This Poem is Untitled as it’s Not Entitled to Be Titled

I thought this challenge
might be a lark.  That is
until I saw the prompt
and then the word limit.
All I could think was:
what the hell is a mudlark? 
I googled it and now that I know
it really hasn’t helped at all.
For this poem is but a sham. 

© N Nazir 2021

Written for Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt: Mudlark, 52 words

*Now look here, people, it meets the word limit, what more do you want?

*Last night I had a terrible nightmare that Turkey disappeared from view.  As in, the country, not the bird.  That everyone in the world was watching with baited breath on TVs all over the globe at a satellite image of a huge chunk of land slowly disappearing underwater before their eyes – Turkey being one of them – and everyone was helpless to do anything, and just like that, millions of people got swallowed up in one big gulp.  It was disturbing.  I thought I’d write it here instead of my journal.  Anyone else get weird dreams like this?

*This song, I don’t know why this song.  But I thought I’d share it as it made me feel better this morning.  (The video’s not as uplifting so you might want to just listen).

Recipe for Cooking a Poem (ii)

She who dares, wins

and yet there are rivulets of fever in my tights

a sigh like crescendo, spiralling like sunset into the dusk.

Wooing like cavaliers on horseback into some horizon

while a warm rainstorm stills a beaconlit summer dream.

I wake you with the heady scent of violets

place a tiny bouquet under your nose.

I imagine you taste like psychotropic desert earth.

Rumi wandered the Egyptian sands once like in my just-dream.

But real cavaliers don’t come on horseback, they steal in

unannounced through the back door and carry you away.

There’s no use pretending taffeta is for ball gowns

but check it, fam, this one’s silk and I got it down the market.

Should you discover you were not invited to the ball after all

you must gatecrash it like there’s no tomorrow 

for it’s true, there may be no tomorrow.

Aut insanit homo, aut versus facit.

The aching abyss of the underworld trembles without you knowing

still the sky lifts you into its arms tonight.

Make no sudden clasp of thunder, instead

be still like the moon on the dark side of winter.

Sunra was no god, just a wing-ed metamorphed animagus

who will one day call upon Isis to salt the earth again.

The oblivious sphinx is none the wiser, never has been, is not all-knowing.

Whoever thought summers this hot could turn coffee into wine?

Fuego y metales calientes de mil canciones.

My book half-plundered flew away into the dawn

for the river ran northward after last night’s crescendo 

and the wooing cavalier lay spent like a trail-blazed star.

© N Nazir 2021

Shared for dVerse Open Link Night, hosted by Mish (I’m a bit late to the party).

* * *

Aut insanit homo, aut versus facit. – the fellow is either mad or he is composing verses (Latin).

Fuego y metales calientes de mil canciones – fire and hot metals of a thousand songs (Spanish – a lyric from an Ojos de Brujo song).

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

*I created this poem using a random list of instructions taken from an old NaPoWriMo prompt from 2020. I found it to be quite a freeing stream of writing experiment. I highly recommend it; it’s quite unexpected what you manage to pluck from your subconscious given such a concise list. This was my second attempt (my first one was odd even for me).

I have included the list of instructions below in case you wanted to try it.

1) Begin the poem with a metaphor.

2) Say something specific but utterly preposterous.

3) Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.

4) Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).

5) Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.

6) Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.

7) Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.

8) Use a word (slang?) you’ve never seen in a poem.

9) Use an example of false cause-effect logic.

10) Use a piece of talk you’ve actually heard (preferably in dialect and/or which you don’t understand).

11) Create a metaphor using the following construction: “The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun) . . .”

12) Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative qualities.

13) Make the persona or character in the poem do something he or she could not do in “real life.”

14) Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.

15) Write in the future tense, such that part of the poem seems to be a prediction.

16) Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.

17) Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that finally makes no sense.

18) Use a phrase from a language other than English.

19) Make a non-human object say or do something human (personification).

20) Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that “echoes” an image from earlier in the poem.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

They say vampires don’t have a reflection. Which might explain why I haven’t been feeling myself lately. This morning when I tried to apply lipstick, I missed my mouth, well, because I grew faint and then vanished altogether. Mirrors don’t lie. How did I procure this ailment? Did I frolic unwittingly with the undead whilst I was out and get nipped without my knowledge? How does one catch vampirism…? Oh well, I thought, as my reflection emerged again slowly before my eyes. There’s nothing I can do about it now. Perhaps no one will notice.

Evocation, Shirin Abedirinad, 2015 (Mirror in Desert, Tehran)

Written for Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt: Mirror, 95 words.

This Poem Laid Waste the Garden

Photo by Tanya Gorelova on

Shall I compare thee to a stormy night?

Thou art more brooding and tempestuous.

Your rough words do blow me aside

and summer leaves too soon, short-tempered.

Sometime calm, eye of thy hurricane

and often your ashen complexion grimm’d

as every dusk indigo turns to grey

perchance because your beard’s unhinged.

But thy eternal gale shall not subside,

nor lose countenance of that prowess.

Nor shall life take you in its stride

when in countless spirals thou traversest.

So long as minds can feel and hearts can muse

‘Tis stillness rich once thou have cruised.

© N Nazir 2021

Sharing for dVerse Open Link Night.

*Originally written for NaPoWriMo 2021 prompt: to write a parody taking a famous poem or song as your source. You can read the original sonnet here.