Rain-damp Autumn Blues

Untitled, digital photograph, © N. Nazir 2018

Rain-damp autumn nights
closing in, shadows looming
large, embracing me

Antidote to blues-
go for a walk, don headphones
play music loud, LOUD

keep walking come rain
wind, hail, snow, thunder, tempest
biting skin, holding

me in the moment
sharpening senses, beauty
in the bleak. Shake off

the blues, for I am
fortunate to have shelter
lucky to exist

to have my able
sweet limbs, my handful of kin
my refuge of books

keep moving briskly
till sadness dissipates though
it hangs over the

city like a cloud
until the rain finally
chases it away.

Untitled, digital photograph, © N. Nazir 2020

Haiku Sequence ♯19

© N. Nazir 2020

Haiku ♯6 in 3 parts (ode to the moon)

Heart called out to moon
Moon heard, shone even brighter
Heart and moon are one.

Stars shimmied and shook
their starlight all over me,
moon watched jealously.

Still, moon wins my heart
all over again. How can
he not? We are kin.

Strawberry Moon, N. Nazir, digital photograph, 2020

I wasn’t sure whether I should give the moon a gender. I’m still not sure. But the pronoun it didn’t seem strong enough. The moon is always referred to as a she so I didn’t want to conform to that idea. Why not he? But still not happy with he. Never mind. I won’t sweat it.

The more I learn about poetry the more I enjoy writing it. I began writing instinctively in my teens, on and off in my twenties and thirties, scraps of verse here and there, whole poems usually no longer than a page, or as lyrics to songs. I still have the bug.

Strawberry Moon, N. Nazir, digital photograph, 2020

I’m learning more about all the different types of form, and how this can actually accentuate a poem rather than restrict it. By form, I mean anything from free verse to tankas, from limericks to rhyming couplets. The poem decides for itself which form suits it best and you can’t possibly know this until you write the thing. The first draft being what I call the splurge, where it all spills out, the idea in disorder, the essence of the poem. Following drafts then revisit it to pick out the meat, turn it into a piece of tasty tapas (or something palatable at least). Therein some suitable form reveals itself. It also reveals itself in the telling of the thing, vocalising the poem, performing it, saying it aloud to a friend.

Super Blood Wolf Moon, N. Nazir, digital photograph, 2019

However, I still have much to learn about form. What do I know?

And yet I’m enjoying it so much 🙂

I find haikus relatively fun and easy to write than other types of poems. The form is so simple, with its three-line, 5-7-5 syllable format. Traditionally they reference the natural environment with some unexpected detail happening in the middle (though modern haikus don’t always follow this rule). I always think of haikus as a film still between takes where the moment offers some tiny beautiful detail to accent the scene.  A bird taking flight.  A drop of water falling off a leaf, disrupting the mirrored surface of a lake. Watch the ripple extend outward. A shaft of sunlight beaming out from behind a cloud like a laser. Isn’t nature wonderful? You as viewer are invited to watch.

Haikus are a tasty little morsel of poetry you can consume in a moment, whetting your appetite for more.

For anyone who enjoyed reading this post, I would love it if you could have a go at writing your own haiku in the comments.  The theme is up to you.  Anything that comes to mind. It would make my day 🙂

© N. Nazir 2020