In Review

Day 27 NaPoWriMo 2020

(Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash)

In Review

The twinkle in those eyes drive me insane, I conclude in review
Between dream and wakefulness, in my bed, I’m glued in review.

A historic question: can forty-three be topped in ineptitude and malice?
Along comes forty-five, surpassing with his turpitude. In review.

Uncertainty is usually beyond control, it’s about unknown unknowns.
Beware of those who do nothing but speak in certitude, in review.

A virus going pandemic may seem like an isolated event, but
plantery interconnectedness makes it a prelude in review.

What could be done differently, what could be said differently,
in silence I do the math, in my head I brood in review.

The flame ignited, burns bright, even as a gust of wind makes it
flicker from time to time. Is this one of those moods in review?

Those who serve on the front line, whether they think it is their jobs,
their duty, their choice, deserve a great deal of gratitude in review.

Your promises are a ‘Mirage’ that play with my emotions
This time is different, I thought, yet you elude in review.

Notes: Day 27 of NaPoWriMo 2020. The prompt for today is:

“…challenge you to write a poem in the form of a review. But not a review of a book or a movie of a restaurant. Instead, I challenge you to write a poetic review of something that isn’t normally reviewed. For example, your mother-in-law, the moon, or the year 2020 (I think many of us have some thoughts on that one!)”

Not entirely on-prompt, as I did not pick a single subject, which usually hard to do when writing a ghazal.  But I did incorporate review as a refrain (radif) weaving into a ghazal and ruminating about many things.  Wrote this in bits and pieces, and unfortunately, without much of a review. So hopefully it is coherent!

You Say

Day 14, NaPoWriMo 2020

Photo by Taylor Ann Wright on Unsplash

You Say


Writing ghazals, oh what a noble pursuit, you say
Following in Ghalib ’s footsteps bears fruit, you say?

Working from home, can be confining at times, but
means comfort in sweatsuits and no commute, you say.

Spending lazy afternoons with grandpa, listening
to tape recorded ghazals was such a hoot, you say.

The ghazal weaved into raga, the singer teasing nuances
With accompanied tabla, harmonium and flute, you say.

How good is your advice?  Versifying in couplets will
impress that cute girl in a floral jumpsuit, you say?

Because I spend time in your tavern, drinking wine,
O saaqii. That makes me a person of disrepute, you say?

Squeeze fresh oranges, pour juice in a glass, stir with
Screwdriver after adding two shots of Absolut, you say.

Like the causal tone of Faiz’s poems carrying embers
of revolution, who’s the heir, the new recruit, you say?

A devotee or an atheist reading Kabir’s dohas, Mirabai’s
vani or Narsinh’s bhajans will transmute, you say.

The stories from long epics Ramayana and the Mahabharata,
Sip into your soul, and lay deep roots, you say.

If I can see through ‘Mirage’ and can discern the
true reality, that makes me very astute, you say!

Notes:  Day 14 of NaPoWriMo 2020.  The prompt “asks you, like Alice Notley, to think about your own inspirations and forebears (whether literary or otherwise). Specifically, I challenge you today to write a poem that deals with the poems, poets, and other people who inspired you to write poems. These could be poems/poets/people that you strive to be like, or even poems, poets, and people that you strive not to be like. There are as many ways to go with this prompt as there are ways to be inspired.”

Poets referenced:

Ghalib – Mirza Ghalib
Faiz – Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Kabir – 15th century mystic poet
Mirabai – a 16th century devotional (bhakti) poet
Narsinh –  Narsinh Mehta, a 15th century devotional (bhakti) Gujarati poet, whose Vaishnav Jana poem (bhajan – devotional poem) was one of Gandhi’s favorites.

Though Ramayana and Mahabharat are usually accessible and consumed in the narrative form, they are actually big lyrical epics.
Saaqii – literally a bartender, or barmaid.  But, the word takes on different metaphors for lover, friend, alter ego, the divine in Hindi/Urdu poetry, ghazals.