Ghazal of the Bullwhip

Ghazal of the Bullwhip

Who hears braided tongues lashing the glare still?
The language of pain writhing through white air, still.

Or herding cattle you pop and crack above the horizon,
pastoral and flowing. But sharp, a sonic nightmare, still.

You ask how love blossoms through decades and more.
That look, a caress, the perfect words – all quite rare, still.

Oh to be a larks head knot, strengthening when used.
Delicious hitch, unmoved water, tight square, still.

I fall, you fall. We fall together in pleated silence.
The inevitable loop of the captive’s bright snare, still.

No gods today, but voices trickling through my skull:
Bob, Bob, they say. Not again. Even you should care. Still!

* * *

In response to a comment, Daniel Schnee dared/challenged me three days ago to write a poem about a bullwhip. To make it interesting I decided to combine his theme with my latest enthusiasm, the ghazal form.

34 thoughts on “Ghazal of the Bullwhip

  1. “Oh to be a larks head knot, strengthening when used…” Oh, for all its tearing through the space-time fabric, your increasingly-refined artistry (and I dare say its artist) is no worse for the wear, still!

    And as far as outlaws earning their monikers is concerned, I’d say yours is certainly all it’s cracked up to be, Bullwhip Okaji!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been observing these for some time now, but this one made me think of the many dances I have observed from the sidelines at Greek parties (and I do not mean sororities) —
    counting step by step, 9 against 8 or worse, song after song, until I finally say “I’ve got it!” and jump in, and fail gloriously. But it never stops me from trying, so… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rhythms in Greek, Bulgarian, Turkish, etc, music are not “against”anything. They are based on groupings of two or three beats or notes, known as aqsaq (“limping”) rhythms, which are actually better described as “swaying” rhythms. Thus, while the music we usually listen to in North America is mostly based on groupings of 2 and 4 beats, much folk music from around the world is based on 5, 7, 11, 15, etc. For example, Greek music as a lot of 3 and 7 beat patterns. There are some amazing classical Turkish pieces that have 10 beat patterns.

      If you listen carefully… the groupings of two and three beats/notes have key points, key accents that give you a better overall sense of the flow than just counting “1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3]. For example, if you clap every time you say “one” in the following seven beat pattern 1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3] you will hear the overall “sway”, the flow to which you can time your movements: “ONE two ONE two ONE two three”.

      Sway back and forth on the ones… and you will be able to find the right way to move your body and feet. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: Ghazal of the Bullwhip β€” O at the Edges – jetsetterweb

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