“I dream of fire. Those dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire.”
[Sting & Cheb Mami – Desert Rose]

“Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn and I dream of what I need.” 
[Bonnie Tyler – I Need a Hero]

Always, in dreams, I court these flames –
when I know I should thwart these flames.

“Always wanting what cannot be yours!”
“Simmer down!” I exhort these flames.

“Where is the crime? Why all the guilt?”
“I won’t behave,” retort these flames.

Is it so wrong to get what you need?
Life is brief; I cavort with these flames.

Poor Paloma, with feathers singed!
She tries but can’t deport these flames!


Linked to B&P’s Shadorma and Beyond at MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie[In case you are wondering, this used to be the BJ’s Shadorma and Beyond prompt, but since I’ve adopted a pen name, the “J” is now “P” – for Paloma – at Bastet’s suggestion.  Thank you, my friend!]  

Our form for this week is the ghazal – my poetic nemesis!  Oh, how I struggle with ghazals!  Be very glad that I’m a goodhearted, decent person, folks – or I’d get even by presenting Fornyrdislag!  [Just kidding!]

Anyway.  What’s a ghazal?


  1. Every verse is a 2-line couplet; there are 4 to 15 couplets;
  2. Each line contains the same number of syllables;
  3. Every verse ends in the same word(s) [the radif] preceded by a rhyme [the qaafiya];
    [in this case, “these flames” is the repeated radif and “court” provides the rhyme / qaafiya]
  4. In the first couplet, both lines end with the rhyme [qaafiya] and the repeated words [radif];
  5. Each verse is considered a separate mini-poem, so there is no need for any connection between couplets;
  6. The last verse is a signature couplet in which you include your name or your pen name;

Previous attempts!

The lyrics of “Desert Rose” reminded me of “I Need a Hero“.  And since I’ve used Desert Rose many times here – because I LOVE THAT SONG – Bonnie Tyler appears here today.  🙂

My intro to “I Need a Hero”?  It was used in a David Copperfield television special.  He was floating across the Grand Canyon.  Or something.  Tween-aged Paloma was watching the man, not the scenery!  Today, this is absolutely hysterical!!!


42 thoughts on “these flames (ghazal)

  1. I know of David Copperfield, but don’t think I ever saw any of his performances – and this is… this is…

    Wait a minute, let me get back to you…………


  2. Well! Now I think you did this really well … nothing to envy Rumi about! Really nicely done Paloma and there’s no doubt in my mind that the Ghazal is now yours!


  3. I think you took your poetic nemesis down on the mat and beat him down 😛 Awesome ghazal. I love the rhyme word you chose…it is so strong and works so beautifully here with ‘these flames.’ This is so amazing that it makes me want to go back and try again.


    • Oh, I don’t know about “beat him down” — perhaps brought ‘im to his knees for a thorough tickling! 😉
      Thanks CC — what wonderfully encouraging comments! It would be great to see what you can come up with the second time around! 🙂


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