It’s a map on ancient paper, yellowed, frayed,
too often folded; treasure x’d on a torn-off edge?
That homesick girl couldn’t walk across a sea;
she’s buried on the hilltop’s western edge.
This painting’s like a string of lakes on a flat bog —
a waterscape shining perilous at sunset’s edge.
Sixth-graders’ field-trip to the foothill river,
two boys with gauges balance on the edge.
Is that a ship in the middle tier of lakes —
a three-masted schooner sailing off the edge?
Your son’s in love with tarnished gold, sienna.
He dreams of infinite worlds without an edge.
This sand-imprinted painting is how we live:
ourselves as center, not far from the hazard-edge.
At dawn, a message in a bottle on the shore,
and pussy-willow bursting spring’s raw edge.
A cloth cap hovers on a deck of coats
and arcs above a gust of rainbow sails
that billow from a mizzen-mast of coats.
If canvas sheets unfurl before a breeze,
what elemental force creates a splash
in multicoloured waves of cast-off coats?
Is this the stuff of dreams, of shooting stars
that chase the south wind like an albatross,
and sparkle in a crow’s-nest perch of coats?
These soaring fabric flares of red and green,
of amber, ochre, black and white, and blue
sweep past the vessel in a cloud of coats.
Who added drifts of fog in shades of grey?
Who painted lifebuoy stripes upon a beam
or launched a cloth cap on a sea of coats?
Horizons tilt and turn like rafts of ice,
but fail to jolt the skipper on the bridge:
his sailors huddle in their mess of coats.
Shreds and slivers prevail but he’ll always be mine this cat.
He’s out and about under cover of glow the moonscape of this cat.
He roams prepped and clawed searching food searching mates,
missions most serious, tail-whipping delirious, the moonlight loves this cat.
When he became known to my shriveled heart I lived dull and bereft
catatonic depressed ‘til a moonbeam revealed this cat.
Safe in my window an epiphany ensued as in I must get out there
brave rejections and hedges, not be moonlighting watching this cat.
Now I too am present with an audible yowl braving fear risking pain
in the light of the sun leaving moonwalks alone to this cat.
Will I yield again to the undertow. If I keep my heart open
I think probably no, not while a moonrise recalls me this cat.
Oceans of wheat are tiding under sky, and that sky —
blue—black as thunder — is full of the wings of crows.
If a farmer dresses sticks in cast-off, tattered coats
to scare away birds, what does that matter to crows?
So many brush-strokes, phalanxes of marching paint
in color-shaded rows. The black ones are the crows.
An artist dares to paint a cloud with beak and wings,
with talons. Now must we psychoanalyze his crows?
A clever bird. They say the Rainbow Crow saved
this world from freezing snow. We honor crows.
This chilly morning by Wakamatsu Pond, I found
on shore one dead crow out of so very many crows.
They say a painting mirrors the artist’s loneliness.
Who could be alone under flying clouds of crows?
If one bird falls from heaven, is it forgotten? In this
world’s great tapestry, what patterns weave the crows?
A small image of the art-work each ghazal deals with is presented just above the ghazal. The copyright for these works is most likely owned by either the artist who produced the image, the person who commissioned the work, or subsequent owners. We believe our use, on The Ghazal Page, of low-resolution images of such works for critical or creative commentary on them or their genre qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law. Any other use might be copyright infringement.