Friday, October 21, 2005

"a door" (ghazal)

An open door!   but then the door looked closed!
it seemed before   not open     nor quite closed!

no door is seen   unless a door has been opened
the opening store   requires a door not closed

embracing her   a door disclosed a shore!
to love her more   I swore   before it closed

don't close the door!   the window also open!
the heart she tore   became a door unclosed

I sleep on the floor   I abide in my rustic squalor
a palace door   each night grows more unclosed

the closing of doors   itself is an opening of doors!
each season's door   exposes yet more unclosed

the door of snow   of drifting leaves   of verdure
the summer door   where golden ore   is not closed

I spoke with a genuine doorman!   quite marvelous!
his conviction wore the uniform for   not closed

unless you test the door   can you deem it a door?
the mere lore of "open"   could be the lore that's closed

the depicted door   represents the possible door
is it actually a door   if it's never more than closed?

O authentic door!   your vivid traits   we laud!
a moving door's   soft-creaking   roars   "not closed!"

the veils that hide the beloved appear impenetrable
look sharp for gore   & blood   if the war is not closed

when the hurricane came   the city became her host
when the levees tore   she found no door was closed

in water   the door of water leads to   water!
the hermit's door   is at its core   unclosed

love's conversation opens   in every syllable
love's semaphore   could become a door   unclosed

I yearned for a tryst in the vernal park   she sighed
"autumnal more describes the coer   when closed"

we were really floored   and swore   we'd find a door!
what further story lies in store?     disclose!

life's wolverine trial eats lakhs & crores for breakfast
scant chance to snore   till the case galore is closed!

from world to world & life to life   we flow!
nor end nor shore!   from form to spore   no close!

sometimes we drift along   unfashionable streams
sometimes we score such fine decor!   and clothes!

how we've passed our relentless days   since Adam & Havva
the apple core   & the shiny floor   disclose

one day   our enchantment gorws in exquisite arbors
one day it's a chore to suppress a snore   till we close

a time of closing arrives   when the store has gone dark
dawn's sky glows pink   and look!   no shore is closed

his majesty keeps a rule that applies to supplicants
only one who adores the king   finds a door unclosed

Ardeo!   you head your nose   toward hard illusions!
your soft-heart chore?   discern what door is not closed



        (detail borrowed from Vermeer)

7 Comments:

Blogger ~River~ said...

d.i.,
This has a fantastic rhythm!
I felt as if I was trapped inside a crazy revolving door!

Fri Oct 21, 04:19:00 AM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

happy to read this!
rainbows & roses for you--

I did miss the revolving door image in the poem -- really a significant omission. Maybe I'll add a couplet (lest I be faulted for unthoroughness).

cheers, d.i.

Fri Oct 21, 04:37:00 AM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

hmm -- here's now
a brief history of the first couplet of this ghazal. I wrote it, and even posted it intitially, in this form:
A door seemed open  then a door looked closed
that door was open  was it? or but closed?

That's fine -- except in the entire rest of the ghazal, I followed a slightly different pattern (with the rhyme) than what's seen there. Perhaps I can invoke the very-late night hour of composition (and my general exhaustion) as excuse.

Anyway, finally (late morning) seeing my error of prosody [I guess one would say], I tried this:

An open door!   but then the door looked closed!
it seemed before   (what was it?)   open? closed!

Well that was closer, but no cigar. Finally, I pulled it fully into conformity with the rhyme structure of the rest of the poem. The result is as now seen in the blog entry poem -- 3 being the proverbial charm.

I've notes for a few poss. additional couplets, but no time right now to work that out. We'll see. (As of now, the posted poem has 18 couplets.)

Fri Oct 21, 08:40:00 AM PDT  
Blogger ChrisWoznitza said...

Hi I´m Chris. Greatings from Germany Bottrop !!

Fri Oct 21, 09:38:00 AM PDT  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

Oh, I like it. What images! Rhythm and rhymes are simply great!

Never thought a mundane thing like door will conjure up such images!

Fri Oct 21, 12:25:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Rachel Dacus said...

Love the "unclosing door" motif - and the internal rhymes and rhythm. Wonderful ghazal.

So glad I was pointed toward your blog.

Fri Oct 21, 04:28:00 PM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

hris, hi.

Gautami--
in fact, perhaps it's the "simple" images that often go deepest, no?
This reminds me of a little series of short films I saw some years back. They were explorations of ideas from the contemporary Jungian writer, James Hillman. Each film explored just a single archetypal image: one was about stairways, I think one may have been about doorways -- maybe we saw 3 or 4 such films (they were originally shot for British television, perhaps BBC or Channel 4; but Hillman himself showed them to us, during a weekend-lnog workshop here in DC some yearsa ago). Certain basic images -- a boat, a door, a stairway, maybe also one can say a footstep, a tree, a stone, a river, a flute, a leaf -- aren't they part of the "deeper vocabulary" of the psyche? I rather think so. I'd not really thought about this relating to this ghazal, but your note brings up the thought.

Rachel--
delighted to have your visit; you're the veteran blogger, I've just lately caught the bug. Look forward to reading more from yours.

cheers, d.i.

note: Rachel and I both had an English ghazal contrib. in the anthology Ravishing Disunities (2000).
Rachel has been more actively getting work into print; I'm now anyway opting for blogo-publishing (as a species of publication adequate for me, for the present).

Sat Oct 22, 05:33:00 AM PDT  

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