Tag Archives: ghazal

Poem 50: Sasha had chicken

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

Sasha had chicken for dinner and yet, nothing beats a good duck.
Jane chucked plates and cups at Bill; the whole set. Nothing beats a good duck.

Farmer Tom took Lizzie out to his barn to show her his wild life.
Lizzie was quite impressed and said, “I bet nothing beats a good duck.”

In the cricket match Harry was bowled out, not having even scored.
Then he overheard Arnie say “Don’t fret, nothing beats a good duck.” *

Minnie decided to fix a leak in a pipe under her sink.
Hardware man said when asked what tape to get, “Nothing beats a good duck.” **

Gary’s wife wanted to know why he hadn’t come home for the night.
He said his car broke down; don’t worry, pet. (Nothing beats a good duck?)

Sally and Bernie’s new swimming pool was great for relaxing in.
Bernie was pushed under and got all wet. Nothing beats a good duck.

Some folk may express amazement at the triteness of this ghazal.
Bruce reckons there is nothing to regret. Nothing beats a good duck.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

*For those unfamiliar with cricket, not getting any points (runs) is called a duck.
**For those unfamiliar with fixing things, there’s duck tape (sometimes called duct tape).

Poem 36: Grandfather Clock

(The poetic form selected for this month is the Burns stanza. However, even though I liked what I’d written it was a bit “hard-hitting” and I decided that some readers would get offended – so I wrote something modelled on the ghazal instead!!)

Once wound I am ignored, the old clock chimes.
Once loved and once adored, the old clock chimes.

Too weak and frail to spring from bed at dawn,
Men wait in old age ward. The old clock chimes.

Three! Three! Three at last! Thank God Almighty!
School is out! Praise the Lord! the old clock chimes!

Four times she runs late for work, just this week;
It’s what she can’t afford, the old clock chimes.

Five-green-bottles-hanging-on-the-wall song:
In which one is time stored? the old clock chimes.

Six steps on toes the ballerina goes,
Major lift, minor chord, the old clock chimes.

Severn is the river through Shrewsbury.
So? Just for the record, the old clock chimes.

Ate eight big eggs for breakfast, fried in fat,
And greasy bacon gnawed. The old clock chimes.

Nein, the Germans say. No! Trains leave on time!
Delay is much abhorred! The old clock chimes!

Tender are most maternal hearts, and kind;
Kids leave to go abroad, the old clock chimes.

Eleven days make way for dozens more.
In none is bliss forestalled. The old clock chimes.

Twelve heralds in the darkest midnight hour.
I’m timeworn… slow… and bored… The old clock chimes.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 32: In love with the wind

(The poetic form selected for this month is the ghazal.)

Let us dance at the top of a hill, in love with the wind;
Twirl, outstretched arms, in fields, like a mill, in love with the wind.

Kettle drums pound out the rhythm, the trumpets play fanfares;
Clarinets, flutes, and piccolos trill, in love with the wind.

On sleds on a slope, hair all atumble, mouths all agape –
Faster! Faster! They scream loud and shrill, in love with the wind.

The students kick footballs; they tussle and sweat as they brawl.
The ball soars up higher and hangs… still… in love with the wind.

Fires in forests, prairies, and farms show little mercy,
They stampede through landscapes all at will, in love with the wind.

Leaves in the autumn skate circles, waltz waltzes, turn cartwheels,
These joy clowns of leaves, they know the drill – in love with the wind.

Arthritic and shaky, slightly deaf, unable to dance,
Bruce sits quiet and watches. No, not ill – in love with the wind.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 31: Rain

(The poetic form selected for this month is the ghazal.
The refrain is taken from Edith Sitwell’s profound poem, “Still falls the rain”. This ghazal is NOT intended as a reflection on her poem; it’s simply a phrase that’s stayed with me for fifty years or so.)

Night has turned to day yet still falls the rain.
Accept what floods you get. Still falls the rain.

Lovers steal the hearts of one another
And leave the lost to fret. Still falls the rain.

Mollycoddling keep us warm and dry but
Socks, shoes, and feet get wet. Still falls the rain.

Frozen clouds gather on far mountain hills.
It’s cold this night? You bet! Still falls the rain.

Sun brings its joys to those who ever hope,
Yet sleet shall caste its net. Still falls the rain.

Our days are predetermined, are they not?
So Bruce’s steps are set. Still falls the rain.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

Poem 30: Restlessness takes hold

(The poetic form selected for this month is the ghazal.)

Restlessness takes hold because I know not the heart.
I steal a look, a glance, a sigh. No! Not the heart!

Birds take flight from swampy fens up to angry clouds.
They circle in a gyre and cry: Know not the heart!

Mrs Housewife takes off the outer cabbage leaves
And puts aside the rest for pie. No! Not the heart!

The cornfield shakes light of gold in the setting sun.
Hills shudder silver rays and die. Know not the heart!

Trees deeper in the forest grow strong together.
Spindly plants on outer edge vie. No! Not the heart!

The secrets of all life stun us into wonder;
But Bruce, who ever asks the why, knows not his heart.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

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.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.