Esther Greenleaf Murer

Speculative ghazal

At fifteen, our dog spends most of her time introspecting.
Her life reels from puppyhood to prime in retrospect.

Because no publisher has offered me an advance,
I'm writing my steampunk novel-in-rhyme on spec.

Identification of sea birds is by no means my forte,
but I'd guess, from the way it swims, it's a spectacled eider.

Could you please stop going off on tangents and try
to finish before the bell chimes? With all due respect.

So many weird youthful memories have been explained
by having an autistic daughter: I'm on the spectrum.

Mirror of mirrors and mirror of mirrors of mirrors:
an infinite paradigm per omnia specula speculorum.


Ghazal about nothing

first line from Richard Wilbur, "Objects")

Meridians are a net which catches nothing.
A pullet is a hen which hatches nothing.

Hunting for hidden gems, I slit a boatload
of fishes from their guggles to their zatches: nothing.

Where did our family pirate ballad come from?
I googled some lines in search of matches; nothing.

A year's accumulation of shredded documents
won't waterproof the roof; it thatches nothing.

Ye dots and dashes, what hath God unwrought?
The telegraph operator now dispatches nothing.

Covered with green leaves, I prowl the woods at night
on the lookout for frumious bandersnatches; nothing.