The natural beauty reigns, of charms the queen,

in this western city alive and teeming,

           between the mountains and the sea.

The beauty queen’s Crown rises along with Seymour,

the route to the royal court across the Lion’s Gate beams,

           between the mountains and the sea.

Staking its claim over the Harbour, like that opera house down under,

Canada Place spreads its white and sail-like wings,

           between the mountains and the sea.

Burrard vistas from the winding seawall circling Stanley Park,

with its Lost Lagoon, and English Bay sunsets from the beach,

           between the mountains and the sea.

Ferry rides over blue waters to Granville and Victoria islands;

on foot or bike or boat, its sights gleam, its air so clean,

           between the mountains and the sea.

Copyright 2019

T. Allen Culpepper 

You Say Gazelle, I Say Ghazal

Like the graceful leap of the wild gazelle,

the thoughts bound high that the stanzas tell in this ghazal.


Like the ambitions of Prometheus reaching for fire,

the poet aims his lofty goal to assail in this ghazal.


Like the prophets and philosophers of days long past,

the poet calls for revolution but prepares to fail in this ghazal.


Like the epics of those legendary ancient bards,

the poem employs figures, each word a sail in this ghazal.


If writing poetry is pretentious, even dangerous,

then poems about poetry are the unholy grail—hence this ghazal.

Copyright 2019

T. Allen Culpepper