Stone Ghazal

35

April 30, 2020 by petrujviljoen

Edited version.

seeded, it resisted being worked on; a solemn stone
it was worked, for symmetry but around; a quantum stone

embryonic holding the primitive streak, solemn work
natural, whole, one around the sun; an unbidden stone

a foreign body, bleeding knots for months, for years, nourished
the soil, spawned life beyond the kin of the hidden one: stone

the wild of this life unbidden, born bleeding, and tempered
while buffeted, this primitive land holds a foreign stone

the gardener’s delight in the work of her symmetry;
inborn urge. Create! The nature of the heart: seeded stone

grief a burden but bird’s wild love was spawned beyond the land’s
meekness. Petru: were you whole? once; yes: inherent stone

rounding the sun, a holding close – the heartened foreign ear
winged by the wind listens to the current soil’s Mother stone

………………

First version (for those who have the time)

a seed who doesn’t want to be worked on; a solemn stone
it was for symmetry and worked around; a quantum stone

the primitive yolk sack, embryonic holding solemn work-
ing natural, whole, around the sun an unbidden stone

a foreign body, bleeding knots for months, for years, nourished
the soil, spawned a growth beyond the kin of the possum: stone

the wild of this life unbidden, tempered while cossetted
but born bleeding, this primitive land holds a foreign stone

gardener and delight in the work of this symmetry;
inborn urge. Create! The nature of the heart: unborn stone

grief a burden but bird’s wild love was spawned beyond the land’s
meekness. Petru: were you whole? once; but inherent stone

rounding the sun, a holding close – the heartened foreign ear
winged by the wind listens to the current soil’s Mother stone

winged ears copy (350x291)

Copyright Petru J Viljoen

 

35 thoughts on “Stone Ghazal

  1. Just Barry says:

    I dig this. The first version’s voice felt clearer, but the second also has abstract merits in that it’s open to multiple interpretations.

    I have no preference, but it was fascinating to witness your process. both versions are strong.

  2. AnnIsikArts says:

    Love all those ‘stones’. After my own heart. One particular object having within it the capacity to give birth to … and be an opening. The word ‘stone’ itself is a generalisation, a ‘type’; yet each is individual. I love stone as ‘bleeding knot’.

      • AnnIsikArts says:

        Hope you are okay ‘over there’ in the current situation.

        • South Africa seems to be doing better than most countries – at the moment – having learned from others. The virus is only now beginning to hit the actual area I’m in and I’m going under voluntary lockdown until it’s all over. Can’t afford to get ill. Cat and I are fine.

        • AnnIsikArts says:

          Yes, take very good care of yourself. At least we can’t infect each other online – not physically, anyway. We are just coming out of lockdown, though I’m not going to the local nightclub anytime soon. Ever, in fact. Kiss your cat for me. My two are fine. One in particular is very happy my husband is at home so much. 🙂

        • A kiss she’s getting from you. Local nightclub – stormed out of the one and only bar mid-afternoon one afternoon and will never go back ever again as long as I may live so help me G-d! A story for another day. Perhaps even a blog post. Ha-ha-ha!!

        • AnnIsikArts says:

          I like your stories. As you see, I’m still very sporadic.

  3. Nan Mykel says:

    Wow, Petru. I especially like “the wild of this life unbidden, born bleeding, and tempered
    while buffeted, this primitive land holds a foreign stone”–Sorry I don’t know how to put you on my special Reader list.

  4. huzaifazoom says:

    lovely.. the kind of poem that will reseed and resonate long after its grounding.

  5. Jedediah Smith says:

    I love ghazals and find them very challenging. Yours gives me a new example of the form to aspire to. Very well done.

  6. There’s a harsh reality in this, the fragile bleeding embryo heart linked to the stone, the stone to the land, and aren’t we all foreign bodies in the end?

  7. Beverly Crawford says:

    This somehow reminded me of Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”. A thoughtful write!

  8. Frank Hubeny says:

    Nice phrase: “grief a burden but bird’s wild love”

  9. hypercryptical says:

    I prefer the original version – I understood it.
    Anna :o]

  10. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    “Everybody must get stoned”…I can dig it. I got lost in your bundle of stones, but I enjoyed the ride twice.

  11. kim881 says:

    This is an epic ghazal, Petru! I love all the different types of stone, especially the solemn, the unbidden and the Mother stones, and the embryonic quantum stone ‘holding the primitive streak’. I also love the shift to ‘the gardener’s delight in the work of her symmetry’ and the inborn urge to create.

    And then I read the first version, which I also love.

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