The climbing weed of love
will not take root here in my garden; the seed of love
sends up no clinging shoot here in my garden.
My soil is such poor tilth,
so hard and dry, so full of stones I can’t grow even
weeds of ill repute here in my garden.
I please a foolish eye
with poison ivy’s viral green, and warn my friends
of what I daren’t up-root here in my garden.
I swear I never planted
Love-lies-bleeding where it grows; and Cupid’s darts
are weeds of disrepute here in my garden.
Bill, perspiration’s salt
turns white the land about my home, you sweat to build
a house of ill repute here in my garden.
WILLIAM DENNIS encountered ghazal on a trip to Delhi, and has been fascinated by the form, its atmosphere and its history for years. His work has appeared previously on The Ghazal Page and in Contemporary Ghazals, R. W. Watkins, editor. He has a two books of ghazal, available at Amazon in electronic format: Better Than Truth—Not Quite Translations, after Ghalib and Foreign Language—Exploring the Ghazal in English.