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This beautiful American sweetgum is still aflutter with orange, butter yellow, coral, crimson and deep mulberry coloured leaves, each with five sharply-pointed lobes.
This beautiful American sweetgum is still aflutter with orange, butter yellow, coral, crimson and deep mulberry coloured leaves, each with five sharply-pointed lobes.
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Ghazal for the Persian ironwood

A ghazal is a strictly-governed ancient form of poetry that was much used by the Persian mystics in the 13th century. It consists of a series of internally rhyming couplets and a refrain. The lines share the same meter to give an echoing rhythm and I followed the traditional convention, called a takhallus, of naming myself in the final couplet.

I felt a special affinity with the Persian ironwood right from her first encounter, but the strict form rules of the ghazal nearly drove me to despair!
Ghazal
for the Persian ironwood


You're dressed in pink, a hint of sin to it.
You blush and there's the rush of Spring to it.

Your bark peels pearl, a bluish spice, the sun
the snuff of leopard, snake still cling to it.

Your leaves slip-coated, are swimming with fish,
a splash of wind brings a green swing to it.

Where you are fluted, each grey tangled branch
cleaves to itself to make a twin to it.

You long for the sea, Alborz forests, your
late blaze of red a silent hymn to it.

As Persia says, Ann, when you mouth my name
it has a wild exotic ring to it.

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