NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 3

Photo Credit:

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:

  1. A minimum for five stanzas.
  2. Each line has the same number of syllables.
  3. The last word of each stanza is the same.
  4. The word before the last word in each stanza rhymes.
  5. 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.

3 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 3

  1. “ instead. take one collective breath
    and exhale, revel in the joy
    of stillness (god I hate this place)
    of the unknown—undue waiting”

    Read mine from today (Day 4). We are (shockingly) on the same page…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s