Parallel Realities

Untitled (Vipava, Slovenia) © N. Nazir 2018

A stoned firecracker rests in electric inertia.
Best avoid its orbit
lest it pop and whizz out of the blue.
You may never quite bumble the same.

Winter knows patience like no other.
As a tomcat whistles in the pseudo-holy silence,
so pseudo it’s authentic,
the kenopsia of a bank holiday,
a woman steals a smoke out of a window,
starlorn, wondering if the forecast
will again be coffin-shaped,
in the craxis of the southern hemisphere,
in the ocean’s temper
where so many dare to bridge
but never cross,
in places where women turn fury into razor intelligence,
gut blues into daily cunning
to cradle a quiet dream or two
dreaming, as a way to survive.

For what is torment but a place with closed doors
and no keys, no password? 
Where is the heartspur then?
Nowhere to rest your eyes
not even a patch of sky.

They know how to –
but would never care to tell you.

© N. Nazir 2021

Untitled (Vipava, Slovenia) © N. Nazir 2018

Written for Shay’s Word Garden, with prompt words inspired by the lyrics of Laura Nyro (who I didn’t know until now). Words used: stoned, firecracker, winter, patience, tomcat, whistle, holy, forecast, coffin, cradle, cats.

Written also for dVerse Tuesday Poetics, hosted by Linda. The challenge being to pick some words from the ten Linda has selected from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows and use these in your poem. I used the four below:

Starlorn: a sense of loneliness looking up at the night sky, feeling like a castaway in the middle of the ocean, whose currents are steadily carrying off all other castaways.

Kenopsia: the atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet.

Craxis: the unease of knowing how quickly your circumstances could change on you – that no matter how carefully you shape your life into what you want it to be, the whole thing could be overturned in an instant.

Heartspur: an unexpected surge of emotion in response to a seemingly innocuous trigger- the distinctive squeal of a rusty fence, a key change in an old pop song, the hint of a certain perfume- which feels all the more intense because you can’t quite pin it down.

44 thoughts on “Parallel Realities

  1. Ahh! First of all I had to do a doublecheck of the caption. 😀 All glory to you for showcasing this beautiful cat from Vipava. One line of my ancestors is just from thereabouts. But then the poem… Not only you incorporate all these stunning words (heartspur!!), but I loved so many other lines, everything from the coffin-shaped forecast to those bridges and dreaming as a way to survive. Just lovely.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Manja!!! Hello, my dear. Yes, it was a gorgeous feline. I was working there for a few weeks that summer and I went for a walk after school and all manner of creatures crossed my path but none that would let me take a picture! Except this beauty.

      Had I known you then, I would have gladly met up with you for a photography walk! 🙂

      So glad you like the poem, thank you. Your words means a lot to me ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You’ve taken the strands of both word sets and woven them into a symmetric and speaking whole. I love so much here, the pseudo that nudges itself into real, the coffin-shaped forecast, indeed, that whole stanza,and the way you have used the cats, so reflective of their austere sort of attachments that only go so far where feline secrets are concerned…really a pleasure to read, from beginning to end.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. fireblossom32

    No, they keep it to themselves, rotten kitties! 🙂 I’m so glad you decided to try the word list, and combining it with Linda’s worked out splendidly here. I especially like the woman stealing a smoke, starlorn.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha ha! Funny you should ask that, I ate peaches, actually! Great big juicy ones. And a watermelon. Thank you, I’m glad you liked the poem 🙂

      Yes, I’ve worked there a couple of times as short term summer work in a school teaching English. It’s a wonderful town with lovely people and atmosphere 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. sanaarizvi

    You have my heart with this one, Sunra! Especially resonate with; “For what is torment but a place with closed doors and no keys, no password? Where is the heartspur then? Nowhere to rest your eyes not even a patch of sky.”💝💝

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Bjorn! Yes, sorry about that, it is rather bleak, it just came out like that. Some days I can’t help thinking about the whole Afghanistan situation and how it’s so easily being forgotten about in the news, and what women must be going through. Reality is bleak though, isn’t it? Hope it didn’t depress you! 🙂 ❤


  5. Glenn A. Buttkus

    A tiny masterpiece here, indeed. You hooked me at “in places where women turn fury into razor intelligence, gut blues into daily cunning, to cradle a quiet dream or two.” We both used closed doors in our poetics–ah, great minds. When I could still drive, walk, and use my camera, I used to call my forays “imaging adventures”.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So beautifully haunting, it put me into a dreary trance. You can feel a wound, a hole forming in one’s chest at such emptiness in the world or life–at least, what I’m interpreting from this piece. Absolutely beautiful, and as always, I’m beyond impressed with your work. I’m blown away.

    Cats know the luxury of their own kingdom, why would they share their secrets with us when they still kill each other? 😛 My cats are crazy, Sunra, I tell you, they are crazy. Right now as I type this, I have four of them sleeping on my bed. Sleeping now? At a time like this? I just wish they’d show us their ways!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha ha ha! That is hilarious! I love that you have four sleeping in your bed. I guess they expect you to read their mind, they’re like that. It’s all body language with them. Apparently, if a cat is near you, it likes you. And if it keeps touching you with its tail, it really adores you. That much I know, lol! Kind of like humans, I suppose. Though you probably don’t want them touching you with their tail, haha. I’ll stop there, I think!

      Thank you so much for your kind words, I so appreciate it, Lucy. Though I didn’t mean to be depressing! I’m just always reminded of what privileges I have daily every time I see the news (even though I don’t have as much as others) and I can’t ignore it, my conscience won’t let me.

      Anyway, thank you ❤

      Liked by 2 people

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