Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ghazal of Light

Vespers in winter.  A certain slant of light.
Cloistered brothers begin their chant of Light.

Van Gogh's sunflowers blaze from the canvas:
Ardent and large, they follow the bent of light.

Fingers of sun break through the settled clouds,
And all self-wounded souls, they pant for light.

Fireflies at night, jazzy constellations,
Brighten the northern woods with a stunt of light.

Enthroned in splendour, the soul's lost love
Shines in the memory, life-source, font of light.

An acolyte of Eastern mysteries,
He probes the skies, this hierophant of light.

Planets dance around coldly blazing stars,
Participants in the cosmic jaunt of light.

View the eclipse not with the naked eye,
But through a sheet pierced with a point of light.

The red low-wattage lightbulb Heather gave me
Fills my bedroom with a strange tint of light.

Decaf tea and a book of ghazals on a rainy day.
Retreat, O Thomas, to your haunt of light.


  1. I was about to leave a comment thanking you for the lighthearted and charming "On the Radio" ghazal, and now here you are striking a decidedly more pensive tone--in its own way, also successful. Having written only one ghazal, I admire your comfort with the form, and the fact that you do something different with it each time.

  2. Thank you, Jeff! Much appreciated.

    It's worth noting that Agha Shahid Ali has a ghazal called "Of Light," in which he employs the same refrain that I use here. His rhyme-words are so much better than mine! (It's on page 70 of Call Me Ishmael Tonight.)



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