Remind Me How It’s Done Again? #NaPoWriMo (off-prompt)

How do I write a poem about blood and muscle
when silence speaks in echoes
and my dreams go poof on waking?

How do I write a poem without
standing on a precipice
turning out all my pockets
and giving it all away? 

And if the poem is a kite flying just out of reach
a horse let loose in the forest
a freedom song cackled in the sky
how do I even begin
to grasp a wisp of tendril
and rein it in?

© N Nazir 2022

*I am poemed out already. I did actually write two responses to today’s prompt and was embarrassed by one and spooked by the other. So decided not to share them. Maybe another time when I feel bolder. I’ll be glad when NaPoWriMo is over (but I also still have to fulfil the challenge, damn it). I’m finding it a bit intense. Is it just me?

Here’s the prompt in case you wanted to try it:

NaPoWriMo Prompt: Today’s (optional) prompt is based on the aisling, a poetic form that developed in Ireland. An aisling recounts a dream or vision featuring a woman who represents the land or country on/in which the poet lives, and who speaks to the poet about it. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that recounts a dream or vision, and in which a woman appears who represents or reflects the area in which you live. Perhaps she will be the Madonna of the Traffic Lights, or the Mysterious Spirit of Bus Stops. Or maybe you will be addressed by the Lost Lady of the Stony Coves. Whatever form your dream-visitor takes, happy writing!

For more information or to take part, please visit

And here’s a beautiful song I found:

PuNk POeMs #NaPoWriMo

Collage Poems (Sketchbook 2022), © N Nazir 2022

© N Nazir 2022

NaPoWriMo Prompt: Hard-boiled detective novels are known for their use of vivid similes, often with an ironic or sarcastic tone. Novelist Raymond Chandler is particularly adept at these. Here are a few from his novels:

  • A few locks of dry, white hair clung to his scalp, like wild flowers fighting for life on a bare rock.
  • Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.
  • From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.
  • She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight.
  • He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to channel your inner gumshoe, and write a poem in which you describe something with a hard-boiled simile. Feel free to use just one, or try to go for broke and stuff your poem with similes till it’s . . . as dense as bread baked by a plumber, as round as the eyes of a girl who wants you to think she’s never heard such language, and as easy to miss as a brass band in a cathedral.

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I’ll Keep it Short #NaPoWriMo

Funny how
always ends
isn’t it?  How
time makes
a meal of us
makes it all
so poignant
every little
thing, when
it’s gone.

Funny how
I can’t wait
to see you
then can’t wait
to leave you,
what is wrong
with me?

Funny how
there’s always
so much that
needs fixing
in the garden
in the house
with power tools
or therapy.

Funny how
I miss you
even though
it’s been years.
Funny how
there’s always
a funny side.
Funny how
I can’t see it
right now.

© N Nazir 2022

Open, ink & gel pen on watercolour paper, (Sketchbooks 2021) © N Nazir 2021

NaPoWriMo Prompt: And now for our daily (optional) prompt. Today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in the style of Kay Ryan, whose poems tend to be short and snappy – with a lot of rhyme and soundplay. They also have a deceptive simplicity about them, like proverbs or aphorisms. Once you’ve read a few, you’ll see what I mean. Here’s her “Token Loss,” “Blue China Doorknob,” “Houdini,” and “Crustacean Island.”

For more information or to take part, please visit

*I have taken comments off for this post as I have very little time to respond this weekend. Thank you for reading and commenting so far, it keeps me writing ❤

Life Instructions #NaPoWriMo

© N Nazir 2022

Never wear a cycle helmet indoors.  It’s not bad luck, it’s just not good etiquette.

Always stretch before you go out.  You never know when you have to sprint.

Never divide and conquer.  Just as a rule.  Not because it doesn’t work, but because it’s mean.

Always ask the shyest person their opinion.  Especially if they’re one of your students.

Never whistle in the shower.  You will find you can’t anyway.  Water curtails whistling.  Singing however, is different.  If you must sing, because the acoustics dare you to, do it with gusto. 

Always rearrange the furniture so your space too may take a deep breath.  Even if only for a day.

Never make a joke at an interview.  But if you do, make sure it’s good.

Always iron your shirt.  Never wear a creased shirt.

Never assume the best man always makes the speech.  Always allow the best woman the floor if she wants it.  In fact, make that compulsory.

Never be afraid to dance if you really want to dance.  Always dance if you want to dance.  Listen to the body.  The body knows things.

Never –

Always –

Just do what the fuck you want

(as long as it hurts no one)

© N Nazir 2022

*I have often been guilty of No. 1.

NaPoWriMo Prompt: And now for our prompt (optional, as always). In honor of today’s being the 22nd day of Na/GloPoWriMo 2022, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that uses repetition. You can repeat a sound, a word, a phrase, or an image, or any combination of things.

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The Unconscious Throws Up Answers #NaPoWriMo (off-prompt)

Erasure Poem #57, gel pen on paper, © N Nazir 2022 (Sourced from The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt)

We vanish
into the
falling fog.

I hide
you seek.

We are
in perfect

The world
is our
chess game.

© N Nazir 2022

*The text yielded nothing more than these snatches of phrase. It was just an excuse to use my my new ink pen. And I realise it appears more oceanic than “falling fog.” At the end, it had me in mind of Hokusai’s wave. Perhaps I was unconsciously channelling it. Image below.

The Great Wave of Kanagawa, Hokusai, woodblock print, 1829-1833 (image from Pinterest)

NaPoWriMo Prompt: Today’s (optional) prompt is one I got from the poet Betsy Sholl. This prompt asks you to write a poem in which you first recall someone you used to know closely but are no longer in touch with, then a job you used to have but no longer do, and then a piece of art that you saw once and that has stuck with you over time. Finally, close the poem with an unanswerable question.

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*I did actually write a poem for the above prompt. But it felt too personal to share. So I thought I’d share a doodle instead.