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:

 Ghazal

   War

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!