Let the Children Play – NaPoWriMo 2017, Day thirteen – prompt: a ghazal

Petra, ride me down the river

Ride a cross crocodile

Let the Children Play

 .

Daedalus, master craftsman, ready for flight; his son for play.

Feathers and wax combined; man’s escape and angels at play.

.

Forever the arts capture a father’s unnecessary intemperate loss.

Oh, foolish youth, the heat of the sun, never approach for play.

.

Now one boy, forever, on his dead shoulders lays a broken trust.

It was not normal. Few children over-reaching the borderlines of play.

.

Daedalus, your name is less familiar; seldom ever do you get a mention.

He was vigilant of his son, knew the headiness of unreasonable play.

.

He was paternal, punctilious, seeking to shield, not control.

How devastating his son ignored the rules of all good play.

.

Centuries after, parents go beyond the conscientious.

The rules are extended to a squeamish suspicion of play.

.

A video in social media comes to my attention, headiness under enlightened direction.

Many small children running and sliding in wet muddy joyful impromptu play.

.

They will be prepared, educated in silly behaviour and risks.

They will know what goes beyond the boundaries and joy in play.

.

Over the centuries we have followed Daedalus, through sad Icarus.

Not every child is an outrageous Icarus testing the extreme limits of play.

.

Salubrious, my childhood for we were not deterred from our roving.

Schoolmates and Bin’s siblings look back on the freedom of long and fabulous hours of play.

Benita H. Kape © 13.4.2017

My nickname at primary school was Bin.

Petra, into the mouth of the unknown

Teach them not to be fearful

Today’s is an oldie-but-a-goody: the ghazal. The form was originally developed in Arabic and Persian poetry, but has become increasingly used in English, after being popularized by poets including Agha Shahid Ali. A ghazal is formed of couplets, each of which is its own complete statement. Both lined of the first couplet end with the same phrae or end-word, and that end-word is also repeated at the end of each couplet. If you’re really feeling inspired, you can also attempt to incorporate internal rhymes and a reference to your own name in the final couplet. Here are a few examples – Evie Shockley’s “where you are planted,” Ali’s “Tonight,” and Patricia Smith’s “Hip Hop Ghazal.”

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