Today’s prompt was quite involved. I was to make a “Personal Universal Deck,” and then to write a poem using it. Basically, I needed 50 index cards or small pieces of paper, on which to write 100 words (one on the front and one on the back of each card/paper). I am in the process of doing that, and the full challenge can be found here.
Given that today is the Saturday before Easter, my poem reflects the holy tension of the day—a liminal place. I wrote it using an Arabic form called ghazal, which I thought very fitting for a poem about Holy Week.
A ghazal—pronounced dozens of different ways (trust me I looked it up) from “guzzle” to “guzahl” and everything in between—is an Arabic poem from millennia past that typically serves as a vessel for romantic poetic expression of both the pain of loss or separation and the beauty of love in spite of that pain. I thought I’d flip the idea of eros love and write a poem about the agony of waiting and longing for agape love.
Rules for a ghazal:
- A minimum for five stanzas.
- Each line has the same number of syllables.
- The last word of each stanza is the same.
- The word before the last word in each stanza rhymes.
- The last stanza contains the author’s name.
I followed these rules, flipped the theme to reflect Holy Week, and took my stab at writing a ghazal.
a ghazal of holy tension the middle approaches as we stand on the threshold expectant. the liminal space holds the key— ambiguity; cue waiting. what has been before will not be now as we stand tall and straight-backed, anticipating what never has been til now. imbue waiting in this holy tension. we dwell; we construct new ritual to occupy both the death and life continuum. drive-through waiting may be the predictable pattern of the time—the go-to standard of impatience remains coursing through our veins. do waiting instead. take one collective breath and exhale, revel in the joy of stillness (god I hate this place) of the unknown—undue waiting every day stuck in the darkness, standing in the middle of time, in the middle of the threshold— time stands still; I learn through waiting. sit, carla, in the middle of life and love and fear; believe me, what is about to come is worth the agony of true waiting.
Don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments below.
Share the love, write a poem, appreciate a good friend. Each moment is a new beginning.