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This poem is taken from PN Review 191, Volume 36 Number 3, January - February 2010.

Ghazals Jee Leong Koh

You look into a stone and see its early fire

You look into a stone and see its early fire.
You look into a fire and all you see is fire.

The issue, that we saw each other only twice,
is I have no more hands to thrust into the fire.

Time is a river. That is if you are a fish.
If you are a sunflower, time is a fire.

We do not ever know what the gods want of us.
Perhaps that is why we compare them to a fire.

A charred library is sadder than a pile of ash.
A body catches but it does not cage a fire.

Saying it makes no difference to the universe
but when did saying anything else stop a fire?

Sick of analogies, you want to know the thing.
What are you, Love, when you are not a fire?

Among the ways to take a good look at a tree

Among the ways to take a good look at a tree,
the best is to lie down and look up at a tree.

I can no more hold you by naming qualities
than sacred names scratched out in bark possess the tree.

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