Ghazal with lines from The Book of Flight

One day someone will say to me: “To hell with you and your stars.”
That will be a dark day.
When someone curses you and your stars,

Indigo clouds will gather and weep, pour fathoms of water.
The ocean is full. Something must move out to the tide pools: shore stars.

Spiral galaxies fall toward each other out where there’s no up
Or down. Vacuum-trapped, they still play Red Rover, Tug-of-War stars.

No up, but equine abundance in space: nebula horse-head,
And sign Sagittarius, galactic alpha-centaur stars.

Some were flung skyward by the old gods, heavenly haven from
Powerful lechers. Untainted, eternal, pure folklore stars.

For children, the mouths of such legends are thoroughly soap-scrubbed,
Painted on film, where headaches are rings of bluebirds and sore stars.

Too soon, children grow, are tangled in troubles resistant to
Soap scrubs. Some take up arms and uniforms of war and corps stars.

Wrong or right, they go. And then, they fight. And either live. Or die.
Or are taken hostage, forced to act in films with captor stars.

Indigo clouds, then, gather and weep, pour fathoms of water.
The ocean is full. Something must move out to the tide pools: more stars,

And sand dollars being flung like bad alms, neither hand knowing
What it is doing. These crack and reveal: white doves and core stars.

One day someone will say to me: “To hell with you and your stars.”
That will be a dark day.
When someone curses you and your stars,

Stand on the deck, send a dove out to seek, tell her to look for
A supple sprig of Jacob’s ladder—tell her: bring azure stars.

While we are waiting for her to return, while we are braving
The dark, Halima reads by fireflies—those ghost-(f)lights of your stars.


In response to Luisa A. Igloria’s poem “Trusting the Process.” Lines in italics are from
The Book of Flight by José Angel Araguz.

3 Comments


  1. Wonderful! I am exploring ghazal so it was very timely to read this.
    So many images of such great beauty–I especially like the lines of tossing the sand dollars like alms and finding the stars inside

    Reply

    1. Joan, glad you enjoyed it. However, do be aware that this poem doesn’t actually meet all the classical requirements of the form. But if you want to read some AMAZING work in the form, search this site for “ghazal” and read the incredible poems Luisa A. Igloria has here at Via Negativa…they are not to be missed.

      Reply

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