Eric Torgersen

Under the Circumstances

You have good reason to worry, under the circumstances.
There’s a pretty fair chance you’ll be sorry, under the circumstances.

Life is unfair all right, and nothing is simple.
You might have been wise to be wary, under the circumstances.

What’s done is done, but being the one who did it
is quite a big load to carry, under the circumstances.

Some harm can’t be undone. There’s a will, but no way.
This knowledge must be scary, under the circumstances.

The end, if there is an end, is a long way off.
A bit soon to be feeling so weary, under the circumstances.

If you’re lucky, maybe something can be saved,
but I’m thinking you’d better hurry, under the circumstances.

From what you’ve said so far, it’s not hard to see
why we never got the whole story, under the circumstances.

You omit the particulars, Eric, but it’s history
time is unlikely to bury, under the circumstances.



Eric, you fool, you’re writing ghazal again?
Sweating that glorified word search puzzle again?

Admit it: you’re tired, and not getting any younger.
Think you’ve got what it takes to dazzle again?

There’s not that much help in a rhyming dictionary
when all the rules start to feel like a muzzle again.

Think you can find another book somewhere
from which to steal (or slyly embezzle) again?

Admit it, you’ve tried and failed a lot more than once.
Can’t you feel it starting to fizzle again?

You’re out of rhymes. There’s nothing more to say.
Eric, you fool, you’re writing ghazal again.


Eric Torgersen’s latest book is In Which h We See Our Selves: American Ghazals, Mayapple Press, 2017.  It can be seen at