by Sean Sexton
In shadow barely spoken, name of God. shouting in full light, name of God. Found in emptiness, missed in pattern, swallowing blue, lost in green, name of God. Through peace and upheaval, the sated and the wan, in departure and arrival, name of God. In narrows and shallows, expanses and deeps, through traversing or belief, name of God. Remnant or whole, great or small, in heart, mind, and bowel, name of God. Prodigal and revenant, hopeful or distraught from my first to final breath, name of God.
Author’s Note: This poem is written in Ghazal form, an ancient verse arrangement tracing its origins to 7th Century Arabic poetry, consisting of between 5 to 15 independent couplets, linked abstractly in theme but more strictly in the poetic form. Ghazal couplets end with the same rhyming scheme and meter. There is a refrain word or phrase in the last line of each, and both lines of the first couplet must contain the same to set the tone as well as the rhyming or refrain pattern and the final line called the Maktaa commonly features a kind of self-reference of the poet.
Sean Sexton was born in Indian River County and grew up on his family’s Treasure Hammock Ranch. He divides his time between managing a 700-acre cow-calf and seed stock operation, painting, and writing. He has kept daily sketch and writing journals since 1973. He is author of Blood Writing, Poems, Anhinga Press, 2009, The Empty Tomb, University of Alabama Slash Pine Press, 2014, Descent, Yellow Jacket Press, 2018 and May Darkness Restore, Poems, Press 53, 2019. He has performed at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV, Miami Book Fair International, Other Words Literary Conference in Tampa, FL and the High Road Poetry and Short Fiction Festival, in Winston Salem, NC. He is nominated for a Pushcart Prize and received a FL Individual Artist’s Fellowship in 2001.
He is a board member of the Laura Riding Jackson Foundation (Lauraridingjackson.org) and founding event chair of the Annual Poetry and Barbeque held each April, now in its tenth year. He also co-founded Poetry and Organ Advent and Lenten Concert Series at Community Church in Vero Beach, FL (ccovb.org) featuring nine concerts annually attracting poets from all over the US. He became inaugural Poet Laureate of Indian River County in 2016.