Friday, April 15, 2011

A Ghazal of Rocks in My Life

A Ghazal is a poem that is made up like an odd numbered chain of couplets, where each couplet is 
an independent poem. It should be natural to put a comma at the end of the first line. The Ghazal 
has a refrain of one to three words that repeat, and an inline rhyme that preceedes the refrain. 
Lines 1 and 2, then every second line, has this refrain and inline rhyme, and the last couplet should 
refer to the authors pen-name... The rhyming scheme is AA bA cA dA eA etc.

Phew!  I wasn't sure I was going to get a poem in today!  This took longer than I thought it would, and I had to go out for supper in the middle of it.  I've used the Ghazal form...not too friendly a form.  Or maybe it was hard to get my brain in gear.  I wanted something a bit more whimsy with rocks in my life...although whimsy and solid rock don't seem to go together. 
Perhaps the Granite Ships is more what needs to be done with each rock, rather than put a bunch of rocks together in a pile....!
The first stanza of the poem is about being at my grandparents' cottage/home in Harpswell, Maine, where I spent quite a bit of time.  I used rocks as plates and furniture in my days spent in that rocky beached lobstering community. 
Each stanza is really a story in and of itself, so maybe after April poems I'll try writing those stories.


Serving sand-sprinkled seaweed on a rock;
my doll’s shale plate on a table of rock.

A wedding gift from my high school friend;
a smooth, large, quartz-ringed wishing rock.

A stage for my son’s musical performances;
a huge, flat-topped, New Hampshire granite rock.

My daughter’s tooth-breaker planted in our Rhode Island yard,
from road construction, uprooted, leftover, granite rock.

A motorcycle ride for a hundred little sun-warmed pebbles,
a discarded beach sock full of treasured Nova Scotia beach rock.

A colorful memory of my mom’s last earthly adventure,
sharp red shafts of Newfoundland cliff rock.

My daughter’s found "mom loves rocks" present to me;
a wonderful, kitchen-cupboard-green, fits-Donna-to-a-T rock.


  1. I enjoyed that you told a little back story to the poem itself; the stories might be a short memoir gathered under the rocks! Your pieces do fit together well, all of a piece, if you will. I can see that a ghazal is quite complicated, but intriguing too, especially that part about leaving 'yourself' at the end. Lovely work!

  2. This subject worked really well in this format.


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