Footprints: A Ghazal and Challenge

Footprints

Why do I see more footprints here?
Please do not leave your footprints here.

It is not easy to mop up
All trace of offshore footprints here.

If you decide that you will leave,
I beg do not store footprints here.

Please know that if you choose to stay
You will account for footprints here.

No matter how I will pretend,
I cannot ignore footprints here.

No matter how I try to mop,
I always see your footprints here.

The Challenge

I will summarize the rules of a ghazal as clearly as I can:

  1. Every verse is a 2-line couplet, with around 4 to 10 couplets in total.
  2. Each line must contain the same number of syllables.
  3. Every verse ends in the same word(s) preceded by a rhyme.
    • The same repeating word(s) is/are called a radif.
    • The rhyme is called a qaafiya.
  4. In the first couplet, both lines end with a qaafiya (rhyme) and radif (repeating word(s)).
  5. Each verse is considered a separate mini-poem, so there is no need for any connection between couplets thematically.
  6. The last verse is traditionally a signature couplet in which you include your first or last name (or nickname). Although I have chosen not to do this in mine, you can see how it is done in the ghazals by Bastet and T.J. Theiren.
  7. The rhyme scheme at the end of each line is AA bA cA dA eA. (Added this rule later when I learned of it.)
  8. Don’t worry if your ghazal doesn’t follow the rules very strictly as not all versions do (like the American version).

The first ghazal I wrote contains a one-word radif (repeating word). “Footprints” has 2 repeating words for its radif.

Next I will bold the qaafiya (rhyme) and italicize the radif (repeating words).

Why do I see more footprints here?
Please do not leave your footprints here.

It is not easy to mop up
All trace of offshore footprints here.

If you decide that you will leave,
I beg do not store footprints here.

Please know that if you choose to stay
You will account for footprints here.

No matter how I will pretend,
I cannot ignore footprints here.

No matter how I try to mop,
I always see your footprints here.

So…

Unlike what is implied above,
I’d love to explore footprints here. Your unique virtual footprints.

If you like the ghazals below, please follow their links and like them there too! 🙂
________________________________________________________________________________

Dawn: a ghazal

Darkness fell away before the dawn,
Letting gentle rays restore the dawn.

The birds of morning shook off the dew
And sang their songs to adore the dawn.

In semi-sleep, eyes barely open,
My first thoughts were to abhor the dawn.

But the glory of the morning sky
Grew and I could not ignore the dawn.

In sober flight my heart reached for it,
Draped it on my soul and wore the dawn.

2013 © Soberflight
___________________________________________________________________

My Freedom

I always wanted to fly high with my fearless freedom,
Achieve the impossible and justifying the desirous freedom.

But, I have been caged by several bars of constraints
Which is holding and obliterating my helpless freedom.

I want to be unique; Different; Stand out from the crowd
Which can be feasible, Only by my ambitious freedom.

Financial pressure, One of the bars of the cage, Diverts me
To an ordinary path and closes my path of congruous freedom.

I can physically roam and wander in this wide world,
But, Only by deserting my choice of hapless freedom.

2013 © Sudharsan Srinivasan
___________________________________________________________________

After This

How do we move on after this
Will I blame you long after this

Will I love again after this
Will I want to care after this

Time all but heals such piercing wounds
When you go to heal after this

Even when I try to forgive
It’s hard to forget after this

Maybe it is your turn to cry
To walk in my shoes after this

Do not know you like I thought
I do not want to after this

2013 © Chelsea McBride
___________________________________________________________________

Love

Look at those people over there, youth in love,
They coo and cuddle showing the world they’re in love.

Walking along the street, in early dusk, truth be told,
There’s nothing so nice as to see people in love.

In the spring the bird’s warbles at dawn, sooth the soul,
All because they are courting and falling in love.

The Planets attracted make a smooth creation,
A poet once said because the world’s are in love.

What of you, oh faithless tooth, Bastet wonders,
When did you forget that we were once in love?

2013 © Bastet and Sekhmet
___________________________________________________________________

Today – A Ghazal

O’ my love, why must I suffer this hell today.
Like so many days before, I fell today.

I’m trying to move on, but my heart won’t allow,
It’s afraid I’ll forget you if I quell today.

Your passing lives on in my blood and my bones,
Like a mystic potion I’m under it’s spell today.

Without you my sweet I am no longer whole,
Subsisting as nothing but a broken shell today.

Tonight I will drop to my knees and I’ll pray
That pain can be confined to it’s cell today.

Through tears in my eyes, for comfort I look.
There is no one to whom I can tell today.

So with a heart that is heavy Dom must wish you goodnight,
I’ll bid you adieu and farewell today.

2013 © Dominic R. DiFrancesco
___________________________________________________________________

Maerwynn’s Ghazal

I weave and waste in dark, ill bower;
know not when lightning curse will scour.

Companions mine are saints and wishes,
secluded each dull gloom-still hour.

Bright, bashful lovers trade sweet kisses,
but ‘neath my window birds trill sour.

My chant is woven with dark stitches,
in which sun soon shall instill power.

Too long entrapped, I’ve missed love’s riches.
Love … I ask when your gifts will shower?

Oh, Lancelot your glowing visage
has broken Maerwynn’s heart’s chill tower!

2013 © Maerwynn
___________________________________________________________________

Live Tomorrow Today

‘Amidst the tomorrows of yester dreaming, today
Steady our minds eye, our courage not wav’ring, today

Grasping to strongholds unleashed with presumption fleeting
Visions; decisions; indiscretions – forming, today

Outstretched from circling darkness embarking enlightening
Dispute accusations – vengeance withering, today

Usurped along their journey souls bleeding and reeling
Effect false observance wistfully yearning, today

Form an idiot, writing to gain understanding
For what hope brings tomorrow if not living, today?’

2013 © Belinda Borradaile
___________________________________________________________________

His Sorrow (Americanized version)

He walked along a lonely dirt path,
and coexisted in the sorrow.
~~~
No one had ever witnessed His wrath
but one temple fisted in sorrow.
~~~
Few were blessed as they dragged him rath,
crushing His heart twisted with sorrow.
~~~
Dreams of false grandeur He did not hath,
giving life resisted the sorrow.
~~~
Come out of the boat for My Sabbath!
Deb flew unassisted by sorrow.

2013 © Shards of Dubois
___________________________________________________________________

The Glass (ghazal – well, sort of)

Her face appeared within the glass,
Each time he went to tip the glass.

And though he had put out to sea,
Still more he raised to lip the glass.

His heart it raged, his heart it burst,
He dashed against his hip the glass.

He died for love, his grip grew weak,
But he would not let slip the glass.

2013 © NigelG
___________________________________________________________________

UNWelcome

Kindly pass through, you are not welcome here
the venom you spew is not welcome here

It is sad but true, I have grown tired
your negative skew is not welcome here

While it makes me blue, I have to admit
friendship withdrew, you are not welcome here

No need to review, Melanie bids you
Goodbye, adieu; you are not welcome here

2013 © Melanie Blackwell
___________________________________________________________________

Handmaiden’s Song

Regarded is the handmaiden’s low estate, blessed is she
Belief in the Lord Jesus became her fate, blessed is she

For He who is mighty and holy has done great things for her
For He has lifted from her burdensome weight, blessed is she

Through the tender mercy of Him she has been given the light
Treasured by Him her heart He did captivate, blessed is she

Her soul magnifies the Lord her spirit rejoices in Him
Loved beyond what she can ask or contemplate, blessed is she

Her gentle and quiet spirit is an unfading beauty
She’s willing to serve and not procrastinate, blessed is she

She’s devoted to walking His path now and forevermore
For His gospel she will always advocate, blessed is she

And His mercy is upon His handmaiden who does fear Him
His name she will praise and always celebrate, blessed is she.

[For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden; for, behold,
from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. (Luke 1:48 KJV)]

2013 © awomansaved
___________________________________________________________________

Blog:  Antonia Sara Zenkevitch

Injustice; a Ghazal of sorts

Too few seem to fight against life’s worst injustices,
Quiet lives amidst the strife of nursed injustices,

Existence cannot discover peace
While aggressions blight all sense in cursed injustices,

We, heads downcast with two upturned fists,
Self- ignite, tensed betwixt such perverse injustices,

Malice, out of sight where none resists,
Delights its prerogative; covert injustices,

Each kindness can offer bright relief
Despite the ignorance of overt injustices,

Every prejudice is but a thief
Whose ageless appetites assert worked injustices,

Disguising bias sparks the increase
Of policies that might convert to injustices,

Beware, the ‘too good to care’ disease
Leads to flight from impolite unearthed injustices,

Justice returns like migrating geese,
Its million quills smite evil, reverse injustices,

Courage is zen in parenthesis,
Each pen may hunt out and rewrite known injustices.

2019 © Antonia Sara Zenkevitch
___________________________________________________________________

71 thoughts on “Footprints: A Ghazal and Challenge

  1. That’s marvellous. And so well explained. I’m glad you did the bold version as well. It clarifies it. I’d never heard of a ghazal until I read your other post. Very clever and something else I can’t quite put my finger on. Like it muchly! 🙂 x

    1. Glad you like it! Bastet introduced it to me on her blog, and I loved the look and sound of it. Glad my explanation was understandable. 🙂

  2. Wow this form is one of the most challenging ones I have seen and you managed to write something both beautiful and meaningful!

    1. It looks harder than it is. It is not so bad once you give it a try. I think you would create a wonderful ghazal. 🙂

  3. Very very well done example of a very, very challenging poetic form!! 🙂 🙂

    1. Thank you Helen! As such a talented poet in both rhyming and free verse forms, I think this will be relatively easy for you. 🙂

      1. Ghazals aren’t easy for me, I assure you! I’ve tried a couple and not really mastered the art yet – but I think you have, hence my admiration!! 🙂 🙂

        1. I would hardly consider myself having mastered it but appreciate the encouragement. When it comes to rhyming in general, you are one of the best rhymers I’ve come across on WordPress. 🙂

          1. Wow, thank you, that is so kind! 🙂

  4. Reowr, that’s an pawesome challenge. We’re not so good in this kind of stuff, but I can leave some Pawprints just for the encouragements. Pawkisses for good luck 🙂

    1. That’s mighty kind of you to offer your pawprints of encouragement. And the pawkisses…well now, I’m just chirping like a bird now. 🙂

  5. Meow! You’ve done a much better explanation than the one I found on the internet! Fantastic! And I’l be careful with my pawprints when I come to visit (look here! http://designtaxi.com/news/356399/Paw-Prints-On-15th-Century-Book-Show-Cats-Walking-On-Keyboards-Is-Not-New/)

    1. Love the paw prints on the old books! I’m glad you liked the way I explained the form. 🙂

      1. Really beautifully done and I’m happy you liked the pawprints, I thought they were cute.

  6. Reblogged this on Bastet and Sekhmet and commented:
    Cubby really did a magnificent job on explaining the Ghazal poetry form…now, I’ll try it again in the near future!

  7. What a great introduction to the form, thank you for writing this!

    1. One of the best things about WordPress is the way knowledge gets shared and passed around. Glad you liked the intro and hope you’ll give it a whirl. 🙂

  8. Dawn, a ghazal

    Darkness fell away before the dawn,

    Letting gentle rays restore the dawn.

    The birds of morning shook off the dew

    And sang their songs to adore the dawn.

    In semi-sleep, eyes barely open,

    My first thoughts were to abhor the dawn.

    But the glory of the morning sky

    Grew and I could not ignore the dawn.

    In sober flight my heart reached for it,

    Draped it on my soul and wore the dawn.

    1. Beautifully written! I love the signature at the end too. So perfect. 🙂

      1. Thank you! It was my first ever poetry challenge/ghazal.

        1. And you did such a fantastic job of it! That last verse especially is magnificent. 🙂

    2. Wow, how lovely! That final line will stay with me, thank you for sharing it.

  9. I love it! You clever cat:)

  10. What a talent!

    1. I think you would do a great job of this challenge. 🙂

      1. I would love to but my time is limited….this would take a better part of the afternoon for me.

        1. I understand. Mr. Teddy will have to come visit you and mismatch all your socks. 😛

          1. They be mismatched already. My hubby does the laundry! lol

  11. I never heard or sign this before. While this looks hard I’m going to give this a try. Thank you so much for presenting us with this! : )

    1. I’m so happy you’ll give it a try. The most important thing is just to have fun with it! 🙂

  12. Thanks for coming by my blog. I’m perusing yours, and will do so again.

    1. As I will do yours again undoubtedly. 🙂

  13. A brilliant idea will have ago soon.

    1. I hope you do! Just have fun with it. 🙂

  14. Alright, here’s my first attempt at a Ghazal! It doesn’t exactly follow the rules, but I’ve never been much of a rule follower 🙂 This was a fun challenge; thanks for the inspiration!

    – After this –
    How do we move on after this
    Will I blame you long after this

    Will I love again after this
    Will I want to care after this

    Time all but heals such piercing wounds
    When you go to heal after this

    Even when I try to forgive
    It’s hard to forget after this

    Maybe it is your turn to cry
    To walk in my shoes after this

    Do not know you like I thought
    I do not want to after this

    1. That’s awesome. I just added it to the post. What a great way to tackle the challenge! 🙂

  15. Hmmm- did not know how to ‘SEND’ this to you as the others here – so just linked it? Thanks for this – it was interesting trying to write one! Shew – tied my brain in knots :/

    1. What a wonderful ghazal! I just added it to the challenge post. 🙂

  16. A challenge! I’m game…will be back 🙂

  17. Its a great thing you shared here and explained very clearly. Thanks.

    1. I’m glad you felt it was explained clearly! 🙂

  18. I didn’t know the essentials of a Ghazal..Glad you put them in a post..Though somehow I didn’t like the rules of repeating the last word in the first couplet. But then I am new to English ghazals might be this will grow with time..

    1. Ah, I thought these were the Persian ghazal rules. I read that the American ghazals are much more lax when it comes to the rules. I’ll take another gander at them. 🙂

      1. Lol yeah I get it 🙂 rules are the same.. What I meant was when u apply it to say Urdu Hindi ghazals (the only I had seen so far) ghazal couplet sounds nice 🙂 this was my first with ghazals in English and t rule didn’t sound that exciting here..phew, hope it all made sense now

        1. Yeah, I’ve read that ghazals lose some of their beauty when they are written in English because of the way the English language is structured. Since I cannot read Urdu or Hindi, I cannot make any comparison between the different languages.

  19. Another delightful challenge. I shall have to get my thinking cap on ….

    1. I look forward to seeing the results of your thinking cap. 🙂

      1. still trying to get my head around it …. one tricky customer!

  20. Hi Cubby! I finally got a chance to look into writing a Ghazal and I gave it a go. Between making sure every line had the same amount of syllables and qaafiya preceding the radif, I nearly broke a sweat! LOL! 🙂 Since you were my inspiration I wanted to share it with you first. Thanks for the challenge!

    Handmaiden’s Song – A Ghazal

    Regarded is the handmaiden’s low estate, blessed is she
    Belief in the Lord Jesus became her fate, blessed is she

    For He who is mighty and holy has done great things for her
    For He has lifted from her burdensome weight, blessed is she

    Through the tender mercy of Him she has been given the light
    Treasured by Him her heart He did captivate, blessed is she

    Her soul magnifies the Lord her spirit rejoices in Him
    Loved beyond what she can ask or contemplate, blessed is she

    Her gentle and quiet spirit is an unfading beauty
    She’s willing to serve and not procrastinate, blessed is she

    She’s devoted to walking His path now and forevermore
    For His gospel she will always advocate, blessed is she

    And His mercy is upon His handmaiden who does fear Him
    His name she will praise and always celebrate, blessed is she.

    For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden; for, behold,
    from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. (Luke 1:48 KJV)

    1. Aw, you are too sweet. This is a beautiful ghazal. It is absolutely perfect. You do a fantastic job with these forms. 🙂

  21. OK, I couldn’t help myself, though I found this one a real challenge! I adapted the rhyming scheme but tried to get to the spirit of the form:

    Injustice; a Ghazal of sorts

    Too few seem to fight against life’s worst injustices,
    Quiet lives amidst the strife of nursed injustices,

    Existence cannot discover peace
    While aggressions blight all sense in cursed injustices,

    We, heads downcast with two upturned fists,
    Self- ignite, tensed betwixt such perverse injustices,

    Malice, out of sight where none resists,
    Delights its prerogative; covert injustices,

    Each kindness can offer bright relief
    Despite the ignorance of overt injustices,

    Every prejudice is but a thief
    Whose ageless appetites assert worked injustices,

    Disguising bias sparks the increase
    Of policies that might convert to injustices,

    Beware, the ‘too good to care’ disease
    Leads to flight from impolite unearthed injustices,

    Justice returns like migrating geese,
    Its million quills smite evil, reverse injustices,

    Courage is zen in parenthesis,
    Each pen may hunt out and rewrite known injustices.

    Antonia Sara Zenkevitch

    1. I could definitely feel the spirit of the ghazal in your powerful messages! Excellent job. 🙂

      1. Thank-you, I found the form quite mind-bending and difficult to navigate ‘Injustices’ does not flow as well as ‘Footsteps’ and it sounds a bit didactic. The lack of flow was probably caused by overly doing the end rhythms, but I’m proud of being able to repeat a 9 /13 syllable pattern, get some internal rhymes. Most of all I’m proud I managed to put my ‘signature’ into the final couplet. 🙂

        1. For sure! Just the fact that you are willing to try so many different forms is also something to be proud of. 🙂

          1. Some do sudoku, my grandma stretched her brain with crosswords, poems are my word thing. Two years ago I lost my ability to speak, write or read (it’s a neurology thing), when the ability started erratically returning I went back to poetry (and prose) with the focus of someone training for a triathlon. So, if I seem somewhat overzealous, that’s the reason. Right, off the write fiction. Take care and keep inspiring; poetry matters – but you know that! (love the pic of your cat btw – we’ve got three, they rule us).

            1. It must have been a very difficult time for you. I hope those times are all past tense now and that you have regained all of your normal functions. You write beautiful poetry, and I love your passion. 🙂

              1. Normal and functions are an oxymoron in my case, physically, but while I have words and can use them I will. My joy and hope returned with my words and a slightly off-piste sense of humour. My determination helped return them – so I’m fortunate. I love your poetry too – and the way you share your creative space with other poets. There are some amazing voices out there. I’m loving playing catch up with what they have to say. Thanks for being a part of that.

                1. Ah I see. I shouldn’t have assumed about your functioning. I am happy that you are sharing your unique voice with your writing, and I hope you continue to do so. 🙂

                  1. Thanks, ditto 🙂

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