Ghazal to the Night

 

Ghazal to the Night

The sun carries this river to the night.
Balmless flesh, lies. A letter to the night.

What folly, your mineral dream of power.
I inhale your bones, oh smoky altar to the night.

A stump is neither owl nor island, lifeboat
nor storm. This resin, a gift of myrhh to the night.

My email disappeared to emerge a year later.
Why? Remember what we were to the night.

Hey, winged smile, describe yourself in colors!
Empty your veins and pockets, donor to the night.

This cup, that glass. The song of empty bottles.
Casting off, Bob hands his anchor to the night.

 

* * *

“Ghazal to the Night” first appeared in Eclectica in July 2018. I am extremely grateful to editor Jen Finstrom for publishing my poetry over the years.

I enjoy working with this form. It’s a bit challenging, but ultimately rewarding. For a little information on ghazals, you might read this article at poets.org. Superb examples abound in Ravishing DisUnities: Real Ghazals in English, edited by Agha Shahid Ali. The introduction alone is worth the cover price.

 

 

Ghazal to Bob, in the Night

I’m so flattered that Anna Marie Sewell took the time to do this!

Prairiepomes

It’s a new year, but I haven’t changed. I cannot resist responding to awesome poetry. I do hope Mr. Okaji will forgive me taking his name in this vein…

Anchors aweigh, we settle lower in the water
every year we are blessed to yet bob in the night.

Pockets emptied, we cast vestments to slaughter
turn off laundry room light, let them bob in the night.

Emails disappearing, this century’s unvouched for alibi
electronic dog runs away, to chew, bark, bob in the night.

Neither owl nor island, fresh thoughts loom in memory’s murk
half-drowned in self-reflection, they bob in the night.

Your bones, oh smoky altar, are consumed like breath
like breath, their essence left to float, and bob in the night.

This river, carried by the sun, carries a boat carved with runes
these are Anna’s words, waterline eyes that bob in the night.

Ghazal to the Night

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3 Poems Up at Nthanda Review

 

My poems “Gruyere,” “Mushrooms I Have Known” and “Chipotle” are up at Nthanda Review, an online literary magazine out of Mawali. This marks the first publication for each, although they’ve all appeared on the blog before. I’m grateful to the editors for taking these pieces.

 

 

Thunder

 

Thunder

The low rumble says “look out, I’m coming,” but never specifies what to anticipate. Lightning strikes? Floods? High winds? Sometimes even the rain neglects us. Our pup hides under a blanket in her crate, and I contemplate a run to the store for beer and wine. Three years ago tornados were spotted in this area; they never touched our hills. The storm’s downdrafts bring us the fragrance of ozone. I marvel that three oxygen atoms combined in the atmosphere to produce such delight. How I remember inhaling deep draughts of summer storms in my childhood’s last years, watching thunderheads roll overhead, dreaming of victories and love and certainty, not yet knowing that desires change, that the unexpected always seizes its turn.

Under this roof
we smile at the clouds
our kettle whistling

 

“Thunder” first appeared in The Zen Space in July 2018.

Deadfall

 

Deadfall

Clouds capture the moon.
The shifting branch cracks,
as if shedding thought.
I add words to the kindling, a few notes.
The tune flares against the wall.
Though I hum, no one hears.
Night muffles our song.
Abandoned, the flame reaches out.

 

 

“Deadfall” first appeared at Red Eft Review in June 2018. Thanks to editor Corey D. Cook for taking this piece.

 

 

 

Poem up at Panoply!

Read this poem by Stephanie L Harper!

SLHARPERPOETRY

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My poem, “In Praise of Reason,”  has been published in Panoply’s themed (“untamed”) and first-ever contest issue! I’m thrilled to have my poem appear with Robert Okaji’s contest-winning effort, and I’m grateful to editors Jeff, Ryn, and Andrea for selecting my work!

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