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Arabic Ghazal Challenge



Page One

All text and design © 2010, by Taylor Graham, Caroline Gill, Linda Umans, and Gene Doty.

Separations

Taylor Graham

For hours I drove through night-fog, earth cold
and unfamiliar as a lover with face shawled.

Sunday circle, aging ladies gather one and one
and one. So many stories to be told and retold.

Earthquake shook the china off the shelf.
Church-bells, one against another, pealed.

When we pruned the roses, did they grieve?
How many blossoming summers they held.

I looked for you in the Garden of Drought —
lavender and sage — herbs the earth healed.

How you've made me laugh, so many years
we loved like children. How could we get old?

The wild goose mates for life. Look, a skein
of ten; a lone goose waiting in the field.

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A Lonely Soul

Caroline Gill

A silver form appeared to show that daylight was fading
like the old man's life; he dropped the straw he was holding.
His eyes followed the flight-path of the owl as she soared
over the allotment, with outstretched wings pounding.
The moon was only a small streak on the horizon
but the old man knew that black and white were fusing.
It was that strange twilight hour when he loved to watch her,
his fixed eyes tracing the shadowed silhouette performing.
His adopted offspring had long since fledged, leaving the nest
in his hat, and wounds in his heart that needed binding.
The owl's feathers glistened with stardust as she took off
without a thought that the scarecrow needed befriending.

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night blooming jasmine

Linda Umans

the jasmine breathes in any hour but in black it blooms as the bat
resumes her insect run I dream the bud the white to night attunes
when I feel an absence missing you I sneak around to glimpse the flower
but I don't need the sighting for what is form when scent assumes
your presence and a breeze returns to perfume day the air holds no secret
the bat wings move in silent truth and I am watching from the moon
and rest assured that love prevails with all imbalance as long as jasmine
takes a breath and sleeping even dying love the life of it exhumes
you walk in daylight beauty and should not doubt what you can't just see
while Linda gardens in her mind her jasmine love another night retunes

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