William Dennis

Warm Glow—Where Does It Go?

The ice melts off the poles
while deserts grow—where does it go? A cocktail melts its ice
in my warm glow—where does it go?

The Carolina parakeet,
the passenger pigeon—once swarming, now they’re legends
with the dodo—where do they go?

An osage orange on the grass,
no gomphotheres* to eat it; the Osage nation bent it
for their bow—where do they go?

An inch of fallen flakes brings
sleek horse-power to a crawl; sleighs used to run the faster
over snow—where did they go?

Revealed by melt, the Ice Man,
Oetzi’s trousers had no seat; of all those massive glaciers
long ago—where did they go?

Dread climate change
has two solutions: the old may choose to die; the young may fall in love.
Your wasted youth, Bill, where did it go?


*Gomphotheres: extinct animals, resembling a four-tusked cross between a hairy mammoth and a giant pig. They were the primary vector for spreading the seed of what we now call the Osage orange tree.

When The Ghazal Page suggested the topic, “Chill,” the only thought which came immediately to William Dennis was the fact that global warming is taking the chill off our planet. However cool it feels to be warm in winter, he thinks the world is losing its cool and humanity is going to miss it. On a recent visit to the southern Alps, he met Oetzi and witnessed the withdrawal of glacier from many mountain-sides.

Well into his prime, William Dennis has been writing ghazal for quite some time, to be precise, ever since he placed his feet where Ghalib must have stood in audience before the last Moghul emperor’s throne, in the Red Fort, Delhi. His ghazal have appeared here and in R.W. Watkins’ “ Eastern Structures.” He has several book available through Amazon in electronic format, including his own ghazal, as well as a book of translations of the ghazal of Ghalib.