first I must sit here 
and draw
with the morning

out of this jungle of forces
in these here woods, he said

be alone 
than feel more alone 
somewhere I don’t belong

one might even 
find themselves
newly passed over

and climactic
nor too wild

we interpret death
as a brave afterlife
as talisman.  

Your beating heart.

© N Nazir 2022

Written for dVerse Poetry Prompt, hosted by Laura who invites us to write a poem using the last lines of the last twelve poems we have written (or the last lines of published poems from books or web links) and, whilst keeping those lines unadulterated, to arrange them into a poem.

I decided to use my own poems going backwards from the most recent, enjambing them onto extra lines, and rearranging them from their original date order. Most of them are published on my blog but a couple of end lines are new.

Here’s how it would have read with no tinkering:

first I must sit here and draw
out of this jungle of forces

with the morning

one might even find themselves
we interpret death as a brave afterlife

heartfelt and climactic
nor too wild

in these here woods, he said
newly passed over

be alone than feel more alone somewhere I don’t belong
as talisman. Onward. Your beating heart. Onward.

As you can see, it definitely needed reshuffling 🙂


My Throwback Thursday music share is Debussy’s Les son et les parfums tournent dans l’aire du soir. Because it’s divine. What are you listening to at the moment?

The Cento of Attention #NaPoWriMo

© N Nazir 2021

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine 1
feel the future dissolve in a moment 2
Sometimes a piece of sun 3
says everything 4
And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world 5

And his soul is seasoned, his soul 6
who comes back to the dust at your feet 7
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat. 8

I saw a sugary pyramid 9
in a puddle of fairytale silver 10
The drunkenness of things being various 11
that sultry afternoon 12

Though there are torturers in the world 13
the world offers itself to your imagination 14
The world is full of paper 15
and is infinitely alive 16
to make love in war and war in love 17

So imagine me there 18
in a rising wind 19
glistening like an orange split open 20
on the edge of the night. 21

© N Nazir 2022

NaPoWriMo Prompt: And now – our final (but still optional!) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a cento. This is a poem that is made up of lines taken from other poems. If you’d like to dig into an in-depth example, here’s John Ashbery’s cento “The Dong with the Luminous Nose,” and here it is again, fully annotated to show where every line originated. A cento might seem like a complex undertaking – and one that requires you to have umpteen poetry books at your fingertips for reference – but you don’t have to write a long one. And a good way to jump-start the process is to find an online curation of poems about a particular topic (or in a particular style), and then mine the poems for good lines to string together. You might look at the Poetry Foundation’s collection of love poems, or its collection of poems by British romantic poets, or even its surprisingly expansive collection of poems about (American) football.

To find out more information or to take part, please visit

1. Wild Geese, Mary Oliver
2. Kindness, Naomi Shihab Nye
3. We Have Lost Even, Pablo Neruda
4. Silence, Mourid Barghouti
5. Snow, Louis MacNeice
6. A Man in His Life, Yehuda Amichai
7. Happiness, Jane Kenyon
8. From Blossoms, Li-Young Lee
9. Sweetness Always, Pablo Neruda
10. Tell Me About It, Ruth Padel
11. Snow, Louis Macneice
12. Strawberries, Edwin Morgan
13. Though There Are Torturers in the World, Michael Cody
14. Wild Geese, Mary Oliver
15. Stationery, Agha Shahid Ali
16. Sweetness Always, Pablo Neruda
17. A man in His Life, Yehuda Amichai
18. Eurydice, Carol Ann Duffy (from The World’s Wife)
19. The Layers, Stanley Kunitz
20. Presents from My Aunts in Pakistan, Moniza Alvi (from Carrying My Wife)
21. Brink, Carol Ann Duffy (from Rapture)

*In some cases, I have used more than one line from the same poem, I couldn’t resist. A lot of the above poems can be found in an anthology called Staying Alive which comes as a trilogy of books. It’s wonderful to read, I highly recommend it.

*If I’d had more time, I would have asked permission from some of you fine poets to be able to use lines from poems of yours I love. Perhaps I’ll do this in the future. What a lovely collaborative form. It feels like you’re the director compiling a narrative using different artist’s work. It’s so cool.

*I have a habit of snapping photos of any poems that strike me whilst perusing bookshops or libraries so this came in supremely handy as I had a whole bunch ready to reference on my phone for this prompt. Still, I am pleased it’s the last prompt of the month – YAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!! Challenge accepted and demolished. Thank you, NaPoWriMo!

*Thank you so much to everyone for reading and commenting. It is always wonderful to know your thoughts and I will surely reply and return the favour in the coming days. Much love to you all ❤