Līgo Haibun Challenge – Picture Prompt


Blue Mountains

Dark winter.  Mountains often seem blue, how much more so when weighed down with melancholy.

The argument had started over a banality, as arguments often did.  The coffee pot left on over night, the toaster setting too high.  Nothing really important.  Under the banality though was angry loneliness; love replaced with resentment.  This trip had taken many years, but now the final destination was near.  Little arrows, for years, launched under the guise of loving suggestions.  Artfully done so that no objection could be made without her seeming unreasonable and unwilling to adjust to the “other”.  A slow colonization had taken place.  Once discovering the manipulation, inevitably rebellion grew.

She slammed the door as she went out, heading towards the mountain path not far from her home…the mist rose and she felt free as she breathed the cold air deeply in.  Then the tears came.

Once love brought her laughter, glad tears!
Anger now gifted her sad tears.

Conflict sown daily into your love
Will reap emptiness and slow sad tears


Welcome to a new Līgo Haibun ChallengeLigo Haibun is experimenting with different forms of poetry as the haibun’s poetic ending.  But these are the instructions:

“This time we’d like the connection between the 2 lines of the ghazal couplet to be oblique and not direct, and to have the same number of syllables in each line. This is quite important. In a haibun with a minighazal as its verse component, 2 X 2 lines seems nice, with the last line rhyming with the first two as a refrain line. A longer set of verse may outweigh the prose. Ghazal are often about unrequitted love. This means that along with the prose please use haiku in any form and/or minighazal and pathya vat.”

Ghazal: For Rumi’s 806th Birthday!

“Happy birthday to Rumi. He was born 806 years ago today. Like all philosophers of that time, his fame only came to him posthumously.”  So I read this morning at “A Mixed Bag”.  For Pablo Picasso, I created a false cubism Haiga…so for Rumi the least I can do is try to write a Ghazal!




For Rumi

Verses of beauty wrote the great Rumi
Metaphors of love’s plea wrote the great Rumi

Embracing lovers in cunning Farsi,
Sensual bounty wrote the great Rumi

Persian born, of Islam in sweet loving terms,
Sufi philosophy wrote the great Rumi

Beyond right or wrong, seeking inside,
Without sophistry wrote the great Rumi

Can Bastet not sing his lauds on his birthday,
In Ghazal, for you see, wrote the great Rumi.

Ghazal: Love

Here are the great instructions furnished by Cubby on how to make a great Ghazal!

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, and 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.
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.




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 warble at dawn, soothes 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?

Ghazal: Fences of Segregation

pole fence

Walking down the wooded lane, a fence, man’s separation,
I pondered of our need for a form of segregation.

Myth would have it that God punished disobedient humanity,
Exiled from our birthplace, closed off, in a form of segregation.

Men created ghettos and concentration camps in Europe,
Keeping the holy from the damned, a form of segregation.

South Africa for years created “home lands” by constitution,
Keeping whites “safe” from “Bantu”, brutal, a form of segregation.

Now Bastet observes our modern age and sees that god is profit.
Subtle our enlightened age but still a form of segregation.


I tried the Ghazal again…however, it still comes out somber. So be it.  I did however find an interesting site which by clicking HERE you can see an illustrated how to in writing a Ghazal.  I discovered that the repeated phrase or word is called a radif and the last word of the first line that rhymes with the radif is called a qaafiya.  Each couplet is a stand alone poem and there’s no need to have them “tell a story”.  Each couplet has to have the same number of syllables in each line.

Ghazal: War

Today, thanks to TJ Therien, I was reminded of a form of poetry I very much enjoyed in my youth.  Most of you may know that the first ten years of my adult life I spent in different parts of Africa, and had the opportunity to meet some very interesting people, many were Africans of course but there were also many people who had come from the Middle East: Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Palestine, as well as some North Africans, specifically Egyptians.

It was basically through the Persians (Iranians nowadays) that I came to love and enjoy Rumi and Hafiz two Sufi poets.  Only today did I realize what poetry form they used!

Unfortunately, my first Ghazal poem, perhaps because of many of the memories that are linked to those days, is about war.  Many of my Muslim friends then and now, are immigrants, seeking peace because their countries are racked with war.  Here then is my first Ghazal:



Would walking down a darkened path lead us to a brighter day?
Or pounding breasts in anger and heat lead to a better way?

Will sharpening your butcher knife make you a better person?
Or drawing your bow-string lead you to love and a better way?

What is the logic behind the senseless vengeance, all the killing?
Bombing sleeping villagers who die unwilling…a better way?

Would the prophets glory in the carnage wrought in their name?
Or cover their heads in ashes praying for a better way?

What’s the sense speaking of love and harmony when we only hate?
Our words more important than reality:  is this the better way?

Questions haunt Bastet’s mind, accompanying her walk through life.
Watching men’s hatred and ideals showcased as a better way!