Recipe for Cooking a Poem (ii)

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).

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

*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.

The Zen of Dressmaking (iii)

It’s hard to get the hang
right on an empire line.

Pin the skirt a tad higher,
the waist is too low –

it needs plenty of swish
just above the knee.

V-neck or bateau?
Maybe a lace back reveal

running down the centre.
Cap sleeve or mid-length?

But the most important question to ask –
pockets or no pockets? 

Well, perhaps just a sneaky one
at the hip.  For my flask.

© N Nazir 2021

Written for Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt: Empire, 70 words

*a lace back reveal only to the waist, I might add.

*this is not true. I’m actually making a skater skirt. I have yet to make such a dress.

*I don’t actually drink unless with people. I just love the idea of having a hip flask about one’s person. You know, just to get through the stress of life. Or for medicinal purposes, snakebites, that sort of thing.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on

This Poem is Questionable

To be or not to be is not the question
when one doesn’t have a choice at birth.
What’s noble about suffering? is a better question.
To sleep perchance to dream is no use
if one is prone to insomnia.
How outrageous of fortune to sling arrows,
has she nothing better to do?
Ay, now, there’s the tub.
I’ll have a good soak before bed,
take the edge off.
Maybe even perchance a cup of cocoa.
To wash hair or not to wash hair? 

© N Nazir 2021

In response to Sammi Scribbles weekend writing prompt: Question, 84 words.

*This poem is a little blah but I was in the mood to write a poem about nothing much in particular. I like the restraint of a word limit, I don’t know why. Plus, I can’t resist a good Sammi Prompt.

*This poem is inspired by the very famous Shakespeare sonnet from Hamlet, which you can read in full here if you so wish:

*I don’t actually have a tub.

A Double Whammy Poem #Caboodle #Portmanteau

Tone it Down

You tempted me
hanging there coolly.
Casting shade just the way I liked
in a way that made me want you. 
I filled my eyes
pretended distraction elsewhere
but I kept coming back to you. 
And yet so many others
charmed me too. 
It became harder to choose.
Moments passed.
You like…? asked the man
holding out
cerulean blue
inkwells of ultra-violet
emerald, crimson.
Hues so true my heart sighed.
Just give me the whole caboodle, I said.

© N Nazir 2021

Written for Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt: Caboodle, 78 words.

Please also check out my response to last weekend’s Sammi prompt below. I would have posted it earlier but it was fiddly af and I only just got round to finishing it. I have numbered each sentence so it’s easier to follow, and also included the verse below.

Erasure Poem #37, ink on photocopy paper, © N Nazir 2021

The rightful owner of this portmanteau
is nimbly devouring
the hopes we find so comforting.

He made an ass of me.
What ist thou doing now
we must go and ponder on the mountain,
how to bring him to heel.

He is a master of misdemeanour.
The goatherd knows it too.
By the way,
have you seen my mule?

© N Nazir 2021

Written for Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt: Portmanteau, 59 words (25-26 Sept 2021)