Ruth Asch




Fire Ghazal



Buds frozen in springtime, dull and half asleep, 

unfold, soften, brighten, when distant sun-fires burn.


Love is gentle, thoughtful, careful, giving of its own;

but every passion squeezes tightly; all true hearts burn.


With all myself I called you, asked to know you well -                

then you were there before me, within I felt you burn.    


Excitedly I dreamed of how often we should be

close; how you would meet me, smile - how I would burn.


The spirit flies when, where it will: white bird, a wind, a flame;

no clockwork toy to call the hour - how my cheeks burn.  


Six-winged seraphim cry ‘Holy!’ to eternity; 

in the presence, flying adoration, how they burn!


What bits of sticks of we gather round us daily, for our pyre.

Night comes to embrace us - through it all he’ll burn.


Wood is blackened, wizened, ashened in the fire;    

Living gold and crimson, dance around its burn.    


Pale and cold as bedsheets, the slowly dying shrink;           

those who breathe on loving - with inner radiance burn.    


Stripped of Time’s quilt, flesh-cover, then we will feel God –

I AM who is the Lover – how He will burn.


Fire! Fire! Life’s energy; God is all aflame.

Oh come to me, Emmanuel! my heart… and let me burn.



Ruth Asch is a poet and teacher, who has been much published in literary journals, such as Peacock Journal, Poetry Repairs, Bamboo Hut, Anti-Heroin Chic, Classical Poet’s Society and Haiku journal.