2006 Form Challenges
#7 Ghazal

The Ghazal is a very interesting poetry form and it exists throughout the whole of the Moslem world having originated as an Ottoman poetry form. Whilst predating Islam, it was retained and as their religion spread throughout the Ottoman Empire, so also did their poetry.
Mostly the Ghazal is far from religious in its subject matter and indeed the form appears to be blessed with an abundance of erotica. This is probably why the form became very popular in Europe in the 1800's and then in the US with the "Flower Power" generation, and unfortunately the essential elements have been lost in these "Modern Ghazals" and I feel it is time to revive them or at least make it known what those essentials were.

The Ghazal is a series of couplets (or Shers). Each Sher should be capable of standing alone as a poem.
The first couplet is called the matla or the place where the heavenly body rises. To me this sounds like a pretty good start for a poem.
This couplet also sets the meter (Beher) of the poems and the rhyming pattern (Kaafiyaa). In the true Ghazal, the last word/s of both lines of the first couplet must use the same word/s, (Radif)..
Similarly, the last line of the following couplets must also end with those same word/s.
Modern Ghazals seem only to rhyme these last words.

Bitter Race

Tonight lets have a drinking race
Without your love no clock will race.

Fill the tankard with wine that's soured
Make our feet too leaded to leave the race.

Memory lasts longer than liquor poured
Un-lived dreams litter the path we race.

Life's bitter brew this cup o'erflowed
With thoughts that makes my heart race.

Consciousness by sour wine devoured
Strikes me out of this hard fought race.

Ryter Roethical

Later the Ghazal just rhymed the matla word/s and to the English speaking poet this gave an easier flow. The following shers still used the repeating word/s. Here is an example of that form.

Inner Glow

When lightness hides behind dull shades of gray,
A vision fades and starts to lose its way.

When locked behind closed doors in dark despair,
It seems there is no hope to find a way.

A stifling place absorbs each breath of air,
While sending thoughts of freedom on their way.

Held deep within, a flicker waits to burn.
It lingers patiently to light the way.

To seek an inner glow, love must return
And rid the heart of fear, the only way.

A beam of hope illuminates ~ a ray,
to light the source inside and shine the way..

Gloria Carpenter

As was stated previously, the modern Ghazal no longer relies on the repetition of a word or phrase, it only requires that the last lines rhyme. This then makes it a more flexible form and if we take a Ghazal with seven couplets we have the Ghazal Sonnet.
I'm sure Rumi and other poets that wrote love poetry would applaud the use of the form for this.

Evensong

Tonight a heaven scent of evensong
is wafting, honeysuckle with wild rose.

A fragrant rhythm drifts in shadow clouds
of petals folding essence, in nightís close.

Through wends of arching vine, a trumpet calls,
resounding in bell flowers strung in rows.

Amongst the hedgerows, blossoms glimmer white,
in hope of succulence as summer grows.

Below, a clustering of nodding heads
show gratitude, in blessingís graceful pose.

A tiny rosebud dreams of her debut
inside a lullaby of sweet repose.

As darkness blankets all that sleep beneath,
a rustle takes on life, and softly glows.

Gloria Carpenter


Traditional Ghazal Posts

Contents

Maryse Achong

Between Us
Endless Searching
In Celebration
Life's Gifts
Mother Earth
Natures's Secrets
Reflections
River Song
Ties That Bind

Kathy Anderson

A Scent and a Kiss
The Sea Is Laiughing

Deborah Bel

Lovers Leap
What is this Destiny

Gloria Carpenter

Essence of the Dawn
Inner Glow

Allura D

Love's Visage

Lorraine Dafney

Missing

Kevin McKinney

Black Swan
Gated Community
Less Is More

Ryter Roethicle

A time of life (Summer)
A time of rest (Winter)
Rain
Stars
Sun
Winters First Day


Modern Ghazal Posts

Contents

Kathy Anderson

An I for an Eye
Ever Dreamt of a Rose

Ryter Roethicle

Prisoner
Rain


Ghazal Sonnet Posts

Contents

Gloria Carpenter

After Evensong

Ryter Roethicle

All things must end
Yesterday 666


Maryse Achong

Between Us

Come walk with me along this golden shore
The way we walked upon that other shore.

Life was simple then and dreams plentiful
Just like the grains of sand that fill the shore.

The secrets we shared with one another
Have stayed forever hidden on that shore

The footsteps that we left behind us then
Were like the ones we make now on this shore.

Lifeís ups and downs that have since assailed us
Are like the ebb and flow that wash the shore.

-----

Endless Searching

Why do we waste so many hours searching,
No time to taste lifeís sweetness, always searching.

Far too busy to smell the flowers blooming
We chase elusive goals, forever searching.

The secrets of success we are pursuing,
Lie within in our hearts, no need to go searching.

Time is precious and we are pilgrims passing,
Savour each moment, no time to be searching.

We should spend our sojourn here celebrating
As we wend our way through life, not in searching.

-----

In Celebration Of Indian Arrival Day
Tomorrow (Today) May 30th. our country celebrates the arrival of the first indentured labourers to these shores from India in 1845.

They came from India to this new land of hope
They left their motherland with their hearts full of hope.

They arrived on a boat called the Fatel Razack,
Though the journey was long they never lost hope.

Both Hindus and Muslims came bringing their cultures
Though different they shared the common bond of their hope.

Today we wear their clothing and relish their food
Celebrate their coming which was borne out of hope.

Welcome again my Indian brothers and sisters
Youíve shown us that once there is life there is hope

-----

Life's Gifts

Let us think about the gifts of life
Those age old secrets of a happy life.

Health is something that all of us crave,
But health is not a certainty in life.

Outer beauty can makes us its slave,
And it does not guarantee a good life.

We cannot carry wealth to the grave
Nor does wealth promise a perfect life.

Power can make sane men rant and rave,
And power can corrupt the noblest life.

Love is the only thing that can save
Us; love makes everything worthwhile in life.

-----

Mother Earth

Weíre pilgrims on a journey here on Earth
We ought to love the world which we call Earth.

Nature bestows gifts which we all collect,
And despite this we fail to cherish Earth.

We claim all that she offers but neglect
In turn to take care of the planet Earth.

This place that we call home is being wrecked,
And we must do our best to save the Earth.

If we donít learn to show her some respect,
In time weíre going to lose our Mother Earth.

-----

Nature's Secrets

Majestic mountains, you hold secrets we do not know
Accounts of heaven and hell that we will never know.

Rolling rivers you carry stories from the mountains
Captivating narrations that mingle with your flow.

Sparkling seas the rivers in their turn confide in you
Their sagas and legends now make up your undertow.

Fickle firmament you watch over Earthís abundance
Your celestial bodies are a part of this great show.

God in Heaven looks down and smiles at His creations,
But He weeps at the havoc wreaked on the world below.

-----

River Song

O river I am lost in the peacefulness of your water,
Who knows what intrigue lies beneath the stillness of your water.

What events have you witnessed that you have revealed to no one,
What plans were made at your side by people who now are long gone.

You must have been privy to secrets whispered in your presence,
Although they never realized that they had an audience.

How many loversí trysts were kept on the banks of this river
How many promises were made that they failed to deliver ?

O river, keeper of many mystíries throughout the ages
Who knows what turbulence beneath your placid surface rages.

-----

Ties That Bind

My beloved I seek you all the time,
I call out, I speak your name all the time.

Like the waters that surround my island,
Iím encircled by your love all the time.

Although you now live on a different plane
Our connection defies all space and time.

Though I walk alone Iím never lonely,
I feel your spirit with me all the time.

On the day I hear you answer my call
I will understand that it is my time.

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Kathy Anderson

A Scent and a Kiss

Sealed inside the bud of rosy love
Lies dormant a fragrance of true love

Slumbering beneath the sky
Snow covers blooms once opened to love

Silence under mornings golden rays fly
Fallen leaves plucked from the arms of love

Silver moon above earth so high
Heals with a kiss once scented by love.

-----

The Sea is Laughing

The shore is calling for its medicine
As sandy feet tickle at the waves joking din.

A salty seaman spends leave
Where comedians cruise oceans for a big grin.

Dead Sea, Red Sea, Lakes or ponds
Agree to drench us in raucous spin.

A stitch, a hitch from a smilng porpoise
As sandy feet tickle at the waves joking din.

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Deborah Bel

Lover's Leap

Stick figures and a happy face, adorn a windowpane,
A lady watches for her love; all she sees is rain.

Two lovers dueled, for the right, to win a lady's hand,
Below the hearth, a story now, all that's left is stain.

What journey will love travel beneath a starlit sky?
A lover's leap, transfixed upon a lover's heart to gain.

No bird could match the romance of Pegasus in flight;
Whisking heroes to their loves, a moonlit flowing mane.

There is no gentle path to learn, why love will conquer all;
Over rocks and bramble canes, we trudge through lover's lane.

-----

What is this Destiny?

I sought to find my place in destiny's strong hands;
I found the rock I grasped, was 'naught but shifting sands.

I sought a simple reason for displays of setting sun;
I found a golden backdrop, shot dark with violet bands.

I sought to find my face in clips of evening news;
I found some refugees, in flight from war-torn lands.

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Gloria Carpenter

Essence of the Dawn

Luxuriating stretches reach the dawn.
A bloom of rising colour blushes dawn.

A moon-disk wafer swallowed in a yawn
Bestows an early blessing to the dawn.

And as the day becomes and then is gone,
An ardent sunset feasts in place of dawn.

Replete, the deepest shades of night are drawn,
And fade into a dream of moonlit dawn.

A luminescent smile reflects upon
Anticipation ~ essence of the dawn.

-----

Inner Glow

When lightness hides behind dull shades of gray,
A vision fades and starts to lose its way.

When locked behind closed doors in dark despair,
It seems there is no hope to find a way.

A stifling place absorbs each breath of air,
While sending thoughts of freedom on their way.

Held deep within, a flicker waits to burn.
It lingers patiently to light the way.

To seek an inner glow, love must return
And rid the heart of fear, the only way.

A beam of hope illuminates ~ a ray,
to light the source inside and shine the way.

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Sal Coraccio

Home Early

Sighs of passion ride the air,
lovers laughing fill the air.

Recognition; blinding light,
accusations in the air.

Poison arrows in the night,
a fog that chills the midnight air.

Words of hatred taking flight;
knives and glassware in the air.

Shaking fists and knuckles white,
spitting bile into the air.

Truths and lies in anger bite,
teeth exposed and sucking air.

Enraged hands are squeezing tight;
struggling, gasping - must breathe - air.

Panicked, utterly contrite -
silence slips into the air.

Eyes unfocused wide in fright,
silence slips into the air.

-----

Rose

Warm fingertips upon your skin;
Rose petal painting tender skin.

A blush that spreads onto your face,
And goose bumps roaming rising skin.

We feel the heat in this embrace,
Fire smothered with moistened skin.

Fuelling flames at a quicker pace,
With tightly gripping firming skin.

A moment free of time or space,
A universe of pulsing skin.
At last a gentle fall from grace;
An afterglow of sweetest skin.

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Lorraine Dafney

Missing

Canít you tell somethingís missing
Hidden away still missing

Searched the house not anywhere
I just know somethingís missing

Perhaps misplaced put somewhere
Not declared lost just missing

Frustration I scream out where
Nothing answers still missing

Blinded by her beauty fair
Never sensed it was missing

Until she voiced her despair
Then I realized whatís missing

How could you lie and yell swears
You too felt something missing

Silence overcomes cold stares
You knew our love was missing

But only one of us cared
To find our love was missing

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Allura D

Love's Visage

The firelight illuminates the face
of love, it lingers soft upon your face.

Angelic halo golden in your hair,
I read the open verse there in your face.

The lines that time has etched and worn with care,
A testament to trials that you face.

Age disappears, your visage shining fair.
Unblemished, yes erased, flown from your face.

Reclining in the glow, white shoulders bare,
The light of love resplendent in your face.

With sanctity, the holiness of prayer-
Madonna beauty there, borne in your face.

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Kevin McKinney

Black Swan

There is a smile at rest upon your face;
What happy moment lingers on your face?

In formal wear, you glide there with pure grace,
And some sweet memory lingering on your face.

Your head held high above your feathered breast,
To let the sunshine linger on your face;

You scan the mirrored river in a quest
For one whose notice lingers on your face;

One who offered concert and protection
And whose reply still lingers on your face.

This morning, alone with your reflection,
Bright promises are lingering on your face.

-----

Gated Community

Your presence raises the gait of my heart
As your faith once razed the gate of my heart.

Where cold stone walls loom impenetrable,
Tenderness opens the gate of my heart;


Your roots grow deep and sweet blossoms appear
Like vines surrounding the gate of my heart.

In the cool of the shade of this arbor
Soft breezes blow through the gate of my heart.

I savor the scent of that prized heirloom
That garnishes still the gate of my heart.

Generations may pass through on their way
To asylum in the gate of my heart;

And they'll find it here as a monument
To the love that built the gate of my heart.

-----

Less Is More

I have no qualms conceding helplessness,
But I won't swear an oath to helplessness.

To worship the scythe, would not save the grass;
Not even if it swore to helplessness.

We both manage to live free of distress
And love the sun in spite of helplessness.

While billions who claim they alone possess
The truth, in truth, own only helplessness;

They think, as they so eagerly profess,
Their actions excused by such helplessness.

It's hard to settle how they acquiesce
Like lemmings leaping off in helplessness,

The logic borders on ridiculous;
While inculcating other's helplessness,

They ring like hollow tombs of emptiness
Echoing sacred songs of helplessness.

Sure there are powers beyond my hand I guess,
But I won't swear to them in helplessness.

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Ryter Roethicle

A time of life. (Summer)

This time in life of natures grown
A time of life for all that's grown.

It's splendours as new life abounds
A time of life for all that's grown.

Flowers spring up from the ground
A time of life for all that's grown.

Fruit is lush and begins to ripen
A time of life for all that's grown.

All around is life growing with zest
A time of life for all that's grown.

Plant and beast are at their best
A time of life for all that's grown.

Worn for a while a summer crown
A time of life for all that's grown.

-----

A time of rest. (Winter)

The last leaf has fallen with the rest
For a while now it is a time of rest.

Beneath the earth asleep and still
The kernels of the trees lie at rest

Bulbs and seed await natures will
Amongst other forms of life at rest.

The earth's energy needs to refill
Whilst the fields lie fallow and at rest

All work is done at the water mill
The miller too must have his rest.

Fishes must swim in ice cold chill
But slower now for even they rest.

So for three months all will be still
Disturb nature not for she is at rest.

-----

Rain

Lying, listening to the rain drops fall,
Drip, drip, drip, hear the rain drops fall

A warm sensuous mood pervades all,
Drip, drip, drip, hear the rain drops fall

Feelings movements, inhibitions gone,
Drip, drip, drip, hear the rain drops fall

Drinking loves juices our senses done,
Drip, drip, drip, hear the rain drops fall

What your eyes are saying is no illusion,
Drip, drip, drip, hear the rain drops fall

What we have created is no delusion,
Drip, drip, drip, hear the rain drops fall

-----

Rain

Lying, listening to the rain drops fall,
Drip, drip, drip, hear the rain drops fall

A warm sensuous mood pervades all,
Drip, drip, drip, hear the rain drops fall

Feelings movements, inhibitions gone,
Drip, drip, drip, hear the rain drops fall

Drinking loves juices our senses done,
Drip, drip, drip, hear the rain drops fall

What your eyes are saying is no illusion,
Drip, drip, drip, hear the rain drops fall

What we have created is no delusion,
Drip, drip, drip, hear the rain drops fall

-----

Stars

Wandering hand in hand easily we touch the stars
Let us dwell there and be free amongst those stars.

Life and love give birth to moments of shadows
Each shadow pales and falls away before the stars.

When lovers touch, loving and love become as one
But loving and lovers are more glorious with stars.

The moon has become the light for all that is love
The deepest love begins under the light of stars.

There is no reason to love, love removes all reason
But all reason is lost, and all love begins with stars.

-----

Sun

Where are you, I miss you morning sun?
But, it is winter for awhile, there is no sun.

The mornings are dark when I leave,
The days are dull and wan, there is no sun.

This evening you stole the day, as I watched
And saw you in all your glory, scarlet setting sun

-----

Winters First Day

Streets of clouds with the sun peering through
Settle to reddened slumber as day is through.

Birdsongs are absent now from wintry skies
As all avian merriment for a while is through.

Homeward drives made difficult by glary skies
Led by chilling winds that are knifing through.

Soon drives will be made with darker skies
And misty fog with headlights punching through.

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Carly Svamvour

Home

Over the city, over the fields - home;
Across the ocean, into the sky - home.

I heard the drums drum; were you in that dream?
I felt it like an ache in the wing. Home.

Though I recall nothing of heaven's gate,
I will see your glow, and know I am home.

Now we are walking down that dusty road,
you, me and that little dog - I am home.

I have felt my heart pain, known joy, light;
It's enough to know; enough to come home.

Oh, Brother you will know my name; you'll know
that I am on my way - I'm home. I'm home.

-----

Seasons (Spring)

You ask me if I'll go, come Spring?
but I could never leave in Spring.

In April, I've got wanderlust,
but there is so much here in Spring.

'Twould be nice to see the mountains,
but we have things to do in Spring.

'Twould be good to see the trees bud,
but magnolia blooms here in Spring.

'Twould be good to cross the country,
but it's so nice here in the Spring.

'Twould be good to see the kiddies,
but I could never leave in Spring.

Seasons (Summer)

There is a westbound train in Summertime.
Oh, there's so much here in the Summertime.

Well, I have never crossed my own country,
but the new swans come round in Summertime.

'Twould be nice to see the prairies, wheatfields,
as the train goes by in the Summertime.

I could catch up with my eldest daughter,
stay a week or so in the Summertime,

take a swim in the ocean, see the birds
and it's cool out there in the Summertime.

Oh, maybe July, August, or the Fall,
but I couldn't leave in the Summertime.

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Modern Ghazal Posts


Kathy Anderson

An I for an Eye

I hold in my hand a few words he spoke;
Reluctant to let it go, that my happiness would choke.

Vagarantly his thoughts became my mine,
Invariably a passing trend remaining under cloak.

Natally given a muse for happiness,
Grown now into laughing at the way it floats.

Bestowed a gift that now is revoked of mime,
Never to be shown as a demented hoax.

-----

Ever Dreamt of Rose

To laugh amongst the lillies
Is an ever dreamt of rose

To weep beside the seas
Mocks the ever dreamt of rose

To humor a users purpose
Is a thorn to the ever dreamt of rose

A satire is never deserved
By the ever dreamt of rose

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Ryter Roethicle

Prisoner

Like a prisoner you have me bound to you
Not counting days and weeks till freedom due.

There are no prison bars, my hands to feel
Like a prisoner you have me bound to you.

A wound from cupidís dart that will not heal
Not counting days and weeks till freedom due.

No fear of breakout or escape, there's no appeal
Like a prisoner you have me bound to you.

My life is sealed by chance, just one deal
Not counting days and weeks till freedoms due.

Not counting days and weeks till freedom due.
Like a prisoner you have me bound to you.

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Ghazal Sonnet Posts


Gloria Carpenter

After Evensong

As darkness blankets all that sleep beneath,
a rustle takes on life, and softly glows.

A stirring in the undergrowth appears,
discovered by a beam that heaven throws.

Dispersing waves reveal the gems of night,
reflecting on the wishes each one knows.

Some secrets feel an option of release,
as nightfall beckons whispers to disclose.

If mysteries stay hidden, losing sight,
does blindness open pathways that enclose?

There is a tide for all, awake, asleep
to breathe through beauty as it ebbs and flows.

A shadow hesitates, and then is gone
along a timeless trail of moonlit toes.

-----

Evensong

Tonight a heaven scent of evensong
is wafting, honeysuckle with wild rose.

A fragrant rhythm drifts in shadow clouds
of petals folding essence, in nightís close.

Through wends of arching vine, a trumpet calls,
resounding in bell flowers strung in rows.

Amongst the hedgerows, blossoms glimmer white,
in hope of succulence as summer grows.

Below, a clustering of nodding heads
show gratitude, in blessingís graceful pose.

A tiny rosebud dreams of her debut
inside a lullaby of sweet repose.

As darkness blankets all that sleep beneath,
a rustle takes on life, and softly glows.

back to list

Ryter Roethicle

All things must end

Save not a thing it all must end
Itís inevitable all things must end.

Why must someone have to die
Why must there have to be an end

Why is it only then we realise
That itís too late, weíve lost a friend

All things have not been said have they?
Say it now, drop your pride and bend

Friendship is still the greatest wealth
Why must we wait until the end?

Declare your love or regret forever
Love is riches you cannot spend

The dead take nothing with them
Itís inevitable all things must end.

-----

Yesterday 666

No more glory do I see each morn
Where clouds of fog show the winters scorn.

Dim twilight is the herald of dawn
No more glory do I see this morn.

Traffic slows now in the darker shrouds
And some show respect for winters scorn.

But smaller beings in four wheel trucks
Tried for glory when they drove this morn.

Some drivers more intent and care
For the clouds of fog and winters scorn.

The reckless cursed by saner folk
No glory do they see on the drive that morn.
The screams of the dammed welcome them
Where sulphered smoke shows Satanís scorn.

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