Miracle of Water

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Poetry Form:  Ghazal (posted by Gay Reiser Cannon)

Traditional Ghazal rules of form are very clear. The opening couplet is called a matla, which sets up the rhyme scheme (qaifa) and refrain (radif) by having it occur in both lines. Then this scheme occurs only in the second line of each succeeding couplet for at least five additional couplets and in practice as many as needed. To end the ghazal, the poet has a signature couplet, the (makhta) in which they mention their name or refer to themselves. 

Couplets are usually complete sentences; internal caesuras are fine but not an enjambment.

Contemporary Ghazals explore more subjects, are experimental with the ‘what and where’ of rhymes and refrains and don’t have a formal signature couplet. However, they do keep to single line couplets, pay attention to cadence and are associational.


When my life feels like a spinning top
you know what I need is the ocean.

Roar of waves, ever dependable
as are flowing ripples of the ocean.

Takes little time for me to breathe easily
when I stand on sand and look at the ocean.

I follow footprints of landing seagulls
like hieroglyphics written at the ocean.

A mist of salty sea-scent sprays my face
I am refreshed and calmed by the ocean.


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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26 Responses to Miracle of Water

  1. robtkistner says:

    The ocean indeed has a powerful affect Sara. I used to love to go over to Ecola State Park and sit on th huge boulders by Indian Beach, and medidate while the Pacific Ocean rolled in crashing the boulders, sending spray 25-30 feet in the air. Loved it!


  2. Ah..I chose beachanny as my twitter and then blog name because I lived near the Gulf which is a part of the ocean. I loved your ghazal as it took me to the many views of the ocean I’ve had, and given me that same feeling you express. Yes, it is a love song to the sea!! Well done!


  3. Reena Saxena says:

    Turbulent oceans can be so calming to others.


  4. Misky says:

    Really excellent. I love the stanza with hieroglyphics mentioned.


  5. A certain melancholic tone to it with its earnest introspection — such a lovely verse with neat, standalone couplets. A refreshing read! I loved the image of footsteps like hieroglyphics in particular. 🙂


  6. The repetition works well with the ocean theme – such a rich choice, so many aspects to choose from. A real breath of fresh air, this poem.


  7. The ocean is excellent… the ghazal is like waves.


  8. Glenn Buttkus says:

    I’m glad to see you use the first person in the last couplet, referring to your self without using your name, which seems clumsy to me. We are close to the ocean here, and spend a lot of time there soaking up the negative ions, and licking the salt out of the air.


  9. I love this! Your refrain seems fresh each time, not merely repetitive.


  10. memadtwo says:

    I can totally agree with these sentiments! Great imagery. (K)


  11. Ah, the magic of the ocean! I feel it in your words.


  12. love song to the ocean. can’t get better than that.


  13. Bryan Ens says:

    Love the idea of bird prints being hieroglyphics in the sand!


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