“Gah-zul," “ga-zaal," “gaa-zul"--the ways infidels say “a ghazal,"
But we who know “wine and bread and thou" say, “a guzzle!"
The two lines above are the matla, which establishes the form;
Their gafia and radif, “rhyme" and “refrain," convey: a ghazal.
Like a black goat jumping walls, the form should liberate;
“Stone walls do not a prison make" if the spirit essays a ghazal.
Unlike couplets of Dryden and Pope, slaved to a central thought,
Each couplet is free to stray and play at will in a ghazal.
The muezzin in his minaret calls the faithful to the mosque to pray;
But with his favorite wife--ah, the prayer he prays for her's a ghazal.
Once a Professor, always I guess, still trying to teach a lesson;
Here's Dave, sipping wine, hoping someone will pay for a ghazal.
DAVID LUNDE is a poet and translator whose work has appeared in such journals as Poetry, The Iowa Review, TriQuarterly, Kansas Quarterly, Chelsea, Confrontation, Hawai'i Review, Chicago Review, Seneca Review, Cottonwood, The Mother Earth News, Asimov's SF Magazine, New Worlds, Renditions, Galaxy, Poetry Northwest, and Northwest Review. Most recent books: Blues for Port City (1995), Heart Transplants & Other Misappropriations (1996), Night fishing in Great Sky River (1999).