After reading the proof copy of this issue, Susan J. Erickson responded, "these ghazals demonstrate that there are still fresh takes on the moon." Sue's comment says succinctly what I feel about this issue. The freshest take may be Yuan Lin's anti-romantic perspective. That poem is printed below as a kind of Foreword to the whole issue.
In reviewing the ghazals submitted for this challenge, I realized that distributing them across several pages would make sense. Putting 20 ghazals on several pages makes them more readable and accessible than if they were all strung together on one page. With further reflection, it seemed natural to name the pages with the four phases of the moon.
The ghazals grouped with a phase of the moon don't necessarily deal with that phase, but the ghazals on each page seemed to me to go together and to be appropriate for the phase. You may read them differently.
There will be no editor's comments on this group of ghazals. I've posted an announcement of this issue on "Don't Muzzle the Ghazal." Your comments on the issue are invited there.
A new radif challenge is posted on the main page.
There's loads of sentimental drivel crooned about the moon:
swoon, June and Claire de Lune..that's not your genuine moon.
Get real, our subject is a giant lump discarded by the earth.
Some horrifying past catastrophe spewed out the moon.
Lucky for us; they say it helps to stabilize this spinning planet,
we'd not be here writing lunatic verse without our shepherd moon.
One small step: what a platform for ultimate one-upmanship;
good old American knowhow blared triumphant on the moon.
But lunar usefulness will not end there, it seems;
there's Helium 3 to mine: abundant energy. (Thank you moon).
The change will be apparent by the time we've finished plundering;
such cosmetic surgery won't enhance the beauty of the moon.
Romantic after all, Xuan contemplates another aftermath:
a scarred face facing an empty world; the one survivor moon!
All text and design © 2008, by Mike Farman and Gene Doty.