A note on the form: The ghazal is an ancient Persian form of verse, but modern examples can even be found in pop music. Ghazals exist in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Turkish, Kashmiri, Kurdish, Gujarati, German, English and other languages.

A ghazal is composed of couplets, five or more.

The second line of each couplet (or sher) in a ghazal usually ends with the repetition of a refrain of one or a few words (radif) preceded by a rhyme (qaafiyaa). In the first couplet, which introduces the theme, both lines end in the rhyme and refrain so that the ghazal's rhyme scheme is AA BA CA etc

By placing his or her pen name in the final couplet the poet traditionally attempted to secure credit for his or her work.

 

 

 

A GHAZAL HARBOURED IN THE DARK

 

By Achrya, for David Weinberg

 

At night I lie awake and watch him while he sleeps,

my hand alive with need to touch him as he sleeps.

 

In winter’s sickly light, so faint and pale and thin,

his face appears a blur, a blotch, dim, as he sleeps.

 

The gentle gesture dies when doubt invades my mind

and tells me not to act on such whim, while he sleeps.

 

Past actions done and shut, the future vague and bleak,

at doubt and love and hope I clutch, grim, as he sleeps.

 

Sad, David here reveals a web of love and fear:

at night I lie awake and watch him while he sleeps.