Denim Blues #publication

Perhaps you ought to
try out a new groove.

The truth is
I was only pretending to like

…you can read the rest of the poem here.

© N Nazir 2022

*thank you to Whispers and Echoes for publishing my poem. This is the first of three to appear in the coming weeks. I originally wrote it for a Sammi Scribbles prompt some time ago, so I’m delighted it was accepted.

Now this song on the other hand is what I’m talking about. The brass section is simply *kisses fingers* Marvin would be proud.

When the Tide Turns

And I
said unto him
she shall sing, she of the
melting horizons shall sing the
blues.  He

turned to
me and said, but
the moment brings peril
there are demons in the wings, they
lurk, skulk

seek to
silence she of
the melting horizons.
Yet it is writ in star dust, I
said.  We

can do
nothing but bear
witness to her song.  None
can thwart the course of fate.  Yes, a
storm is

we must beware
but first she must take her
stage and break everyone’s heart to

© N Nazir 2022

Written for dVerse Poetry Prompt Night, hosted by Laura, who sets us the challenge to write…

…either a cinq-cinquain:

  • a series of 5 [entire] Crapsey Cinquains, 25 lines total
  • syllabic count: 2-4-6-8-2 in each stanza
  • written with or without breaks between stanzas

 OR the cinquain chain/crown cinquain:

  • a series of 5 [entire] Crapsey Cinquains, 25 lines total
  • syllabic count: 2-4-6-8-2 in each stanza
  • written with a break between each stanza
  • last line of the previous cinquain repeated as first line of the next cinquain
  • Note: The final line of the last cinquain does not have to equal the first line of the first cinquain, but it is an option.

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 ❤

A Blessing or a Curse? #NaPoWriMo 

Photo by Steph Huth on

Because you can paint like a wizard
but it doesn’t pay for toffee
so you end up working in HR
then quite annoyingly
become really good at HR.

Because you can secretly sing
a pitch perfect Nessun Dorma in your own key
but are crushed by shyness
and can barely say hello to a boy you like.

Because you are good at countless things –
even more on first attempt at trying another –
then are torn between all the loves
and cannot choose the one
that will make your fortune.

Because you have every trapping of wealth imaginable
and no friends or lover to share it with
and even if you did, how would you ever know
that they were not just there
for the hors d’oeuvres and champagne
a ride in your new yacht
or have secret designs
to make you fund their new life?

Because you discover the cure for cancer
but the world ends
because of another rampant disease
or because a bullyboy dictator
presses the red button.

Because you wish to be a famous actor
but the only time you make it on TV
is as a gun-wielding bank robber
in a Crimewatch documentary.

Because you want to travel the world
and have a job that occasionally allows you to
but have a terrible sense of direction
so end up in random locations
and then spend the whole day
trying to become unlost
during which time
you find yourself.

© N Nazir 2022

*I might have gone a bit left field with the prompt.

*only the odd one of these is true in my case. The last stanza is pretty much on the nose.

NaPoWriMo Prompt: And here’s our prompt (optional, as always). In certain versions of the classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty, various fairies or witches are invited to a princess’s christening, and bring her gifts. One fairy/witch, however, is not invited, and in revenge for the insult, lays a curse on the princess. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in which you muse on the gifts you received at birth — whether they are actual presents, like a teddy bear, or talents – like a good singing voice – or circumstances – like a kind older brother, as well as a “curse” you’ve lived with (your grandmother’s insistence on giving you a new and completely creepy porcelain doll for every birthday, a bad singing voice, etc.). I hope you find this to be an inspiring avenue for poetic and self-exploration.

For more information or to take part, please visit