Three Ghazals

by Jeffrey Burghauser (May 2020)

Reclining Man with Sculpture, Lucian Freud, 1960-61






As the moon explains it bright across the flesh,

Tired tribes of feeling fight across the flesh.


My severe attention is the half-opaque

Shadow of a dragon-kite across the flesh.


Even things so soft as early linen gowns

Chafe like powdered dolomite across the flesh.


Open casement. Dogwood shadows on the sill.

Cooling perspiration’s tight across the flesh.


Read your verses, Poet. Salty gooseflesh and

Blushes are the way we write across the flesh.







Come and see how this risqué propriety

Poised upon the Jacobean sward be praised.


Poets lounging in the gothic colonnade

Model how a careful, sultry Lord be praised.







Hair unpinned, the girl withdrew to be adored.

Be the only way you knew to be: adored.


Your petitioners, however desperate,

Thought you too extremely true to be adored.


You must be the mellow, Istrian façade

Heaven’s fluent fingers hue to be adored.


Poet, here’s the fissure in the masonry

Through which lesser songbirds flew to be adored.



«Previous Article Table of Contents Next Article»




Amazon, and his website is

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast