Steffen Horstmann



Steffen Horstmann has written more than two hundred ghazals in English. His poems and book reviews have appeared in publications throughout the world, including in: Baltimore Review, Free State Review, Istanbul Literary Review, Louisiana Literature, Oyez Review, Texas Poetry Journal, and Tiferet. His book of ghazals, Jalsaghar, will be published this year by Kariboux; and he has recently completed his second collection of ghazals, Ujjain.

Lucent Horizon

The lucent horizon comets graze forever.
Madonnas immersed in a prism’s rays forever.

Phosphorous nebulas floating
In an auroral blaze forever.

Rutted coasts where gales rave
Of Spartan forays forever.

Meteor clouds sheened in Vega’s
Iridescent rays forever.

The ghosts of nomads wandering
In a radiant haze forever.

The Tibetan monastery
Where a bodhisattva prays forever.

Cursed wraiths encaged
In a castle’s maze forever.

The eyes of Dodona retaining
An autumnal blaze forever.

Rumi’s dream of poppies pulsing
In the light of a diamond’s rays forever.

Ghazal on a Line by Alberto de Lacerda

What remains to convey beyond this life?
My song dies away beyond this life.

You existed always as a hidden presence
& traveled like a castaway beyond this life.

Spectral birds are the heralds of saints,
With messages to convey beyond this life.

Lotus-shaped clouds form above temples
Where bodhisattvas pray beyond this life.

Like shadows in mirages, the ghosts
Of nomads will stray beyond this life.

Note: The second line of the opening couplet
of this ghazal is by Alberto de Lacerda.

The Wind Sings in its Whirling

“Death, be a blessing on the stranger
who sees the unseen more clearly
than a reality that is no longer real.”
̶ Mahmoud Darwish

Listen to how the wind sings in its whirling,
With leaves fluttering like wings in its whirling.

Guide me now, Lord, through the wastes
Of whistling sand that stings in its whirling.

Rumors of an oasis are whispered in flowing mist,
The murmurs of hidden springs in its whirling.

Lead me to your world, my final refuge.
Find me out in chaos of dust & storms swirling.

A dervish veers through an abandoned castle,
Laced with voices of dead kings in its whirling.

An Angel in a shawl of gleaming dark
Tempts me along a path with shadows unfurling.

I listen for a stillness within the fury,
Veiled in the wind as it sings in its whirling.

Wake me to your world, its unclouded night.
Soothe me with its soft light pearling.

Gusts lift a nomad’s tent pitched in the ruins,
Vanishing in the wind as it sings in its whirling.

Listen to how the wind sings in its whirling,
With leaves fluttering like wings in its whirling.


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One Comment:

  1. distinguishable work Mr.Steffen…love to read your works…you are creating a new genre for ghazals….awesome..!!

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