Rumours of Spring

Rumours of spring -they last from dawn till dusk-
All eyes decipher branches for blossoms.
Your legend now equals our thirst, Beloved-
Your word has spread across broken nations.
-Agha Shahid Ali

lunar grey, this barren winter of love,
life, a caricature in worn crayon,
hope wanders, tripping on orphan shadows,
on laments hanging from nameless sorrows;
a chill oozes through the silk veil of dark,
truth wavers like designs on crushed damask;
I watch you fall on this encumbered earth,
your wounds still open in our arms, our past,
this snow burns like fire, smells of distant musk,
rumours of spring, they last from dawn till dusk.

smoke billows stained with the crimson of blood,
as if the sun sweats in the mist of dawn,
mirages swirl like a concubine’s skirt,
as stories of a time still sworn to come;
between pyres we are still rolling the dice,
our destiny trapped in rows and columns;
where, where is that heated breath of wind,
here frost not flower perfumes the fallen;
while those fevered breasts still trade failed nostrums,
all eyes decipher branches for blossoms.

on bended knees we bargain for a smile,
with lives that are not ours to sacrifice,
we make rules to subsist in killing fields,
we make plastic souls for those whom we please;
new heroes are grown now in hollowed skulls,
we let hate surge ahead unabated;
remember the time we yearned for the rain,
remember the time the sky was our friend,
now the clouds have pierced our hearts, beloved,
your legend now equals our thirst, beloved.

is it peace that you hold tight in your fist,
tonight the guns cannot disturb your tryst,
tomorrow will come begging to your door,
wanting to make you a martyr once more;
just how many times must innocence die,
to gratify war’s twisted perversions;
but good will ascend to break out of fear,
some day the dead will find true justice here;
your song echoes in hushed supplications,
your word has spread across broken nations.

Glosa is a 14th-15th century Spanish form that requires an opening quatrain, called a ‘cabeza’, chosen from the work of another poet. The glosa elaborates on the quatrain with four ten-line stanzas that emulate the style of the cabeza, their concluding lines taken consecutively from the quatrain and their sixth and ninth lines rhyming with the borrowed tenth.

38 thoughts on “Rumours of Spring

  1. Wonderful write, and I am hearing about the form first time! Sounds challenging, but thank you for introducing me to it, alongside sharing your beautiful work!


  2. Interesting form – must be a challenge, Thot.

    The 3rd stanza stood out. It can actually be a separate poem. Dark times bring darkness to our lives. Sometimes, it is too late to realize that we are already swallowed by the not-so-good system.


    1. Thanks so much Totomai.. yes it is a very challenging form..trying to weave your own thoughts into those of another..far more accomplished. My first Glosa attempt..glad you liked it!


  3. How well you have constructed this poem. It looks like a lot of hard work. The most tell line for me was of course “How many times must innocence die” as always such sacrifice has no reason.


  4. For me the glosa is one of the best forms to express your thoughts, by bringing in a favourite poet and use with your own words you can express so much more. Love how you turned the wonderful words into a plea for peace… I’m pessimistic too as it seems humanity can only build a future based on ash… We seemed to be on similar lines of thoughts…


    1. And the pessimism is being reinforced almost on a daily basis unfortunately. And yes, Agha Shahid Ali is one of my favourite poets, so it was terrific to work around his words. Thanks Bjorn.


  5. This is an intriguing form. You have woven the poet’s lines seamlessly among your own. I especially love “Some day the dead will find true justice here.” I do hope so.


  6. “how many times must innocence die”? I hope and pray that powerful poems like this heal the brokenness in time. What a call out for sanity!


  7. I think you’ve written something so meaningful. The form is carried out beautifully, but what impresses me most is the content, which expresses today’s world mood. Thank you for this.


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