Sunday, January 18, 2015


Restless specters in the dark lane of Memory
Turn happy days into the bane of Memory.

The stained attire, the vestments of yesteryear --
Out, out, damned spot! exclaims the thane of Memory.

In care and worry, I have lost my mirth,
A kindred soul to the royal Dane of Memory.

A quarter-century ago we taped our windows
Against roaring Gloria, hurricane of Memory.

Now sweet with joy, now bitter with calamities,
O winds that batter the weathervane of Memory!

Captive and thrall to Daphne's raven tresses,
Behold, the lovesick Niles Crane of Memory.

Where did I, what did I, who was I going to -- aargh!
One more bit of info down the drain of Memory.

The nagging truth-ache of Embarrassment
Doesn't respond to the Novocain of Memory.

Limbs of trees march forth from Birnam Wood,
Converging upon the Dunsinane of Memory.

Our maculate past, defaced by many regrets ...
Will it vanish in the acid rain of Memory?

It is, the sage avers, deeds left undone
Exacerbating most the pain of Memory.

While Thomas breathes, he hopes. The soft gray dawn
Rises above the spacious plain of Memory.


  1. Thank you for the journey of this poem, Thomas. And "amen" to the last stanza!

  2. Delightful, all three of them. Inspired by you, I tried to write another ghazal last week and was stymied by my rediscovery of the form's difficulty—but every one you write convinces me to try again myself...

    1. Thank you, Jeff, for your kind words! In fact, I am indebted to you for introducing me to the ghazal, and to the work of Agha Shahid Ali!



1. On Saturday, before I wash the coffeepot, I'll write to Milwaukee. 2. Eighty degrees out there, but I'm in here where t...