Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

I’ll Race the Fiercest Gulls

How much time could you borrow to put off
the moment when you’ll go tomorrow?

The sound of earthquakes will reverberate
across saffron-tinged plateaus tomorrow.

Despite the coming squall, will the sky still
fill with pepper-colored crows tomorrow?

Through dizzying emporiums, I’ll hunt
the rare rust-colored rose tomorrow.

I’ll row this boat and race the fiercest gulls
across the Gulf of Mexico tomorrow.

I’ll grind my glass and polish brass to see
as far as Galileo tomorrow.

In tendrils of light across the night, I’ll
write my name to guide you home tomorrow.

Another attempt at writing a ghazal, this time using the words in the wordle prompt (NaPoWriMo #22) with an interesting set of words provided by Catherine. I used all of them except flinch.

One of the things I’ve been doing during NaPoWriMo is experimenting with forms I’ve rarely (or never) attempted and my favorite, thus far, is the ghazal. I first read ghazals in Sarah J. Sloat’s excellent chapbook In the Voice of a Minor Saint (Tilt Press, 2009) and was immediately struck by the form. You can read some of her fine ghazals at Linebreak and Eclectica (the one at Linebreak appears in the chapbook).

I only know of the form what I’ve read in wikipedia and deduced from studying Sloat’s poems and a few others I’ve found here and there, but when NaPoWriMo is over, I’ll probably try to learn more since it’s a form I find quite compelling.


  1. James,
    Excellent poem and I love the form. Thanks for the info on the process.

  2. Interestin form . Will look into this as well. Nice poem.

  3. your post is a wonderful ghazal… i also enjoy forms as well as free form.. the best to you of learning more about poetry form what did you think of the cleave form offered earlier on one of the prompts? dinner day 22

  4. So how exactly do you create a ghazal?

  5. The structure of your ghazal is superb, but I’m more amazed by how well you worked in those prompt words… excellently done!

  6. Nice form and content!

  7. The ghazal is my favourite poetic form after the haiku! I enjoyed yours, specially the third couplet

  8. It’s all great but I especially love the last two couplets.

  9. Such rich imagery – I love it! It’s obvious that you take easily to the ghazal.

  10. Goodness! You wove those words so wonderfully, and with a new form. It suits you! Ren knows something (!) of ghazals, and Tiel (Knocking from the Inside) does, too. I thought there was a past RWP column about them, but can’t put my finger on it.

    I’m really wowed by how deep you are going with your April work. Huzzah!

    • Thanks, Deb, I’m trying to teach myself as much as possible. Using this month to stretch. I’ll have to look for that article.

  11. I didn’t realize it was the wordle-prompt response until the second reading; you fit those words in so seamlessly!

    this is a really interesting form, the way that repeated word becomes a chant, the way the meaning changes the more it is said. (and I say “said” because this begs to be read aloud.)

    (woo-hoo … almost through!)

    • Thanks, angie. I though about posting with audio because I enjoy saying this one, but alas, the napowrimo time contraints 🙂

  12. Thanks, everyone, for your kind words and comments. This was a fun one to write so I’m glad to hear the time was well spent.

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