yellow, purple, peach, rose, white, and cream, and flashed blue fire.

And Bruce, patience at an end with this and that and things,
saw this growing mound of stifled dreams and flashed blue fire.

To hear the poem read click HERE!

Poem 70: Into nothing

All the empires of this world will crumble into nothing.
Strident protests of our time will tumble into nothing.

The homeless in the byways, in makeshift cardboard boxes,
hold out their hands in pleas for bread, fumble into nothing.

Young men in search of meaning in empty, shallow hangouts,
find all their courage dashed as they stumble into nothing.

Vibrant women, scarce seen and rarely heard from day to day,
are told to cook, knit, and sew, and humble into nothing.

Growing boys play in the park; they tussle, combat, battle.
Boys! Don’t fight! and watch your manhood rumble into nothing.

Captured girls sold abroad as slaves are going cheap this year;
their hopes, dreams, and aspirations jumble into nothing.

And Bruce? I know my words won’t echo far in time’s good hands.
I hope a crumb or two might not mumble into nothing.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

 

Poem 68: Ah! Song!

There’s so much can be said in a song.
The troubled child sings an inner song.

Fat cats stuff their mouths with food and drink.
Farts and belches are their dinner song.

Remorseful mother, stressed and angry,
blesses her child, sings a sinner song.

Grand Andy stands to sing on tele;
he smugly thinks this is the winner song.

Gale force winds break branches, howling loud,
until a breeze drifts a thinner song.

Some make a long story longer still;
Yet some tell tall tales; some spin a song.

And I, with stilled pen and silent muse,
pour myself a second gin… Ah! Song!!

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 62: Rhapsodic burst

The form chosen this month is the ghazal.

The dead twigs of winter, neglected, burst into flower.
The dull, dawdling child, subjected, bursts into flower.

See the clown with wilted roses wrapped in newspaper;
his tears of blue make buds dejected burst into flower.

Young lovers kiss; they have eloped to camp at the beach.
The one with his tent well erected bursts into flower.

Dance barefoot the jagged stony path; the pilgrims’ way.
Reveal that love, when it’s perfected, bursts into flower.

The young girl, so good, so sweet, so plain, so commonplace,
all innocent and unaffected, bursts into flower.

Grandmother tends her pint-sized patch of barren garden.
It’s watered, watched, and as expected, bursts into flower.

Bruce, despite huge carpet stains, gets rent bond back in full;
he breaks into song! oops! corrected! bursts into flower!

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 59: Dormant mountain

(The form chosen for this week is the ghazal)

The mountain lay dormant for years, and then the volcano lets rip.
This lady afraid hides her fears, and then the volcano lets rip.

The dude sits alone in the pub. He gapes at his glass half the night;
his mood is not what appears, and then the volcano lets rip.

At the meeting the chairman sits high in his chair like he owns the place;
the listeners tolerate his airs, and then the volcano lets rip.

My friend Uma stared at his screen month after bloody month;
a little he wrote; next he dares; and then the volcano lets rip.

A man is too scared to say how he feels to the woman he loves.
One night he tells her how he cares, and then the volcano lets rip.

The guys hang around and drink beers; the guys hang around and drink beers;
The guys hang around and drink beers; and then the volcano lets rip.

For sixty-eight years adventures have sat in a corner.
Bruce sears, tears, wears, jeers, glares, cheers, veers. Not once the volcano lets rip.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 53: Yet still the sun rises

(The poetic form selected for this week is the aubade/ghazal).

The new born baby cried, yet still the sun rises.
The old man slowly died, yet still the sun rises.

First day at school with pencil, paper, books, and lunch;
In tears and petrified, yet still the sun rises.

They called it puppy love; perhaps that’s what it was.
She dreamed of being a bride, yet still the sun rises.

The marriage didn’t work; they drifted far apart.
Divorce was justified, yet still the sun rises.

The pattern of the days, forever monotone,
In dreary waves of tide, yet still the sun rises.

The leaders of our world dropped bombs on each other.
Nothing left………………………… yet still the sun rises.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.