Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"I lost my way" (ghazal)

In the path of long goodbyes     I lost my way
until I find your eyes     I've lost my way!

I thought perchance the moon would illume the pines
but under the moon   I've pined     & lost my way

O hourglass!   what a charmer!     what a cheat!
as sand descends   our time     is lost away

a time for the singing of birds arrives in the land
the voice of the turtle surprises     the castaway

in the deeps of night     the lover is wrung with anguish
in the shallows of dawn     who chimes his loss away?

is engagé or dégagé   more appropriate now?
will the ingenue soon sigh     I've lost the way?

if the buildings & stores implore   hey look!   we're for sale!
will a houseboat hide the mimes     who've lost their way?

when the gymnist twirls his globe     our heads revolve!
with an Atlas recognized     who's lost his way?

if a thousand times     I try to tie one shoe
there's a sock-in-the-mouth surmise     I've lost my way!

the raag of midnight!     who would sing darbari?
when lacking a king     the rhymes   had lost their way

the silent one     proved slippery   like   all get-out!
his pelucid paradigms       re-glossed the way

what if Raphael sets out to intone     your ghazal?
whose alchemy     could sublime   his loss away?
   
   

notes:

Atlas : the Greek god Atlas, said to shoulder the pillar on which the world rests. Secondarily, of course an atlas is a map (e.g., a map of the world).

darbari : the raag called (for short) darbari (literally, "of the darbar" [aka durbar]) is traditionally attributed to the singer Tansen, a gifted & prized musician in Emperor Akbar's court.

engagé & dégagé (French) : engagement & detachment

4 Comments:

Anonymous ArchanaD said...

damn good! flows very nicely.

the first stanza reminded me of some funny lines:

girl, do you have a map? I keep getting lost in your eyes! :)

though of course, youe ghazal claims otherwise :)

Tue Oct 18, 10:47:00 PM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

thanks Archanad!
very nice quote, that.
BTW, just now (perhaps-maybe while you were typing this) I revised one couplet -- "In the depths of night..."
cheers, d.i.

Tue Oct 18, 10:57:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Nilanjan said...

David: Your "Radif" is not working. The previous two I think were better attempts. By, the way did you see my comments on "So brief the hours".
Nilanjan.

Wed Oct 19, 12:20:00 AM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

Nilanjan-bhai,
thanks for the visit!
This may sound peculiarly "non-professional"(?), but at the moment (3:48 a.m. on this side of the globe), I'm still writing & revising this thing directly online. (In morning I'll further review whether radif works or doesn't!) This was 5 verses when initially posted it; now 12....
Haven't yet seen your other comments but shall anon. Sometimes a more ambitious ghazal puts greater challenges / strain on the poor radif(?) We'll see -- clearly ... I've lost my way!

cheers,
d.i.

Wed Oct 19, 12:51:00 AM PDT  

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