I have lost track of time with the wonders of spring back in Spain. Lots of time spent walking, talking, working the land, making cheese, yoga and Tai Chi. There has been little time for writing as I rush to get an irrigation system working before my return to family and wedding bells for my older daughter.
I was introduced to ghazals and the poet Ghalib from my sojourns in India and Pakistan. That was some years ago now and I remember the time when all the Pakistani newspapers on the front page honoured a well loved poet and throngs of people came out to mourn the loss of this important poet. A ghazal is to be heard, sung and responded to immediately by an audience. It is often about love, loss, longing for an earthly delight or the sacred.
Now I live in Andalucia, famed for its light and clear blue skies but also its history of many conquests and settlers: Roman, Visigoth, Islamic, Sephardic Jews, Christian and many others. All with songs and poetry of loving this land of light! And for many the sorrow of being forced to leave.
This is an attempt of writing a ghazal for the Dverse poetry form challenge. Notes on the Ghazal form traditional and contemporary can be found at Dverse.
Ghazal for Al Andaluz
Andalusian sky, land of light, with bright songs of deep blue.
On leaving I wonder how long will I long for my return to you?
Remains of roman towns remind us of our constant defeat by time.
Wild wolves that roamed far extinct but all we do is long for you.
Passion tempered by conquest built on stones from the past.
Sevilla, Granada, fortresses that fight for me to stay with you.
Night brown hues touch the flesh of delight. What will tear us apart?
Defend this land of light, for so long as I can be here with you.
Poems for paradise, gardens to die in, tall palms shade intense light.
Rare richness of water, fountains for life, we long to return to you.
Foliage to ferment in, fronds to fan breezes, scents to seduce,
Water to soothe the smooth skinned sadness of life without you.
Calls from the minaret fade in the falling of the soft glow of light.
Ojala, obrigada, al andaluz, may we not be long away from you.
What dreams, what failures slip without sense from our sight.
Beauty of blue, land of sharp light, we must not betray you.
Inshallah, with God’s gift we will return to your light.
Dark is the earth we till as we gaze right into the blue to see you.
The associations came to me on a bus travelling from Aracena, our town in the mountains, to Sevilla, city of beautiful gardens! These were then put into couplets and the first two lines chosen to repeat in some way. In the last couplet there is reference to my first name Georgina which has connections with the earth and farming, a tiller of the soil and my second name Jane, gift of God! And ‘right’ of course.
I always feel a sense of loss when leaving and wonder about when we will return, Inshallah, God Willing we keep healthy and young at heart and can ‘rage against the dying of the light’ so we can enjoy more time in our own wild woodland in Andalusia, land of light.
I am posting late but will do my best to read more ghazals on the Dverse Mr Linky links.