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  • Celia Jenkins

NaPoWriMo2020, Day 4, Poetry Challenge

Day four, and I've cheated. I didn't try a new form of poetry yesterday - having spent so much time learning about the ghazal, I couldn't think of anything else to write. So I had a go at another one. And another cheat because I only wrote 3 stanzas yesterday and finished it today, but never mind! A poem is a poem. So here's my second attempt at a ghazal.

Whisper Beneath the Sky

Who laid the stones and brought water to the fountains?

Does it change the clear sparkle? whispered the mountains.

The rain will always fall on the highest point first,

but won’t the rivers still run? whispered the mountains.

Who knows which bough, which branch, will break off in a storm?

Do you have a favourite leg? whispered the mountains.

The bee, heavy laden, pollen drunk, seeks the hive,

if he stings, is honey sweet? whispered the mountains.

Battery farmed, organic, free-range, chickens all,

who counts the worth of feathers? whispered the mountains.

When I sit in the garden, nature floods my eye,

who owns all beneath the sky? whispered the mountains.



So this one isn't a romantic theme, and while it isn't overtly religious, I'd say that there is something vaguely spiritual to be found in pastoral themes. I've been reading the Greatest Poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, an American poet recently turned 101 years old. I've read a couple of poems that I felt were pro-vegetarian in theme (such as Rough Song of Animals Dying) that I guess I had in the back of my mind when I was writing this. I wanted the voice to be questioning, contrary, wistful... and I wanted to have a better attempt at the element of ghazal that I don't think I managed before - the way that each stanza is part of the overall theme but seems unconnected to the other couplets. Anyway, that's what I wrote. Enough ghazal for now, I'll start looking through my notes for other forms to try!

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