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Issue 20 – Clouds and Rain Special Issue


Taylor Graham

My headlights cut silver-thin clouds and rain,
a gray fox disappears in clouds and rain.

Those nights I couldn’t sleep, sometimes I’d read
about a hero clad in deerskin, clouds and rain.

The only sounds, the breathing of tall trees,
tread of paw or moccasin, clouds and rain.

In drought, afraid to shatter brittle air,
I’d whisper, Let it begin! Clouds and rain.

Do you believe in ghosts? I mean, the ones
who shake the house, dance and spin clouds and rain.

Imagine how the world might be remade,
gone wild with wing, talon, fin, clouds and rain.

Old folks recount their lives gone dim, each
misty point of origin, clouds and rain.

And I, scribbler of lines across a page,
shall write this in the margin: clouds and rain.

David Jalajel Noah: an Oratorio
C W Hawes “tears”
R. W. Watkins The Famous One
Sukhdarshan Dhaliwal Clouds and Rain
Ahmed Masud “monsoon”
Joel Neubauer “manna”
Esther Greenleaf Mürer Clouds and rain
Mike Farman Clouds and Rain Ghazal
Tree Riesener Ghazal: Clouds and Rain
Linda Papanicolaou Silver Linings
Majid Mohiuddin “blessings”
Margaret Bell Clouds and Rain
Raindust Clouds & Rain
Bill Batcher Clouds and Rain
Roger Robison Promises and Threats

Editor’s Comments

Here it is: the results of the “clouds and rain” radif challenge. Thirteen ghazals came in response to the challenge; each of the thirteen merits publication, so here they are for your enjoyment.

The thing that struck me about these poems, after quality, is variety. Given that each ghazal uses the same radif, the thirteen vary widely (and successfully). I’m not going to make many comments here: read and reread the poems for yourself. From David Jalajel’s oratorio to Raindust’s use of the triplet sher introduced by Robert Bly, from very long lines (Joel Neubauer) to iambic pentameter (C W Hawes), from traditional themes and imagery (Sukhdarshan Dhaliwal and Majid Mohiuddin) to the context of the “cluds and rain” in Chinese Tradition (Mike Farman), to Roger Robison’s, Linda Papincalaou’s, and Esther Mürer’s more contemporary situating of the radif — there’s an amazing range of imagery, allusion, feeling, image, and rhythm.

Taylor Graham’s “Beginnings” leads on the home page for this issue because of its mythic, chthonic resonances. We humans live in mysteries that we rarely see; it takes poets to open our eyes.

About larrygates

Web developer of Ghazal Page. Sometime pseudonymous ghazalkar.