Whew! As with the kyrielle challenge, this was a tough one for me to judge. I think I short-listed more than 30 poems, so it was a challenge for me to even get down to a Top 10 list, let alone choose a winner. But the list has been picked--as has the winner.
I could only pick 10, so many great ghazals (learn more about ghazals here) were left out in the cold. Here are the ones that made it through my several readings:
10. Poesy, by Nancy Posey
9. Regret, by Emily Anderson
8. Menu for Romance, by Amy Barlow Liberatore
7. Bodies in a Room, by Linda Goin
6. Across the Room, by Meena Rose
5. Ghazal Sequence: In Memoriam, by Christine Bloom
4. The Throes, by Daniel Ari
3. A Ghazal to a Mountain, by Suren Oganessian
2. A Ghazal for Alcatraz, by Taylor Graham
1. "Can these crumpled leaves...," by Tiel Aisha Ansari
Before sharing Tiel's excellent ghazal, I just wanted to make a mention of Taylor Graham. Before deciding on the Top 10, there was a super competitive list of 18. Taylor had three poems in that final 18. So I just want to send out some kudos.
And here's the winning ghazal:
“Can these crumpled leaves...”
by Tiel Aisha Ansari
Can these crumpled leaves really hold a flower?
A fist clenched this tight would crush any flower.
A glimpse of sky through the roof of a bower
naked to the wind and unclothed with flowers.
Emerald enamel sheathes the walls of this tower,
this bud that imprisons the thought of a flower.
And the hopeful search, and the desperate scour
their hearts for a glimpse of a beckoning flower.
Last summer's savor has turned to sour
for want of the perfume of opening flowers.
And no one can dream yet of a tranquil hour
when bees might rest upon an outspread flower.
The Bride of the Beloved will reveal her dower
when God calls "Open" to the sleeping flower.
Congratulations, Tiel! And props to the rest of the Top 10! It was a tough list to make.
Thank you to everyone who participated. It was a great joy reading everyone's poems.
Plus, I hope to release the deadline for the next form contest sometime this week. Stay tuned.
Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer
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