Labels – A Ghazal



Senior Volunteer’ pasted in black across yellow back, gave the elder a respected Name label;

Actively Aged, Useful Though Old, Worthy, Mature, Wonderfully Wise or another Refrain label.

Girls skipping ropes, rush in between beats – Double Dutch – such treats are only for those whose feet can time, while voices sing rhyme, and stay within rules of the Jumping Game label.

Teen declares, with disdainful stare, a desire to be independent, though dresses alike, no matter the sight: exposed underwear, displayed with such care, to earn his cohort’s Same label.

Disabled: the symbol that flashes to mind when wheelchair goes by with human inside; observers cry should they speak or go there, to the person with chair and the lumbering Lame label?

 Hundreds pass by the bewildered, hungry eye of the mange-mangled beast on the leash; though beaten and abused he remains to amuse at the circus; he wears a Tamed label.

 Scarlet letter on breast of woman – at best a victim, not witch; alone and bereft, her mores were left behind. Wanting to touch her lover so much she risked the taunts of notorious Shame label.

 “Munroe, Marilyn” said the tag on the red-painted toe as the body was rolled by gurney outside. They would hide motivation for suicide and disguise the truth with a Vain label.

We praise those whose beauty surpasses their duty to offspring that suffer neglect; in their endeavors to glitter and gather, we sanction their chase of the elusive Fame label.

 Politicians and presidents strategically plan and play War while they fight without bleeding; though brawn is revered and courage endeared, a hero goes home as a Remains label.

 Would Cindy exist without a sweet tryst, or a story, or some category, to prove she belongs to the pulsating throng of people whose aim is just to maintain some terribly Mundane label?


Image: Google: 



Filed under Poetry, Uncategorized

10 responses to “Labels – A Ghazal

  1. Each and every sentence was WOW! Too good….
    A very “different” post…
    Labeling and tagging is pretty much all we do… (sigh), judgmental as we are!!
    This was an amazingly poignant read, Cindy! You are anything BUT mundane!!!

    • Thank you Kavita – I’m glad you enjoyed this. I wrote it in a poetry-writing class a couple of years ago and then edited it a bit this week; we practiced several formal styles of poetry – sonnets, villanelles, ghazals, etc. before we were allowed to write free-style. I enjoyed writing this one because although there were rules about number of lines, penultimate word rhyme, and poet’s name in the last stanza, the rest of the poem was up to the writer, both for rythym and body. One of these days I’d like to write another, but the rules scare me off a bit. 🙂 Anyway, thanks once again for your heartening and always welcome comments. XXOO

  2. Whole lot of truth in this poem, in addition to being a bit of a departure from your style—excellent post. Happy One Shot! (Last poem was also very enjoyable to read). thanks.

    • Thanks, Adam. It’s nice when someone mentions your style; you realise they’ve read more than two of your works. 🙂
      I really appreciate what you’ve done with One Stop; putting poets in touch with each other is good work!!

  3. thought provoking – enjoyed each and every label.

  4. That’s a heavy hitter.
    I wonder what the hurt of those wearing the indelible label feel.
    Tattoo’d by society

    what a One Shot post

    Moon smiles

    • What a fascinating train of thought you’ve started – of course, we are surrounded by labeled skin – some with so many labels or so much ink that label no longer describes what the skin portrays. Hmmm, you gave me some nice thoughts to ponder. Thank you, moon.

  5. some thought provoking stuff..loved the way you put this together…but surely the label is just the word the bigoted mind gives it!!!

    • well stated, Pete. Did you notice the comment someone made about tattoos? People literally label themselves with ink. I loved that thought… it would make a great theme for a poem-fest: tattoos and labels

  6. hi ya broken..i friend, still i loved the write and yeah maybe you are me thinking now..pete

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