WD Poetic Form Challenge: Ghazal

Okay, everyone, it’s time for our second WD Poetic Form Challenge. This time around, I’m seeking a ghazal (click here to learn more about this form). As with the previous challenge, the winning poet will be featured in the Poetic Asides column in a future issue of Writer’s Digest, including at least an excerpt of the poem (depending on space concerns).

The ghazal is a form that “probably originated in Arabia in the seventh century” (from The Poetry Dictionary, by John Drury). This poem is basically comprised of couplets and a short refrain at the end of the second line. But if you’re not already familiar with the form, I suggest you check out the link above.

Click here to read the general rules for the WD Poetic Form Challenge.

The deadline for this ghazal challenge is June 9, 2010. So y’all have four weeks to come up with some great poems. 


Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer


By the way, Writer’s Digest is a great magazine for all walks of the writing lifestyle. Plus, there are two ways to receive the magazine now:


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148 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Ghazal

  1. Emily Anderson

    Robert – thanks for the reminder that today’s the last day. I’d meant to submit these before.

    Ghazal for Jenny

    I loved her four years and took away nothing
    but memories and photos that add up to nothing.

    In Ohio, it is hard not to love summer, the bright
    green of grass, the brightness of bodies wearing next to nothing.

    Both eighteen, we walked bare-legged on a summer night,
    sweet smell of cornsilk, so faint, almost nothing.

    An apartment without air conditioning. Open windows
    all night long. Two bodies sweating. I would change nothing.

    Sun and moon love earth the way I loved her, the only way
    they know how: offering themselves, asking nothing.

    It has been ten years since she left. Still when I drink wine,
    I wonder what I should have done differently. My answer: nothing.


    The poet approached his death without regret.
    His loves, his words, all pure and true. No regrets.

    Sunshine in April warms the panes of windows
    composed of broken sand. Does the ocean regret?

    The room is brilliant and empty, bed made,
    window open, curtains billowing in gusts of regret.

    The tulips speak: pink of love, purple of joy,
    red of blood with velvety pistols black as regret.

    Gardens, release your secrets! Tell the painter
    how to mix color, tell the poet something you’ll regret.

    Lovers walk in the new grass, hands hot and waiting.
    Their eyes meet, everything possible except regret.

    Peril lurks in every beauty, the ending hides
    inside the lover’s eyes. Ask Eve what she regrets.

    Time passes and does not pass, love does not last
    and yet lasts longer than anything except regret.

    I met the poet the year before he died. We talked
    of everything but death. I still carry that regret.

  2. Marissa Coon


    We two, clutched like a hairpin, forget to run.
    I bend as a bridge around you while the others run,

    then it detonates, resonates, the heat
    a single pace before the fire, we feel it run,

    feel it pant, feel it sneer, ripple-shake
    the building sideways. I keep you close, run

    my hand through your hair, help
    your tiny fist grip around my finger, run

    panicked around the circle where you live inside my brain,
    needing you, holding you by a thread that runs–

    Please, child, please stir
    and remember. Please, child, please wake. Run.

  3. Salvatore Buttaci


    The wise insist that love has wings that fly
    and she who disagrees must live the lie.

    In sleep the demons chase the dreamer down.
    A voice within says, “I must live!” The lie

    is dreams are real from which the dreamer wakes,
    while in the real world she must live the lie.

    Escape is not an option: face the facts!
    Good sense, a dull flicker, must live. The lie

    that love will conquer wounds the bravest heart.
    When love flies away she must live the lie

    as do the unrequited, unless time
    can teach the woman she must live. The lie

    like an old blanket can be thrown away.
    Jane says, “It’s not I who must live the lie!”


  4. Kit Cooley

    Dirt Dance

    When the world seems bitter and lacking in love,
    I go to the garden where there grows my love.

    Hands in the fragrant dirt, sweet smell of flowers,
    hours can be spent in a place that grows love.

    Green with promise of herb, food, and wine,
    nourishment for body and soul, these plants I love.

    Dream a path, a clump of lavender, and a mourning dove
    sings sweet sadness, scented with perfume, in the garden I love.

    So, drunk on the riot of growth, even Kit Cooley can spend hours
    doing all and nothing, full of promise, in a garden of love.

  5. Richard B. Walker

    Dinner at Millenium

    We go out to celebrate and dine
    on an exquisite vegan meal. Some wine

    for you, my love, while I
    will be satisfied, more than fine

    with Pinot Noir grape juice.
    As usual, long before the clock reads nine,

    though we have talked of our selves,
    we both know just how splendid, how fine

    it is to be parents, and we talk
    of our sons, and our hands entwine.

    I find myself rich in love,
    and as I am yours, you are mine.

  6. Daniel Ari

    "Requiem for Sydney"

    Summer picnic tableau blazes beatific in a chardonnay liquid lens,
    jumbled joy-blur, the everlasting family fractal in garden haze, liquid lens.

    For every hard judgment staining the sky, for letting the feline die alone, sick
    and sudden, for each unappreciated second, _perdóneme,_ liquid lens.

    We took our three-year-old daughter to the aquarium. Life teemed. And we saw some
    upside-down anchovies, swept in the surging school behind Monterey’s liquid lens.

    I dig a small, deep grave. We find significant ingredients to deliver
    the being into just keeping. Mira’s heartbreak clears her gaze in a liquid lens.

    Some say heaven’s pets sleep in silken clouds. Others say they are us, returned to earth.
    Like you, Ari listens for any echoes from the far side of the liquid lens.


  7. Michelle Hed

    The Dowry

    I will give you these bolts of silk
    and this fine goat which you can milk.

    I have some cups and plates of silver
    which she can serve you dressed in silk.

    I also will give you four camels to start your herd
    and a few more goats to milk.

    She has her own jewelry
    and a few more trinkets of that ilk.

    Her dowry is yours and her name is Michelle,
    my daughter with skin as creamy as buttermilk.

  8. Michelle Hed

    The Dowry

    I will give you these bolts of silk
    and this fine goat which you can milk.

    I have some cups and plates of silver
    which she can serve you dressed in silk.

    I also will give you four camels to start your herd
    and a few more goats to milk.

    She has her own jewelry
    and a few more trinkets of that ilk.

    Her dowry is yours and her name is Michelle,
    my daughter with skin as creamy as buttermilk.

  9. Dave Schneider

    The Library

    The ghosts of Hemingway and Poe abide here
    and cavort with folks like Bonnie and Clyde here.

    Habitat for adventurous spirits,
    Huckleberry Finn meets Sally Ride here.

    Across the ages, tongues of many scholars
    speak their piece and become amplified here.

    Their voices echo down fertile valleys
    from the mountain of books sanctified here.

    Insatiable curiosities try
    to have their inquiries satisfied here.

    History, opinion and fantasy
    are washed in the literary tide here.

    Fantasy writers take eager readers
    along for a remarkable ride here.

    These stacks of books form a mystic labyrinth,
    which will lead you to the truth inside here.

    Among the congregating kindred souls,
    the Muse Booster met his lovely bride here.

    “The Muse Booster”

  10. Willy

    WD Poetic Form Challenge: GHAZAL


    All hail and toast our fearless leader,
    infamous as a peerless leader!

    The Commodore heads a mighty fleet;
    calms waters does the weirless leader.

    Such a piercing gaze ne’er seen before;
    prime example of tearless leader.

    What a stalwart, jocose man is he.
    None dare call him a cheerless leader.

    Willy, put a bottle in his hand!
    We cannot have a beerless leader.



    To save herself, she abandoned me, all.
    Liar who said desertion would free all.

    Feet of clay a major disappointment
    for those who believed her to be our all.

    Serenity was needed when life’s well-
    being was threatened. Then, we could see all.

    Most chose to overlook the weaknesses
    our blind eyes missed. Too late, we agreed all.

    Flaws were evident from the beginning.
    In the end, Willy opted to flee all.

  11. Connie L. Peters

    A Patchwork Quilt

    Women of old would gather ‘round a patchwork quilt
    Made of bright scraps they found for a patchwork quilt

    The colored squares reminded them of many stories
    On each bit, they’d expound, of the patchwork quilt

    Susie wore this flower dress when she learned to walk
    And this is from my old tea gown for the patchwork quilt

    James wore this crisp white shirt the day he was baptized
    This—a dress Beth wore to town, for the patchwork quilt

    I wore this skirt the day Sally got married, Jane, and Bill, too
    All winter they’d share until they tied down the patchwork quilt

    Years have passed. We now keep our memories in photos
    But nothing like sharing stories around a patchwork quilt

  12. Connie L. Peters

    Yay God!

    It wells up inside of me and bursts out, Yay God!
    Sometimes I whisper, sometimes I shout, Yay God!

    For the sun, moon, and stars, the fish, beasts, and birds
    You’ve made the oak tree and the bean sprout. Yay God!

    From the weird duck-billed platypus to bulky elephant
    From microorganisms to a pig with its snout. Yay God!

    You made all humans: mothers, fathers, boys and girls
    From the minnow to the whale with its spout. Yay God!

    You made the sky, deserts, forests, oceans, and mountains
    You’re the loving, creative One who goes all-out. Yay God

    You made me, love me, forgive me, and answer my prayers.
    You give Connie Peters faith instead of doubt, Yay God!

  13. Joseph Harker


    My queen’s regard is sharp as any knife,
    unsuited for my witless brother’s wife:

    exchanging glances in his banquet hall,
    the lesser prince and her, his brother’s wife.

    Some days she sports fresh bruises on her face:
    what price to pay to be my brother’s wife?

    The long since withered conscience of the king
    paints colors on that royal brother’s wife,

    and fills her eyes with tears: I see them shine
    with wishes, hopes to be some other’s wife.

    Such treason taints my mind, and I recall:
    thou shalt not take thy neighbor’s (brother’s?) wife.

    But watching her process, I cannot help
    desiring, worshiping another’s wife,

    to rescue her: this henbane in my cloak,
    I bless it for my ill-starred brother’s wife.

    He sleeps as it corrodes his ears, and thus
    he struggles and awakes, he utters, "Wife"

    but it is I, young Claudius, who craves
    this throne, this queen: I need no brothers, wife.

  14. Walt Wojtanik


    There was a time before and beyond high school on life’s path,
    always delving betwixt prescience and the aftermath.

    You said you’d never find the need for scientific terms,
    always knowing what you know, in prescience and the aftermath.

    "What am I gonna use this for?" you questioned your algebra teacher,
    who always tried to reach you through prescience and the aftermath.

    You put up barriers, walls, dividers; hiding your knowledge
    as you floated through college in prescience and the aftermath.

    Now that you’re older; bolder in the ways of the world, you paid
    just enough attention to squeak through in prescience and the aftermath.

    But words were your thing, singing to you like an aria,
    filling your stages and pages in prescience and the aftermath.

    Writing thoughts that come from your foresight and the consequences
    that follow, you will have had your fill of prescience and the aftermath.

    And when your days wind down, wisdom will dictate the reasons
    for your slow dwindle; prescience and the aftermath

  15. Dave Schneider

    Yesterdays and Tomorrows

    More yesterdays or tomorrows?
    I’d gladly swap for tomorrows.

    Yesterdays’ outcomes can predict
    neither today’s nor tomorrows’.

    Beliefs wrought from yesterdays roll
    down the road to your tomorrows.

    The structure of strong yesterdays
    and todays can shore tomorrows.

    That foundation should give someone
    the chance to explore tomorrows.

    From yesterday’s lake of lessons
    through today’s trough, pour tomorrows.

    On the wings of wisdom into
    the sky of life, soar tomorrows.

    Healthy habits formed in years past
    could mean many more tomorrows.

    We’re praying that today’s struggles
    bring peaceful post-war tomorrows.

    Applying everything he’s learned,
    Granddad hopes to score tomorrows.

  16. Rialto W. Jenktaw

    Drizzle, Fizzle, Plop

    Their sparklers sparked and sparkled non-stop
    until the rains came; drizzle, fizzle, plop.

    A celebration ends abruptly in the rapid descent,
    of torrential showers; drizzle, fizzle, plop.

    A growth of umbrellas, like a flower bed bloom,
    multi-colored petals fall; fizzle, drizzle, plop.

    As the evening falls and the rains persist, a twist
    as night falls wetly; drizzle, fizzle, plop.

    I dream, perchance to sleep deeply through the thunder
    the day a total blunder, started out drizzle, fizzle, plop.

  17. Brenda Warren

    Here is my third and final entry. Thank you for offering the Ghazal Challenge! ~Brenda

    Love Ghazal

    A mantra for a woman who searches for exclusive love
    ends her rumination on a haunting and abusive love.

    Enveloped in a fuselage of unintended loss
    she can’t escape the dark mirage of bleak intrusive love.

    Words in chant when uttered, beneath a star-dropped sky
    tease open unfluttered, her soul’s reclusive love.

    Syllables will congregate and carry a command
    to seep through hearts and generate an unobtrusive love.

    In profile on Match.com, Caw chanted as she typed
    “Internet Yenta, catch me a catch of mutually effusive love.”

  18. Will Shakespeare (Mike Southern)

    I went for the drinking idea… but it sounds a lot like a commercial to me!

    Unlike some self-proclaimed Lotharios,
    You won’t go wrong with bubbles up your nose.

    I’ll gladly list the benefits you’ll find
    When you’re in search of bubbles up your nose.

    The Doctor’s effervescence isn’t fake;
    You’re guaranteed some bubbles up your nose.

    Does morning greet you slowly? Get a jolt
    And start your day with bubbles up your nose!

    No alcohol is needed to provide
    A “pop” like champagne bubbles up your nose.

    And if a sugared drink is not for you,
    You’ll like the Diet bubbles up your nose.

    No other carbonated drink compares
    When you desire some bubbles up your nose.

    Forget iced cappuccinos—would you not
    Prefer the rush of bubbles up your nose?

    If you’re still unconvinced that you’ll do more
    With Dr. Pepper bubbles up your nose—

    Will Shakespeare drinks the Doctor every day.
    To write like him, try bubbles up your nose!

  19. Brenda Warren

    Hope Beyond these Doors
    ~A Ghazal for the Class of 2014

    Middle school is finished. Life waits beyond these doors.
    Your childhood diminished, it abates beyond these doors.

    Rush headlong into glory. Stimulate your brain.
    Generate your story through gates beyond these doors.

    High school unveils riddles of enigmatic futures.
    Every moment whittles your fates beyond these doors.

    Countless contributions rise as possibility.
    Seek out new solutions to relate beyond these doors.

    While Mrs. Warren’s classroom grew with inklings of your yearnings,
    the world expects a huge debut—go great beyond these doors.

  20. Daniel Ari

    Tonight I swing, a curious joy, playing games,
    shepherding a dozen girls and boys playing games.

    Grown-ups make meetings to weigh the stakes and decide.
    Urgent winning conditions alloy playing games.

    We grow to be industrious children, stacking
    trains and trucks of cargo in convoys playing games.

    With our whims unleashed in our adrenalin tide
    what dreams, homes and towns can be destroyed playing games!

    And finally, weren’t the soldiers secreted inside
    the giant wooden horse outside Troy playing games?

    The new chemistry of earth’s oceans will not harm
    ship hulls, drilling rigs or duck decoys playing games.

    Floridians frown, but this upsetting morning
    also finds cousins in Illinois playing games.

    The notion of Russian roulette could upset you
    or almost comfort you like white noise playing games.

    Old men in the square hunch for hours over their boards,
    barely speaking and seeking new ploys playing games.

    Making certain outcomes seem unpredictable:
    that’s how Las Vegas makes us enjoy playing games.

    At the Palazzo, I saw “Jesus” Fergusson,
    fold sevens. That was the real McCoy playing games.

    Geniuses do the hard work of concentration.
    Looking up to notice, the hoi polloi plays games.

    Today’s CEO should not be surprised to learn
    how many the company employs playing games.

    My parents stopped inviting the Burtons over.
    Though urbane, they always lost their poise playing games.

    Ari spends hours winning and losing, tinkering
    and testing, his soul a paper toy playing games.


  21. Walt Wojtanik


    Pastoral the setting, a hillside basking in azure skies and eyes.
    You spread a blanket in the shade of azure skies and eyes.

    There were birds, singing; euphonic and euphoric songs,
    on the stage of beauty; in azure skies and eyes.

    A squirrel watches; curious and cautious stares,
    under the canopy of azure skies and eyes.

    And you wait with your basket; sweets and treats,
    a lunch to munch ‘neath azure skies and eyes.

    Finally we are joined, moments purloined and savored,
    labors of love in azure skies and eyes.

  22. Walt Wojtanik


    Childhood dreams live in the memories of youth.
    And love abides in the memories of youth.

    Imaginations unbridled; the desires of hearts and minds
    find a dwelling in the memories of youth.

    Amidst the number of a family, large and vibrant,
    a loving mother and father tyrant in the memories of youth.

    All in perspective of a young child, point of view lower
    and slower to process the responsibilities in the memories of youth.

    But love did abide in the memories of days long gone,
    parents long gone, but alive in the memories of youth.

    Lessons were a way of life; the learning curve was in force
    in the course of the memories of youth.

    Success came in the learnings of life, rife with knowledge
    and the fuel to power the memories of youth.

    I learned at my father’s knee; me and a pouch full of nails,
    the trials of an apprentice in the memories of youth.

    Surrounded by brothers and sisters; a rambunctious bunch
    of misses and misters in the memories of youth.

    Surrounded still in the decline of numbers,
    victims all in the memories of youth.

    Hearts full and overflowing with the thoughts so inspired
    never to be retired in the memories of youth.

    The tragic part of going back to the place you were born,
    is finding yourself as one of your own memories of youth.

    But, they keep grounded; the strengthen your resolve
    with more of life’s mysteries to solve through the memories of youth.

  23. Marie Elena

    Love Remains

    Though chambers close and heart’s at rest,
    Still, love flows through the veins.

    No longer rise and fall of breast,
    Still, breath of love remains.

    Though arms no longer reach to hold,
    Still, passion’s unrestrained.

    Now gone the numbered days on earth,
    Still, zeal won’t be contained.

    Though lips are still and voice is hushed,
    Still, love has not been slain.

    Spellbound, Marie absorbs his song,
    As love sings once again.

  24. Walt Wojtanik


    Your heart began beating in the glow of the moon,
    a symphonic trill in the glow of the moon.

    We walked, you and I, in the moistened sand
    and we held hands in the glow of the moon.

    The sparkle of your eyes enticed me
    as you reflected the glow of the moon,

    and I leaned in to kiss your glistening lips,
    a passion stirred by the glow of the moon.

    I tasted your lips, as I had before and the flavor
    of you remained with me in the glow of the moon.

    I took you in my arms and you trembled; excited and
    unsure of what would transpire in the glow of the moon.

    The lake breeze wafted, bathing our skin with
    its gentle breath in the glow of the moon.

    You huddled close, now more confident in the love
    that had rekindled in the glow of the moon.

    Again our lips met, and the softness there became heated,
    as the fire of love danced in the glow of the moon.

    We held our breaths for a moment, or a minute, or an hour;
    we breathed through each other in the glow of the moon.

    The warm sand beckoned and we sank in unison,
    never releasing our buss in the glow of the moon.

    The waves watched in wonder being discrete and distant,
    then, sneaking closer in the glow of the moon.

    The sound and the stars became our only view
    and we made love in the glow of the moon.

    In the glow of the moon, we joined in eternity,
    a fraternity of hearts in the glow of the moon.

    In our moistened entanglement we lay, hearts aflutter
    and arms clutching for dear life in the glow of the moon.

    We became unaware of everything at that moment,
    a silence deafened in the glow of the moon.

    Our senses returned gradually, one-by-one they came.
    Your beauty filled my eyes; a vision in the glow of the moon.

    You heard my heart as you head rested upon my chest,
    your man-pillow in the glow of the moon.

    And I heard your contentment in the soft purr of your
    feline femininity, an affirmation in the glow of the moon.

    I felt you stir beneath me, the reconnection strong;
    the tactile sensation of love in the glow of the moon.

    We stand (I stand and lift you into my arms) and we enter
    the lapping tide of the lake in the glow of the moon.

    It washes us, this tide, an ebb and flow; a baptism.
    We are reborn and committed in the glow of the moon.

    And in the surging surf, our lips find each other once more,
    they implore our passions to stir again in the glow of the moon.

    Emerging from the flow we stroll in our pristine naked state
    cooled by the breeze in the glow of the moon.

    Your flesh is soft and freckled, a heightened awareness
    in the goose flesh that has formed in the glow of the moon.

    It is all too real, the feel of you in my arms; a memory
    to stay with me now and in the glow of the moon.

    And my arms embrace the wantonness of your womanly wile,
    adorned with that wicked smile in the glow of the moon.

    Do we love again before the night transforms into an early dawn,
    our forever moment here in the glow of the moon?

    You smile but retreat. You are sweet and demure; an angel
    in the misty spray in the glow of the moon.

    "I have to go" you sigh, and you vow your return for
    another dalliance in the glow of the moon.

    We dip into another tender kiss before this night ends;
    a last goodbye in the fading glow of the moon.

    Inching closer and closer the heat wanes and before
    our lips meet we are exposed by the glow of the moon.

    An siren wails; an alarm harshly tugs me to an awakened state.
    It is much too late to remain in the glow of the moon.

    A dream. Recurring and teasing. A memory relived again
    and again, you and I in the glow of the moon.

    My heart aches for you. My lips still savor you. My arms
    long for the lost moments in the glow of the moon.

    But you will not return to this shore anymore. In my dream
    is where you live nightly as I slumber in the glow of the moon.

    And I pray, if heaven does exist, there is a lake shore
    where you wait for me in the perpetual glow of the moon.

    In Walt’s heart, love is bittersweet
    in the glow of the moon.

  25. Brenda Warren

    Here is my first entry. I will write and post two more prior to the June 9th deadline. Thanks for the challenge Robert! ~Brenda


    Ghazaling Nows

    From the One spring many— distraction cements duality.
    Enchantment flips a penny— people resent duality.

    Tend each now . . . breathe in . . . breathe out.
    Let moments rise and weave in— ferment duality.

    Remove preoccupation, be the task at hand.
    Tangential rumination represents duality.

    When pulling weeds, pull weeds, when doing deeds
    do deeds. Focus, lest diversion reinvent duality.

    The author washes dishes. Laughter becomes bubbles,
    setting free her wishes. She circumvents duality.

  26. Sara McNulty

    Baylee & Jake (Ghazal #2)

    Best buddies, the pup and puss loved to romp together,
    dog a champagne Afghan mix, black cat tried to get her

    into a game, by standing up on hind legs, and raising
    front paws up in the air, holding them together.

    In boxing stance, the feline batted the muscled flanks
    of the Afghan Queen, hoping they could play together.

    The Afghan stood on sturdy paws to gather
    herself, and pretended to allow the cat to get her.

    When the game ended they fell upon the floor
    wrestling gently–disparate in size–together.

    Later on it happened that Baylee’s health declined;
    Jake’s cat green eyes mourned for all their days together.

  27. Laurie Kolp

    Prince Charming

    The young lady had dreams of meeting Prince Charming,
    many frogs she kissed in her search for Prince Charming.

    Some men came in swarms like thick locusts when farming,
    and destroyed all hope she had for Prince Charming.

    The rejection she stuffed in her body was harming,
    but she put on a show to lure in Prince Charming.

    The prospects bailed out in numbers alarming,
    unwilling to serve any time for Prince Charming.

    One day she gave up on her search for Prince Charming,
    and in walked Pete, Laurie’s destined Prince Charming.

  28. Sara McNulty

    Dusty Rose (Ghazal Challenge)

    Her name was Rosalinda, known to all as Dusty Rose.
    She came alive, a spotlight, when at dusk, the moon arose.

    In the local taverna, her smile flashed brilliant as she danced
    the tango, her teeth pressed on the stem of a dusty rose.

    In day light hours her life of mystery piqued those who saw
    her always against a black-draped sky adorned in dusty rose.

    One night in late October when ghostly moon dust rose,
    the taverna’s owner announced a caller for Dusty Rose.

    The patrons saw her face of light brown sugar turn to pallor
    as that of a fading moon. A shadow scattered dusk upon the rose

    pinned in her hair, and like a spell, it drooped down in despair. Rosalinda raced
    out `neath a starless sky, and vanished wearing her customary dress of dusty rose.

  29. de jackson

    PS, Linda…Your Gulf Ghazal is wonderful. I especially love:
    ‘We surrendered that catamaran and touching hands,
    and we nurtured thieves, who stole our wondrous shoreline.’
    May words continue to bring you healing even as this travesty continues to unfold.

  30. de jackson

    Linda Goin, your kind words mean so much to me. I am indeed deeply, ridiculously happily in love with both an amazing man, and the incredible God who (finally) brought him my way over a decade ago. I’m blessed to be unconditionally and ridiculously loved by both of them, and if I reflect just a tiny fraction of that love into my writing or into the world, I’m pleased beyond measure. THANK YOU for your generous comment.

  31. Dave Schneider

    Ancient Wisdom

    Profound sages conceived ancient wisdom,
    then scribed the words to leave ancient wisdom.

    These dog-eared yellow pages bound between
    dusty brown covers sheave ancient wisdom.

    In quiet reverie, we meditate
    and attempt to perceive ancient wisdom.

    Crinkled remnants of burnt candles reflect
    hours trying to unweave ancient wisdom.

    The eager shells of unprejudiced minds
    stand ready to receive ancient wisdom.

    Hard work and gold medal accomplishment
    will ensure we achieve ancient wisdom.

    The misplaced dynamic of lazy folks
    will surely try to cleave ancient wisdom.

    Given today’s cultural dominoes,
    some don’t even believe ancient wisdom.

    We parents and teachers must make certain
    we help our kids retrieve ancient wisdom.

    Dave Schneider
    “The Muse Booster”

  32. AC Leming

    Managed to combine both drinking wine & love in this depressing little offering. I don’t think this is my form….SIGH.

    Blood of the vine

    I sip from your lips the taste of wine
    left over from the last bottle, the last vine.

    Mashed underfoot by slaves of love,
    stained purple from the fruit of the vine.

    You raise a glass, deep red, blood red
    full of my heart’s leavings, culled from the vine.

    No one else shall taste what I give you freely,
    to be squandered, spilled, thrown back to the vine.

    Drink deep, my love, for there is no more,
    my vintage soured, grapes dead on the vine.

    A.C. Leming, heart dead, stoppered,
    barrel left bleached and empty, under the vine.

  33. Rohin Bhargava

    Sunny Day, Blue Sky,You and I
    Setting Sun, Golden Beach,You and I

    Moon lit Night, Sparkling sky, You and I
    Freezing Weather, Mountain Peak,You and I

    Match Light, Dark Caves, You and I
    Wonder ful Place, Majestic Palace, You and I

    Flowing River, High Water fall, You and I
    Singing Birds, Quiet Forrest,You and I

    Velvet Garden, Red Roses, You and I
    Gushing winds, Open Field, You and I

    Thundering Clouds, Rainy day, You and I
    Dream World, Per fect Place, You and I

    Heaven above, World below, You and I
    My Heart, Your Heart, You and I

  34. Linda Goin

    Amy – loved your take on the oil hemmorhage. "I’d give my soul to staunch the flow" — I know you would. Thank you.
    Brian — LOL – I understand the "numbers" game. Good take.
    Clay — wow. How sensuous!
    Daniel — I just learned that almonds are aphrodisiacs, and that they represent fertility. when I read your ghazal, that new knowledge struck me as totally appropriate to your poem.
    Taylor — loved, loved your thistle, especially, "Don’t complain/;about every thorn in your path, every welter of thistle." Thanks.
    De – you amaze me. You either are totally in love, or you are made of love. I can’t figure it out yet, but I hope it’s the latter.
    Meena — I think I’ve learned how to "fall" into the ghazal.

  35. Linda Goin

    Looking at all that has happened in the Gulf, I wonder how much anger I can have against powers that I (and not "I" alone) have allowed to push me over — much like my parents, who trusted their doctors without a second opinion. Having lived all along the Gulf for almost two decades (and I mean all along the northern Gulf, from Mobile to Pass Christian), and having borne my daughter there, and her having lived half her life there, I have a bit of a different take on the oil gusher that threatens the entire Gulf Coast.

    Maybe my thoughts seem a little less angry than other protests (don’t get me wrong – I welcome that anger, and I want it to continue), I hope you all take into account that Katrina happened just five years ago…and a disaster of that magnitude can wear a soul down. Katrina wiped out every house I ever lived in…it erased my family’s history, for all intents and purposes. The oil just seems, to me, to seal a life gone halfway sour. The only difference is that nature, while a formidable foe, is something that one might rebound from, and it doesn’t steal a heritage — it is part of that Gulf Coast heritage (although two category fives in a row is a bit much, thank you). To fight against something that was wrought by man’s greed is another thing — it does steal a heritage…and I’m not talking about BP in specific. I hope you all can rethink how this country uses petroleum, and I pray that some changes come from this disaster.

    Gulf Ghazal; or, Prayers for a Shoreline

    We rode high on ridges of that catamaran
    like cheeky water on dolphins kissing shorelines.

    Wind pushed us through Mobile Bay to Dauphin Island,
    where we exposed our skin to sands on that shoreline.

    We were young, my friend, and thought we’d live forever,
    like timeless waves smoothing footprints from that shoreline.

    I thought that waters blue would always stay that way,
    like your kind eyes and the skies above that shoreline.

    But, life changes, and all we have are memories,
    as oil-stained driftwood now marks a deadwood shoreline.

    We surrendered that catamaran and touching hands,
    and we nurtured thieves, who stole our wondrous shoreline.

    I’ll teach our daughter that living simply can count
    toward barriers protecting a fragile shoreline.

    A life that gives much more than it can ever take
    is a life that is a prayer for a shoreline.

    We may never cross paths in love again, my friend,
    but we own this intimate goal for our shoreline.

  36. Suren Oganessian

    Amy: Thank you very much for showing the book to people. =) The second book has a lot about America’s response at the time too. And I agree, history really isn’t being taught correctly anywhere.

    Meena: A lot of people who belong to a diaspora have the same kinds of feelings of detachment and longing. I liked your ghazals as well, and it’s nice to get a perspective on the ghazal from the Middle East. I hadn’t heard of the ghazal until I took a poetry class about two years ago.

    Leena: Thanks very much, I’m glad you enjoyed my second ghazal. =)

  37. de jackson

    Ghazal the Ocean

    If I swallow you whole, wind, wisdom, wave
    May I wish you hello with this blissful wave?

    If I breathe in your soul, can I heal myself, whole
    Simply by becoming one with your waves?

    If your salt soaks my skin, can I begin
    To let go of the fears that make my heart wave?

    If I hold my breath, can I swim way down in
    Sink into your embrace, replace tears with waves?

    When I dive through, think deep
    You will rock me to sleep, on lullaby wave.

    But if I use you, abuse you, so brutally bruise you
    Defy you, I must also goodbye you, with a wistful wave.

  38. Taylor Graham


    All morning I’ve been weed-eating thickets of thistle,
    its stalks turning flammable in June. A swelter of thistle.

    Royal-purple blooms, more prickles than a prince’s
    whim. Shield my eyes against a pelter of thistle.

    What used to be good pasture grazed by sheep
    this year is overgrown, helter-skelter of thistle.

    Make what you can of life, he said. Don’t complain
    about every thorn in your path, every welter of thistle.

    Cast out from Eden, by the sweat of his brow Adam
    toiled on the Serpent’s acre, a Hell-ter of thistle.

    Spiked metal burgeoning from earth, this green
    rod forged to misery – where is the Smelter of thistle?

    You and I – hands for holding love and a blade’s
    haft – we survive our seasons in the shelter of thistle.

  39. Daniel Ari

    Wonder is the siphon suck that flows beyond the fence.
    Each child grows up, climbs over, and goes beyond the fence.

    You know everything in your yard; but some nights find you
    wide awake. You’re imagining those beyond the fence.

    One can meet circus caravans, almond-eyed seers,
    cool tricksters and millionaire hobos beyond the fence.

    Like Huckleberry Finn, you drop into the tall grass.
    Clouds spell out the answers, and time slows beyond the fence.

    Barbed wire, electric current and signs can’t prevent
    you from meeting all the tomorrows beyond the fence.

    Those apples may taste awful or awesome: you will find
    every opportunity God knows beyond the fence.

    Two brothers diverged in a wood. An angel kissed one
    while the other met a broken nose beyond the fence.

    Guile is one way of this world, so don’t judge too harshly
    one who you meet and whose eye narrows beyond the fence.

    How shocked innocent folks seem when confronted with proof
    of their own sordid imbroglios beyond the fence.

    Something always catches and tears away on the post.
    You can’t take everything you suppose beyond the fence.

    Like you, Ari had no choice. A new family waited
    for him with the sweetest quid pro quos beyond the fence.


  40. Clay Strickland

    Forget The Symbols

    Do not leave it to written words to speak,
    letters fall short in language; poetry speaks.

    Do not leave it to jewelry and rings to speak,
    show her in ways you adorn her; touching speaks.

    Do not leave it to quick simple kissings to speak,
    leave love’s mark red upon her skin; sensual speaks.

    Do not leave it to sudden swift glimpses to speak,
    show loneliness that she alone fills; belonging speaks.

    Do not leave it to chance and opportunity, speak!
    Do not leave her in wishes and dreams; failure speaks…

  41. Brian Slusher


    I look at the world and wonder what’s up?
    It’s like a fuse is lit and it’s all going up

    With oil in the ocean, stocks going down
    I’m waving white flags so I can give up

    But who do I surrender to? Not a clue
    So I get on my knees and try looking up

    And I’m answered by a pack of clouds
    That seems untroubled and breaks up

    Among the blue into wisps of pearly mist
    Like white smiles saying HEY cheer up!

    The death of a bird is a feast for the ants
    It’s a nice day, go play until your number’s up

  42. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Linda, Robert, and all who posted the Gulf poetry suggestion: One of them, was, surprise, a ghazal. I will post three on the site, and thank you for hipping us all to this phenomenon, a creative way to vent our frustration and deep sadness over a perfectly preventable tragedy.


    We watch the deadly ebony flow
    Fossil fuels in free-form flow

    At first, the movement seemed so slow
    Relentless, hostile man-made flow

    As more is learned, we’re shocked to know
    that one part could have stopped the flow

    One switch, and costing not much dough
    Compared with damage from the flow

    Big Oil lobbyists, strictly pro
    Primed Congress’ campaign flow

    Regulations were tailored so
    that BP had their profit flow

    Now shadows blot out coral’s glow
    And wildlife chokes from crude oil flow

    For every time the Gulf winds blow
    Disaster follows with the flow

    This sharp little pencil writes, although
    I’d give my soul to staunch the flow

  43. Linda Goin

    Meena — thanks! That ghazal used to be a scrap poem that I ripped apart and set right. Obviously I had much more of THAT passion when younger. LOL!

    Suren, you’re proving to be epic. ! "I am cleansed of my troubles, like a sand castle swallowed by the sea." — that was a new perspective on lost castles for me…
    Nancy …ah, loved your Poesy creations. Thanks!
    Amy — lovely thoughts — I’ll bet you got them on that little trip of yours. =)

  44. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Meena! Onions, no. I much prefer Marie’s comment on Barbara Y’s poem, peaches go with romance. Although the perfect combination is, for me, peaches, romance, and whipped cream!

    So glad you are here with us, and thank you so much for your kind words. I wrote that as I was drifting off to sleep – slipped from my husband’s arms and ran into the office. Hey, when the muse strikes…

  45. Meena Rose

    Amy: Menu for Romance. Beautiful and I learned a thing or two… especially the onion bit 🙂

    My favorite couplet:

    Meal complete, more pleasure sought
    Two entwined with one sweet thought


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