Today's task was to write a ghazal. I don't really like writing ghazals, but I thought I'd give it a try. I wrote about some of my favorite trees in the valley. This could use a bit more development. I want to work in how the palm trees have become a part of the landscape now, and the valley is synonymous with them.
South Texas Tree Ghazal
These palm trees came as immigrants to the Rio Grande Valley,
Like me, and sunk their roots into the fertile soil of a valley
Already brimming with trees: mesquites, tough with thorns,
But sweet with sunny catkins, huisaches, ushering in the valley’s
Spring in January with the opening of blossoms, ebony
Along the river, welcoming the breeze that moves this valley
Into bloom. The live oaks cast a merciful shadow, house
The mockingbirds and feed the javalinas passing through the valley
On their way through the brush, a place of respite from the heat
To sip sweet tea or aguas frescas after another hot valley
Afternoon. The acacua flowers constantly, romantic petals
Spiraling to the crabgrass, the only snow this warm valley
Ever sees. As if this magic place needs another kind of tree.
But chachalacas build their nests in crowns. This valley
Wouldn’t be the same without song of palm trees swaying, harmonizing
with the songs of katydids to welcome all into the Rio Grande Valley.