The Inklings are kicking off September with ghazals. Margaret challenged us to write a poem using this complex form about a month ago. I’ve been playing with ideas ever since, but really struggled to get something to gel. Even after settling on a topic and rhyme scheme, I still haven’t adhered strictly to the rules. I also have to confess that some of these stanzas are reworkings of poems I’ve shared previously. (School began this week and I moved classrooms. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) Here is my very rough “Ghazal of Rivers.”
Flowing at a brisk pace, Quononoquetti*, long tidal river
moved people from place to place: ancient Pequot river.
Sinuous canyons carved with a sculptor’s grace and precision;
grain by grain, sandstone washes away, effaced by the river.
History is hard to trace when dams are built to harness power
entire towns are erased, drowned beneath a now-tame river.
Paddlers in canoes and kayaks chase thrills and adventure,
seek glory and fame when they race on a rapid-rich river.
I embrace my fears, watch tongues of water curl,
create space and listen to tales of the river.
* now know as Connecticut
Draft, © 2021, Catherine Flynn
Please be sure to visit by fellow Inklings, including this week’s Poetry Friday hostess, Heidi Mordhorst, to read their very fine Ghazals!