Odysseus Under the Moon: To Wanderers, A Ghazal


Winslow Homer, “Eastern Point Light”


Over star-glimmered waves, we journeyed and sailed under the moon.

There we bemoaned our fate, still sailing—railed under the moon.


We see the fork-tongued serpent, slither-scaled–

no siren, silver-voiced with hair unveiled under the moon.


From the towering giant, one-eyed, we quailed,

but when blinded he was curtailed under the moon.


On blood-wine seas, the winds caught and prevailed–

yet what of the gods, we flattered, yet failed, under the moon?


What lands should we conquer? If heroes, we’re hailed.

What tales of those places to you we’d regale under the moon?


Do we return to love, or to marriages failed?

My own wife, what of her travails under the moon?


Too far, too soon, the poet sleeps unassailed

to the gentle rhythm of the waves, inhales, exhales, under the moon


A re-worked ghazal for dVerse.



31 thoughts on “Odysseus Under the Moon: To Wanderers, A Ghazal

  1. Did you pick Winslow Homer on purpose, or was it the Oracle giving you the image as well as the words? Very Homeric, especially the blood-wine sea. I wonder if they cared about the wives they left behind? I’m guessing, not much.

  2. I like this very much. It is lush, poetic, alliterative, and literary; so, of course, I find it appealing but moreover, I think it’s very well written. Nothing feels contrived. It flows easily with the refrain at the end making it musical. I think this is very successful as to form and clearly a well-realized poem in the form! Congratulations!

  3. Well I guess it was mainly men writing ghazals in the past and in those times so it seems a good idea to go on Homer’s journey and think of those back home! There is a very fluent feel to the words and I like the internal rhymes too.

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