Dues For The Muse (A Ghazal)


Unseen, you witness with smoking eyes your home, Parnassus, sanctuary, now home to ski ……….lifts, the tailings from a mine. Calliope!
You let me view it as through your eyes and my heart surges, a frenzied urge, to protect you, ……….your ease my soul’s sole design, Calliope.

I’ll always challenge their compliments. I’m not the writer, just hold the pen. It would be ……….foolish, and worse than that, it is a sacrilege.
For who fathoms far beyond what I glimpse then deftly spins the wheel of my glazed eye till ……….feelings, snatched thoughts and words combine? … Calliope!

Being the eldest is not easy, we both remember. You tough it out. You used heroic words to ……….mask your vulnerability.
Drew tight the shutters and hid your fear, forgot frailty becomes a strength when shared, so ……….let me see yours, for you’ve seen mine, Calliope.

Yes, I’ll admit I enjoy a pun or two. To me though a play on words can be far more than an idle ……….joke; I use them purposely.
I jest, in hopes to amuse a muse, cross fingers hoping the fool I play contrives to conjure that ……….wistful smile of thine, Calliope.

Forget the epic. Look where that leads. Death and destruction. You’ve been betrayed. Ares? ……….Achilles? A brute. A heel. You’ve had your share of pain.
I know a new shore. Let us set sail, if you will allow. Make love, not war. Yes, we’re no angels ……….and yet our lives entwine, Calliope.

Your past is chequered, no less than mine. Through poison ivy and bittersweet you climbed, ……….then outgrew, your family tree, untarnished, defiant.
You’ve run the gamut: daughter, sister, lover, mother, wife. If you’re game, milf could be ……….another. Fear not, I won’t decline, Calliope.

Life’s not been easy. You spoke your truth through art, and artful words, then saw men grab ……….all the glory. Yet you retain your generosity.
I’ve answered sirens. They’ve played me false. Now, in your harbour I drop anchor, realising ……….it’s in mine you sink your line, Calliope.

Devoid, an exile among the cloying throng possessed by possessions they pursue, unmoved by ……….agitation, I shall await you here.
A glade at twilight. This wood, this world, a living temple and in each tree, each leaf, each ……….flower, each blade of grass a shrine, Calliope.

A bird embroiders the evening with a cascading of notes that slice through flesh yet leave the ……….heart beating time until it’s time to leave.
A sign, this song bird. Those same dreamy dark eyes that refuse brief encounter, promise ……….quintessence, beyond beyond. Divine Calliope.

I am your captive, my queen of hearts. You break my heart and then sew it up, all in a heart ……….beat. There are no words for this, not even yours.
Untried recipe; we’re working blind. Not best components; we’re chalk and cheese. Red wine ……….and brown bread, that’s all, A loaf, some wine, Calliope.

Brother and sister in one body, sapling forever in bud. At peace at last. Untroubled, we walk ……….the line. A jewelled carriageway.
The night is pitch black. I am writing in the light shed by your golden crown. Only your rapture ……….can cause this ray to shine, Calliope.


The dear Musey Lady has been pestering me to repost this. She has been feeling neglected recently. All I can say is that I have been doing too much reading of other e-logs rather than working on completing poems of my (“our” she says) own. And so …

About Ben Naga

The Spirit that graces me with its passing has no name and stems not from thoughts and words, though it gathers them up as it flows, but from feeling.

Posted on May 18, 2012, in Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. “If you’re game, milf could be another. Fear not, I won’t decline, Calliope.”

    Literally laughed out loud and blushed and smiled bashfully…very cute. 🙂

    I wish I could hear those words spoken from my LOML ….. too bad he’s still being an ostrich… 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • “too bad he’s still being an ostrich… ”

      There are quite a few lines I like, but my favourite is “I am your captive, my queen of hearts. You break my heart and then sew it up, all in a heart beat. There are no words for this, not even yours.”


  2. yes i know those feeling all too well, too. : /

    No words,,,NO WORDS at all!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “A bird embroiders the evening with a cascading of notes that slice through flesh yet leave the heart beating time until it’s time to leave.”
    Stupendous. Thank you for sharing this. I find your imagination to be quite the tonic for an onset of writer’s block. Beautiful work

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful, Ben. There is something more than a little epic about this…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.

      Initially I just wanted to explore the writing of a ghazal. As a focus of the love and longing I settled on the muse. I found it took me on quite a journey. I worked on it, on and off, for about a month, I think. I am still very happy with the result. Each couplet can stand alone, yet there is a thread through the whole work.

      For more background about ghazals, go to http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5781


  5. Calliope is related to the White Goddess, I suspect, and Robert Graves demands that the only poetry which raises the hair on the back of the neck is written in the earth aura of the Goddess. This may be my favorite poem of yours, Ben, although others would compete. I think you channeled the meaning of what Graves was attempting to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad you like this so much, Thomas. It’s certainly one of my own favourites, so I think you have good taste. 😉 Rather than arriving via Graves – though I think I know what you mean – I felt it as a direct transmission; I just had to keep clearing myself out of the way.


  6. You have succeeded in letting the Muse work through you. She does give you certain credit. Being of her choice, she sees in you a responsive mind on a level she knows will play and work well with her infinite dimensions. You described her and the interaction between her and her correspondent into releasing the contents of the subconscious in which she unravels the inner meanings. Her translations, she then feeds through out onto the page, canvas, stone, and other forms she likes to believe will be understood by the chooser for the direction of creativity. The Muse will cooperate if her intermediaries are open. Beautiful poem. It was the moment in now I was meant to read its magnificence. The clarity exists now. Before my mine was too infused with confusion needing its own sorting. You are amazing and generous. Thank you for the middle of the night awakening of wisdom and perceptional depth. 🙂 😎 jK

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am your captive, my queen of hearts. You break my heart and then sew it up, all in a heart ……….beat. There are no words for this, not even yours.

    I enjoy reading the power your muse has over you. There are many lines that impress me but by far the above line is my favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

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