Sunday, May 24, 2009

Original Poetry Sunday – Ghazal 5/23

It’s Sunday again, & still more poetry—another ghazal from yours truly for Original Poetry Sunday. Hope you enjoy this & also check out other possible participants (based on last week) like Sandra Leigh at Amazing Voyages of the Turtle (Sandra's poem is already postedplease check it out here) & René Wing at Yes is Red. Anyone else who wants, please join in, & let someone know so we can check out your work.

Stay tuned—there’ll also be a post this afternoon.

Ghazal 5/23

the electrical chirp of cicadas at 3:00 a.m. a warm
sky swarming with sparks of stars

a time prior to sleep’s invention in the hollows of an
archtop guitar trembling an A six chord thru the f-holes

a time prior to lilacs & the columbine petals’
violet gentle stare the white eye streaked purple

a glossolalia of crickets amongst holly
leaves in a Virginia backyard dusk August 1984

the cigarette smoke growing moths’ wings the
white web lawn chairs the green air asking for grief

the locus of sleep’s invention amidst a
flurry of spectral butterflies grazing the columbines’

eyes—I’m mostly awake—sparks of stars
scintillate thru crepe myrtles prior to meaning’s invention a

blue & green & gray chord plucked on an archtop
guitar in the purple void—a columbine’s eye

lidded in electric night—always sparks of stars al-
ways a time before time was a time after time

John Hayes
© 2009


  1. I mean it as a compliment when I say it had a slightly soporific effect. Very cleverly done, I thought.

  2. Thanks Dave:

    Maybe I should have coffee on hand! But much appreciate the kind words.

  3. "the cigarette smoke growing moth's wings..." "the green air asking for grief..." "I'm mostly awake..." "always a time before time was a time after time... "

    really beautiful, especially these phrases stand out for me as opening up and deepening the whole poem-- interspersed with the precision focus. so many aspects, jewel-like.

  4. Hi René:

    Thanks for such a generous & responsive reading!

  5. Perhaps your best Ghazal yet? I concur in appreciation of the beauty of 'the cigarette smoke growing moths wings' and 'the green air asking for grief' Now if that isn't poetry ,I don't know what is.

  6. "a glossolalia of crickets" - If that isn't the official collective term, it should be. I heard all the insect sounds first, and the guitar strings' vibration beneath them - then read your poem again and saw the stars, the flowers watching. It's like two poems, one for the ears and another for the eyes, the two married in a dream state. I really like this.

  7. Hey TFE & Sandra:

    TFE: Geez, I don't know if could ever pick a "best" poem-- it's like picking your favorite kid, I guess (never having had kids I can only assume). But thanks a lot for what you said.

    Sandra: That's a lovely reading, & I really do appreciate it a lot. Thanks!

  8. I always appreciate your ghazals but this one was a special experience. I clicked your link to Rene's blog (thanks for that introduction) before I read yours and mentioned, re. yes is red, that I'd been reading about synasthesia yesterday. Reading this poem was was like being on some sort of sense enhancing drug, with the sounds and sights and smells all blending into one super sense blue and green and grey chord smelling of smoke and flowers. Not something to put me to sleep, especially after the tumbled repetition of 'a' and 'the' hurrying me out to take it all in. The idea of Sunday poems is very appealing. Can I play?

  9. Hi Mairi:

    Thanks so much for your reading! You bet you can play-- I always very much look forward to your poems.

  10. Very nice sad poetry.
    I am sharing some of my favorite sad poetry here.

    Dil ki baat labon par la kar ab tak ham dukh sehte hain
    Ham ne suna tha is basti mein dil wale bi rehte hain

    Beet gya sawan ka mahena mosam ne nazrain badlen
    Lekin in payasi aankhon se ab tak aansoo behte hain

    Aik hmain awara kehna koi bara ilzam nahi
    Dunya wale dil walon ko aur bohat kuch kehte hain

    Jin ki khatar shehr bi chora jin ke liye badnaam hoye
    Aaj wohi ham se begane begane se rehte hain

    Wo jo abi is rah guzar se chak greban guzra tha
    Us awara dewane ko jalib jalib kehte hain


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