You may be mystified unless you read this edited version of NaPoWriMo's description of "our prompt today...write a ghazal...an old Persian form of poetry [in] couplets. Traditionally, the two lines of the first couplet end with the same word or phrase [which is then] used to end the second line of each succeeding couplet. All of the lines are supposed to be of about the same length [but with] no formal meter or syllable count. If...super traditional/technical, the last couplet [refers] to the poet...by name, or...some...allusion.
...no obligation for the various couplets to have...anything to do with one another. ...each couplet [is almost a self-contained poem.] The unity of the poem as a whole doesn’t derive from narrative logic, so much as from the repeated refrain that ends each couplet."
At My Desk in April
Just outside my window sway branches of birch trees.
I am distracted by the swaying of birch trees.
The morning is gray but April buds are yellow,
drooping, prolific, from the branches of birch trees.
Robert told us writers there would be days like this,
that we could do worse than be swingers of birch trees.
My thoughts are prolific, to-do list - horrific,
but this morning's thoughts are pre-empted by birch trees.
He's in the kitchen, he won't know how I'm stuck here,
with so much to do, yet telling you of birch trees.
Neither my brothers nor I confessed to the crime.
Each had to bring his own switch; mine came from birch trees.
But, wait! I am enlightened, and not besmirched, by
the whiteness and yellowness of spring birch trees.
Shirley is finally at work--Robert, you were right,
She could do worse than be a singer of birch trees.