Beyond the Face of Fear

will there be room
for forgiveness
as shades of pink
after a storm
that will not pass gently
but will pass.

May you stand
in its peaceful eye
and sail through
May you cross
the border safely
find refuge in
your neighbour’s arms.

Someone made the wind
their master
and became
the face of fear.
dictates disorder.
Nothing is as it seems
history spills over
tears at the seams
breaks the banks.
Honour’s name is dirt.

Silence is a grudge
not a truce
and things worsen
before they better
like the plague
like the tremor
before the quake.

There are times
one has no choice
but to fight.

And it may be
the last thing you ever do
but it is the right thing to do.

© N. Nazir 2022

Photo by Katie Godowski on

*I wrote this free write in a poetry workshop last night in response to the prompt line “beyond the face of fear” from Lucille Clifton’s poem Blessing the Boats.

*Shared for Ragtag Daily Prompt: War

This Poem is Out of Place

Erasure Poem #42, coffee & biro on paper, © N. Nazir 2022
(sourced from Milkman by Anna Burns)

The transient destination
of settlement
the traces of history,
blood land lost.

The night is swollen
and ever-present
with the nameless beings
of courage and silence.

*I was going to share this for Black History Month (although in the UK we have it in October) but it also seemed to reflect the current times. I still can’t believe what horrors are unfolding this week.

The Sum of All its Parts

The weather sneezes
through a crack in the windowsill.
The moment changes course.
Somewhere, a sound like
a thrumming microcosm.


I have a circus of blood inside me
and the workings of my body are beautiful.
As it is, exactly as it is.
The inconsistency of vision
the oversensitivity of skin
the dryness of hands from overdoing
the non-Platonic proportions
the passing tension from being so good
at shouldering burdens.
This good machine deserves good clothes.


Some houses are ill and lean a little to one side.
They wish someone would place a lantern
in their naked hearth and stroke a hand
along their walls as they keep at bay
the hollering elements
the ceaseless intelligence of rain
the hornets and lions and zombies.
All that hard work they do, for you.


Other houses are an ambient sadness.
Only laughter can shock the molecules,
break the trance of inertia. Music too,
awning outward in smoke ring vibrations.


Still others offer themselves to you like a hug
in their strength, their completeness
in how much they were loved before you
and love you with their love excess
being taught so well, all that warmth
soaked in the walls and buzzing still.

You sleep well there and dream
of origins close to the ocean
some ancestral morn-song
and realise once again that
the season turned on its axis
as you honeyed through your slumber.

© N Nazir 2022

Stork, © N Nazir 2020

Written for Shay’s Word Garden, this week hosted by Hedgewitch (Joy), who gives us inspiration with the legendary poet Pablo Neruda.

Written also for dVerse Poetics, hosted by Lillian, who invites us to write a poem using one of the given proverbs / adages. I was inspired by:

“Things are not always what they seem.” – Beekeeper and the Bees, from Aesop’s Fables.