About the Author:
Steffen Horstmann was born in Niskayuna, New York, and attended the University of Arizona. As Agha Shahid Ali’s student, he studied the history of the ghazal form and began writing his own ghazals in English. Horstmann’s poems and book reviews have
appeared in publications throughout the world, including Baltimore Review, Free State Review, Istanbul Literary Review, Louisiana Literature, Oyez Review, Texas Poetry Journal, and Tiferet. He lives in Naples, Florida.
Brahma’s voice inhabits whirlwinds that passed before you.
Starlight glazes the shadows of djinns amassed before you.
Scripts of sutras rise in calligraphy from your palms,
Floating in shafts of light the stars cast before you.
In the dim twilight winged scarabs emerge
From volatile sands that flow fast before you.
Winds rave as moonlight streams from the raised swords
Of Alexander’s brigades amassed before you.
A nomad priest counts on a rosary amid debris
Of a lost caravan that once passed before you.
Diamonds glisten in dunes as breezes polish
The relics of Agra’s decadent past before you.
The sky is lacquered a rain forest’s colors
In a dream of Eden stretched vast before you.
Phoenixes rise from spent pyres as embers pulse
In the shadow of the one who stands last before you.
45 poems spread across 3 sections