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).
*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.