A Poem About a Man

Erasure Poem 20, biro and gel pen on photocopy paper, © N Nazir 2021

Africa, Australia, Peru, The Himalayas
Pure Romanticism and true wilderness
a deeply poetic response to nature.

He penetrated more deeply into the world
in full postmodern fashion
a friend of mine.

He is in tune with nature, fierce and primary.
His talent is walking, a process of purification
simple things, air, sky, earth, rock.

Solitary days of emptying my life is a complicated art.

© N Nazir 2021

*I am off-prompt today as nothing sprang to mind in response to NaPoWriMo’s prompt of the day (to write a poem for a particular occasion, for example, a birth, death, inauguration, celebration, etc).

So I thought I’d share an erasure poem I started last week and have just finished.

Also: I’m so delighted to have my poem from yesterday featured on NaPoWriMo’s website today! What a lovely start to the day it was ☀️ Though I probably should have mentioned it was about fireflies 😄


Luminous Diptera

Untitled, digital photograph, © N Nazir 2021

Sorrow is the most efficient light-producing entity in the world. 
Its luciferous quality communicates with other woes
and their similar dance steps attract each other.

Despair flies around with its unique firework display 
while calculation sits perched on a branch waiting 
for its own particular brand of ache to arrive.

(Calculation – genus: from the determinus family, also known as stratagem, totting up, figuring out or the reckoning).

Some despairs synchronise their flashing patterns to attract more calculations 
particularly those oft-seen American types that live in the Great Smoky Mountains.
How successful they are is another matter.

(Despair – genus: from the abandonment family, also known as pain, anguish, melancholy or gloom)

Each sorrow has its own particular colour.  
Some glow cerulean
others blaze green 
while still others storm
orange or flare yellow.

They taste disgusting, however.  

When sorrows are mistakenly thought to appear delicious 
they instead emit a bitter blood that poisons the muncher.
(the munchee’s last laugh).

They often practise cannibalism of their own kind.
Calculations like to consume opposite despairs of their own genera 
by mimicking their dance steps then eating them alive 
whilst the poor despair believed they were finally going to mate
with the perched and tantalising calculation. 

Yet if nectar of the gods is scarce
and there are no unsuspecting despairs
they will eat silent moving spirals or nothing at all.

The fascinating thing is that sorrows have their own language. 

Females sorrows, aka calculations, will puppet the language of a despair
aka male sorrow, from another clan (a rival despair, no less)
to trick it into mating with them when it really wants to gorge them alive
which it often successfully achieves. 

What they don’t realise
and this is the dark splendid bluff of the whole thing

is that the male sorrow of the same clan as the female
also mimics the dance steps of the rival sorrow
so the female ends up eating its own kind not a rival sorrow at all.

What a sad sphinxes’ riddle it all is!

So, to the left of the equator the number of sorrows is declining
because the too-clever belly-gorging females are eating them all
by tricking the not-clever-enough males
who plot their own back and get eaten anyway. 

So how can they truly evolve? 
They morph into something else, forget themself then eat themself.
Proof that being too clever can destroy you.

Or perhaps the calculation goes to great lengths not to have babies
and Nature colludes with her?

Sorrows, ought you not commune in the dance steps you were given 
without mask or farce, then no one would be souped?
What sophisticated arts you use to demise each other
no wonder sorrow is rife yet shrinks.
Nature wrestles with its own demons.

And what of the light?

Those pillager-humans, the energy suckers that they are
hunt and harvest these sorrows
to achieve luminosity or luciferous ends.
So both depairs and calculations 
cannot migrate 
cannot adapt
cannot evolve.

they simply


© N Nazir 2021

*Thank you, David Attenborough, Planet Earth, BBC, National Geographic and Ecowatch.com for all the fascinating info (which I have thwarted and debunked so trust only 50%).  ‘Tis an incredible planet we inhabit.

I know this poem is too long and needs editing but I’ve got to tick off the poem for today as my day is already full.  

Thank you so much for continuing to read my work.  I appreciate it so much. ❤️
I’m definitely not one of those writers that thinks they know it all.  In fact, I sometimes cringe at my own work.  

I truly welcome any constructive feedback and comments. ☀️

NaPoWriMo Prompt: to use facts about an animal with any references to the animal itself replaced with other abstract notions, to be rearranged and edited into a poem.


Dear Michael Stipe

I don’t think Kenneth knows the frequency, either.  
He is, as you say, an idiot’s dream, wearing an inane grin
caused by Benzedrine or some other substance
that doesn’t rhyme with that.

And it wasn’t a shirt of violent green that he wore
rather, it was a shade of scarlet.  
Perhaps you’re colour-blind, lovely Michael?  

By the way, did you find a new religion?  
Or are you sans religion now?

Let me know! 
I’m going to E-bow this letter to you asap.

Your Orange Crush,

Sunra Rainz

P.S. That bloody sidewinder was asleep in my bed last night!  
Honestly, those dratted sidewinders, they just won’t leave me alone! Grrrrr


Dear Great Purple One

Doves Cry since you left
and the Thieves don’t come to the Temple any more. 

You always had the Look.  
I moved to Alphabet Street
just to get a glimpse of you
but you’re as elusive as Purple Rain.  

Your Raspberry Beret, bereft,
got sold in an auction
and your Little Red Corvette
got towed away.  

And We Can Funk all we want
but there will never be another
Love Machine like you.  

At least I still have your Musicology.  
For now, I sit Under the Cherry Moon
and think of your Kiss.


Darling Nikki


Dear Baha Men,

I’ve absolutely no idea who let the dogs out. I’m just as baffled as you are.

Yours confounded,

Sunra Rainz


© N Nazir 2021

NaPoWriMo Prompt: to write a poem that responds to another in some way, either using a line or an image, as an argument or counter argument.

However, I decided to respond to questions raised in famous pop/rock songs as well as an ode to His Great Purpleness.


Fancy a Cuppa?

I’ll just have a tea, please, you say
English Breakfast or Earl Grey?
Do you have chai?
No, sorry.
English Breakfast is fine.

You pay and sit down, wait for them to bring it over.
It’s not really tea, it’s a palatable version
Anglicised, which you don’t mind at all.
When did it become English Breakfast?
In fact, it can be rather nice.
Especially when you’ve spent so much time in places 
where the face of tea is every abundance of fruit leaf
but not black, not Ceylon, not Assam, not Kenyan.
But why?  Don’t the leaves come from the same paddy fields?

And English chai is different, a liquid concoction of warming spices
that you’ve grown to like nonetheless
you prefer chai
the way your dad used to make it
how he would boil the water until it was crimson
before adding the milk until it was the tone of your skin
then simmer it with sugar 
sometimes tossing in a few cardamoms
or a pinch of fennel because mom prefers that
tasting a spoonful to make sure it was just right
and it always was.
The aromatic smell of the kitchen in the morning.

How colonial is a cup of tea? you wonder
staring into your cup as if trying to read the leaves.
Then you drain the last mouthful and leave
to find somewhere else to write.

© N Nazir 2021

NaPoWriMo Prompt: to write a poem that uses a specific object as a metonym, to symbolise a particular time, era, or place.

I chose tea because it is a hybrid object that has a deep relationship with two cultures, loosely East and West, and also because I see it as synonymous with both toil (in its growing) and comfort (in the enjoyment of the final product).


This Poem is Still Becoming

A group of rattlesnakes is called a rhumba
A rhumba is a slow sinuous dance
dotted with staccato movements
like the shape of morse code
and codes link everyone to everything
like a spiderweb
like a lotus growing in all directions outward
like the internet
and the internet is an all-knowing being like God.
God may be a myth like Zeus or Hecate or Hades.
Myth are borne of stories, whispered around fires
passed on, written, uttered, clothed in words
but language doesn’t need to be clothed in words.
It doesn’t have to speak
like the rhumba
the dancer as she shakes
like the rattle of the snake
beware, it says, come closer
I dare you.

© N Nazir 2021

NaPoWriMo Prompt: to write a poem using lines that have a repetitive set-up.