A Ghazal for Earth Day

Day 22 of NaPoWriMo.  Today is Earth Day, so the prompt was to write a “pastoral” poem.  I was leaning towards a particular idea, but ended up writing a ghazal, instead.

I remember the morning walk in the park this evening
Woodpecker is drilling the tree bark this evening.

Drive from work meanders across fescue grass fields, 
The blades sway, under gentle breeze, and arc this evening.

The brook on the trail is merrily babbling, as are the kids
in their neon-laces, that glow in the dark this evening.

Hyperbole and pandering is nothing new for politicians
But a Republicon must have jumped the shark this evening.

Sun prisms through the steeple’s stained glass windows
On fallow fields struts a streak horned lark this evening.

Columbia snakes against Rocky Butte and lush green canopy
’Mirage’ hopes this scene’s intact as we disembark this evening.

Notes:  All couplets with the exception of the fourth are nature related.  In a ghazal disjunctive ideas are perfectly fine, and I just couldn’t help but get that political dig in!  I mean how else can you use the expression jumped the shark.

All the couplets refer to local imagery.  In second couplet, for example, it is still common to see fields within the urban growth boundary.  The third couplet refers to the brook on the neighborhood trail.  The fourth couplet is specific to a church and fields on the edge of the urban-rural divide.  But, I cannot say I have really seen a streak horned lark – which is endangered and I am assuming rare to spot in Oregon and Washington, its habitat.  And the last couplet place reference is Portland airport which sits on the banks of the Columbia river.


Same Story, Different Times

Day 19 of NaPoWriMo.  Today’s form is to write a landay.  Landays are “22-syllable couplets, generally rhyming. The form comes from Afghanistan, where women often use it in verses that range from the sly and humorous to the deeply sardonic and melancholy.”  The first line is 9 and second line is 13 syllable. The couplets usually rhyme.  There is a long form piece written by Eliza Griswold in Poetry magazine that is a fascinating look at the history of landays.  Landays are usually orally shared and rarely written down.  They are way for Afghani women to express themselves and provide voice to their condition.

I pieced together a 6 landays into a poem as the prompt suggest into something resembling a syllabic ghazal.

Serenading with the help of band,
accept my hand, together we stand on shifting sand.

No need for cloak and dagger routine
We stand in chaos as an oasis of serene.

Definition of heaven and hell:
Joy of brief rendezvous with you, tonight, in a cell.

Bidding you goodbye with tears to spare
I'm saving some for later if my eyes are laid bare.

Please allow me a glimpse of your sight,
sparkles of immortality in death might ignite.

From caravan I’ll be bereft, 
Feel me in every drop of rain, in every petal’s theft.