Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fault the Light (Poem)

Fault the Light ~ A Contemporary Ghazal

We sat, stilled, your aura all that shined through Gaia;
we snatched at the light, once given now taken — quicksilver.

We wanted to imagine stars mapped inside shiny scallop shells,
trade Venus for the light that had lost its source in Athena's storm.

We wished the sun's cast of Hades booted from our memory
and a squiggle of moon's light to shadow our quiet remembering.

We waited for Apollo's signal, his streak in the sky the end
          twice marked,
and the light in our eyes to hold your going, sweetly, softly.

If we could feel how Aurora, even now paling, might warm our skins,
we could store light deep, among myrtle wreaths, heart's own guide.

We woke with the hawk's cry rising, clouds clearing, roe deer
then discovered too late how the light withheld brings rain.

But for the slant and the slipping through of shades let down
we never would recall the way light fell on your brow that morning.

We watched the alchemy — electricity through Mercury, fluoresce,
and spelled the fire of Hephaestus cooled, the light run through
          the flame, expired.

If not for the glare of regret, the stinging crook of loss Ares carried
          on dulled spear,
we would fault the light dressing us down, before the darkness
          ever welcoming.

© 2011 Maureen E. Doallas

This is my first attempt to write a contemporary Ghazal, which, as this thorough post indicates, is "experimental with the 'what and where' of rhymes and refrains", and does not have a "formal signature couplet" but does "keep to single line couplets, pay attention to cadence and [is] associational." (Column width here forces some of my longer lines to spill over.) I've taken liberties and will leave it to you to judge how well my poem meets the form's description given here. I do intend to try the more traditional and formally structured form.

My audio recording of this poem:

 Audio Recording of Fault the Light ~ A Contemporary Ghazal by mdoallas


Maureen said...

The SoundCloud site is down, so the audio of my poem currently is not available. Do stop back by later to listen to my reading. Thank you.

robkistner said...

This is grand and mythical - luxurious to read, easy to get swept away by... Nice!

Pat Hatt said...

Love the mythical references and how your piece plays with them. Nice!

Brian Miller said...

nice..would loved to have heard this to see where you put emphasis...the last two stanzas are my favs...there is a bit of magic in them that rings true to me...

Divya said...

This lovely Maureen, i love the way you play with words in every muse.. you are an inspiration.

Beachanny said...

As the true artist you are, you have yielded light in many aspects examining its kinds and its effects. The light falls on and somehow through the mythical gods and goddesses capturing the eternal as life and light ebb and wane, fade and brighten, shade and darken. Brilliant use of the form.

jen revved said...

I've read this several times over, savoring its richness-- and complexity. You pull in so much of the universe, the correlatives of our search for love and meaning-- compelling, Maureen. xxxj BTW thanks for comments on Moussaka-- I have since learned to dip the eggplant slices in beaten egg and to make the whole thing in stages across several days! xxxj

Ruth said...

I have been enjoying the ghazals I've read around blogs these past couple of weeks. My friend Rauf from India introduced me to them a few years ago, and I love the form and purpose.

Yours is really fine, so very lyrical. I loved this line especially:

If we could feel how Aurora, even now paling, might warm our skins, . . .

Dave King said...

This is a fine achievement, fist attempt or thirty first! It works beautifully for me.

Hannah Stephenson said...

You have such a soothing voice--you should be in radio! So lovely.

jen revved said...

Congrats on compliment from Deborah Batterman, M...xxj