A couple of weeks ago, life felt more than a bit out of control. I don’t need to go into details again, as I’ve already written about it here. At any rate, in the midst of it, I decided to try to write a ghazal (pronounced more or less like “guzzle”). Honestly, I don’t even know why that form occurred to me except that I knew it was complicated and I’d never attempted to write one.
Ghazals have a lot of requirements (here) and if you know anything about ghazals, you’ll see that I have definitely not met all of them. Regardless, this turned out to be a fortuitous choice for me. It was so helpful to take my big blob of anxiety and manipulate it into a structured form. Somehow the requirements of the form gave me some necessary distance from the intensity of the events in my life, but also allowed me to process them. Since I’m missing some components and some of the stylistic elements, I’ve decided to call it a quasi ghazal.
Here We Are
After we got home from the ER,
we said to ourselves, “Well, here we are.”
Still, our heartbeats skitter, struggling
to find a new rhythm. As we are.
Already road worn on this unchosen
journey, we’re uncertain where we are.
This landscape is inhospitable–
shadows threaten wherever we are.
Destination unknown, there’s no map
guiding us onward from where we are.
With stuttering steps, we move ahead,
aware the ground may shift where we are.
Coiled serpent of anxiety
slithers out to greet us where we are.
Unwanted, persistent companion,
it slides along wherever we are.
As each day ends, we’ve traveled further
from where we once were to where we are.
Though the persistent rattle echoes,
I cherish each moment. Here we are.
Molly Hogan ©2020 (draft)
This week Poetry Friday is off to Australia again! Poet Kat Apel is hosting at her blog. She’s sharing updates on the situation in Australia, the happy news of some rain and fundraising success, a delightful opossum photo and poem, and a back-to-school poem in a new-to-me form, a trimeric. Make sure to check out her post and find links to others while you’re there. When the events in the world weigh you down, there is solace to be found in poetry. Treat yourself to a moment or two. It’s time well spent.