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WD Poetic Form Challenge: Ghazal Winner

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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