Shut the Box, Pandora

I’d consult the runes if I knew how to read them. 
Doom-scrolling every day, my daily diet. 
What about the Others, the non-natives? 
Why do you tell them: you shall not pass? 
Who decides one life is more important than an Other? 
Stuck in no-man’s-land, they wait only for death or madness. 
Humanitarian corridors are a trick up enemy sleeve. 
Madmen at the helm control this computer game.
And we bear witness to the glitch in the Matrix.
WW3 slowly unfolds like a house of cards.
Still. A wing of hope scrapes feebly at the window.

© N Nazir 2022

Written for Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt: Rune, 96 words

*I don’t seem to be able to write about much else right now.

*Funnily enough, I did some collage poems last year which seem to echo what’s happening now, so I thought I’d share them.

Collage Poems, © N Nazir 2021

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

They say vampires don’t have a reflection. Which might explain why I haven’t been feeling myself lately. This morning when I tried to apply lipstick, I missed my mouth, well, because I grew faint and then vanished altogether. Mirrors don’t lie. How did I procure this ailment? Did I frolic unwittingly with the undead whilst I was out and get nipped without my knowledge? How does one catch vampirism…? Oh well, I thought, as my reflection emerged again slowly before my eyes. There’s nothing I can do about it now. Perhaps no one will notice.

Evocation, Shirin Abedirinad, 2015 (Mirror in Desert, Tehran)

Written for Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt: Mirror, 95 words.

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

When the Outer World Misfits the Inner World

Looking out onto the plaza
immersed in comforting
bookstore vellichor.   

Trick or treaters run amok,
their garb macabre. 
I enjoy the spectacle

but hurry back upstairs
to my apartment
above the bookshop itself.  

Then, I watch as the fiesta
runs riot below me
from my enormous lonely balcony.

© N Nazir 2021

Written for Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt: Vellichor, 48 words

*vellichor – the strange wistfulness of used bookstores.

Full definition as quoted from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows: “the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time – filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured.”