Ghazal, Between the Lines

This entry is part 5 of 47 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2012


The gap, the space, the state of neither here nor there, the hazy interval that
hasn’t quite revealed what it contains: it makes you want to read between the lines.

A bridge suspends across two spans of earth: a flimsy thing, woven of rope and slats
that rattle when we walk. We do not need to peer too closely between these lines.

Space yawns beneath, drops deep from blue into yet more blue. Behind, perhaps
the generosity of sand; ahead, the unparsed trees to read between the lines.

But I grow weary of traveling to and fro, of leveling the way then finding it un-
tenable when I’ve turned around. Hard work: deciphering between the lines.

How hard is it to understand what the heart really wants? The body’s feathered
with nostalgic veins resembling lines. Listen hard, read between each line.

No, the butterfly exploring your palm with its proboscis isn’t necessarily
a symbol for anything else. You cannot read too much between the lines.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← PresentimentGhazal, Beaded with Rain →

2 Replies to “Ghazal, Between the Lines”


    A poverty of language requires reading
    between the lines: the eyes cannot see,
    nor scents mean anything. No taste
    or touch could jump out of nothing.
    A trick, if there is one, is that meaning
    cannot mean beyond the compulsions
    of a body made for this time only.

    Does one learn to understand a heart’s
    diction? What words leap out of silence?
    Why does one need to listen to whispers
    of absence? Why do sounds of sorrow
    and madness register the same timbre
    where indifference is the sounding board?

    Is this why we would rather tolerate poets?
    They read and write between the lines,
    and could not care less about the simple,
    palpable grip of certainty bereft of clarity.
    What is clearness if the whole truth hides
    behind the unknown here and a dark there?

    If meaning could not be found in one place,
    here, why do we think we really understand?
    Between the lines, we may yet begin to know
    That we need to go there to be really here.

    —Albert B. Casuga

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