Like a penitent pigeon, grief has settled again on the ledge;
Moondust has lingered and shone in vain on the ledge.

Past countless midnights I have dimmed the waiting lantern,
The dying flames in lungs have left a stain on the ledge.

Which arborist of the kingdom has deadheaded my fingers
When graffiti of wooers howl a refrain on the ledge?

The revellers kissed the tears on the sand when she drowned,
For hours she was pummeled and drained on the ledge.

The moaning winds have borne witness to rise of the traitors,
Flayed limbs of the credulous writhe in pain on the ledge.

Uma you who flutter and gasp for syllables within a couplet,
Scribblers of the times gush like the rain on the ledge.

(Image credit: Anton Darius)


  1. This fluttering and gasping for syllables within couplets is proof indeed that you are a master of the ghazal. It has the stamp of Uma – as I’ve come to expect. I hope that this glimpse of life on the (l)edge opens the floodgates.

  2. So delicately have you penned down the pain and horror ! And that delicacy allowed me to keep my eyes open and soak in the pain drop by drop. it’s easy to describe something so barbaric in harsh, cruel and condemning words but the way you dealt it with is unique. I have unshed tears in my eyes. But then your style makes you what you are. good to read you after a long gap.

  3. I feel compelled to revisit this piece many times, Uma, so powerful is its imagery. It is masterful. So good to have your words flowing again for however long they last.

    1. Actually, the first couplet kept haunting me for weeks. Then yesternight, I sat and wrote the rest of it, and it seems to have hit the mark. Thanks for the encouragement, Sandra.

    1. You remind me of Voltaire’s prayer to God to grant him but one wish: make his enemies ridiculous!

      May God bless your heart for that compliment, Susie!

  4. A beautiful poem. As long as I have written I have not heard of the ghazal. I is quite a wonderful way to express such deep emotions and to convey them in such a passionate way. You have done it more than justice here. Thanks for the read.

  5. That’s a ghazal I have missed so long, Uma. Harsh sadness of your words clutches at my heart, but the meter, the rhyme speaks ‘this too shall pass’. Thank you for the treat!

      1. I don’t know whether it is ghazal or your poetic gift, but your poetry – and prose for that matter – says much more than mere words.

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