Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Guzzlin’ Ghazals

Post Dinner at a Poet’s.
The moonlight. Mosquitoes. A terrace.
All getting on with their job. Cigars.
A suggestion –
- Let’s talk in meter.
- Why don’t we talk in ghazal?
- That’s fiendish.

So night was an improptu moonlit mehfil, poets hurling post-dinner shers at each other. A magical night unfortunately unrecorded, a scattered lost homage to Agha Shahid Ali.Who wrote English in the most haunted Urdu.
We’re freestylin’ the sher in English.
We’re guzzlin’ the Ghazal.
And it’s addictive.
And a ghazal strung together, an exquisite corpse, from the unlikeliest of elements.
Just waiting for a thunderbolt.

Unfortunately, the only sher’s I remember from last night are some of mine, and that too, not all. But here goes. It would be fun to continue this…

If we walked the waves together
Could we, perhaps, stop time tonight?

I know you will not believe me
If I say, ‘The sun won’t shine tonight.’

If sorrow could muffle like padding
None of these clocks would chime tonight.

On phone lines crackling with sorrow
No voice should whisper, ‘I am fine,’ tonight.

I have already shot the natives.
Will you be my gin and lime tonight?

The cats must fear for their lives.
It seems I have more than nine tonight.

If it wasn’t for the Greenwich Meridian
Would Australia Dream (of) Time tonight?

The planes repeat rewind on CNN.
I know that I will go blind tonight.

As the car sped towards the imminent tree
He was glad it was cedar, and not pine tonight.

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