Pirates, Ahoy!


The blizzard sits in the mountains, the earthquake in the grass,
Shall I wear the deathly wind, or kiss the snake in the grass?

Windbags rant, the minions chant, a cataclysm is imminent,
Time to anoint the pirates, and bury the Sheikh in the grass.

Worker geese are stuff-taxed, that the nobles feast on foi gras,
Labourers drudge at wineries and return to slake in the grass.

Murmuring rivers, swaying crops are cloistered in barrages,
Parched, starving caravan hunt for snowflakes in the grass.

Skies are sold, the winds are bought, the earth beneath is wagered,
Doused breaths, fettered steps: such are at stake in the grass.

Uma for an ounce of wine they will undress many a vineyard,
Soaked with deathly odour are the crusted mud cakes in the grass.


  1. It’s “relatively easy” to write a ghazal and stick to the form. It’s well-nigh impossible to turn it into a poem. You have made every thing count. Every couplet is like the splitting of a log. I never expected such strange juxtapositions of images – but it works! At one stage I thought you were “having us on” – and then it forced me to reflect…

    1. A ghazal that appeals to the reader must come from the heart, and it is a critical condition to its success. I must confess, this piece is more a product of an anguished mind than that sensate organ, and it’s perhaps not the most liquid of my efforts. Thank you ever so much, Bruce.

  2. We are all partners in crime, always ready to undress many a vine yard for an ounce of wine. As we progress in the name of civilisation, unfortunately more and more murmuring rivers and flourishing falls are are going to be cloistered in tall concrete.
    Then Gazhals like your can provide a faint ray of solace, I hope.

  3. This is such a feast of agony, pain, and unrest that I feel I am staring through a window–a peeping tom that has no right to it.
    Thank you for your openness and honesty. I will still try to write a ghazal, as I’ve come to really love the form. But I take my time as I do not want to be disrespectful of the form, and do it right.
    This is right–this is really good.

    1. I realise I have poured the accumulated bitterness of a lifetime in this piece contrary to my intentions. Be that as it may, peeping toms like you are the very lifeblood of this vineyard.

      The beautiful format awaits your magic touch.

Won't you say something, old friend?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: