Another Poem for Samhain

Helpless Beings, image from

A shuffling of ghosts 
burn away in the midday sun 
like smoke dissipating.  
It was their time.  

I scribble ink 
onto paper and parchment, 
how becoming it is 
when it becomes something. 
I’m partial to this. 

The occasional 
slam dunk of completion 
is a sweet rush   
but creativity 
has always made my tides turn.  

I drink my coffee 
then go out
place a tobacco offering 
by the tree
poised to welcome 
a hoard of those
newly passed over. 

© N Nazir 2022

Written for Shay’s Word Garden where Shay brings us inspiration with the beautiful poems of Susie Clevenger (words used: shuffling, ghosts, ink, coffee, tobacco, poised), Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt: Dunk, 78 words, The Sunday Muse (image as shown), and Poets and Storytellers United with this week’s theme: Sweet.


© Gregory Colbert

“Pure and complete sorrow is as impossible as pure and complete joy.”
– Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

How can I viably write about war
when it will only end in why
and what for and glum inertia 
for the striving third world 
children who’ll never know
what childhood means.

in the privileged first world
a sentimental Romeo plays the piano.
His only problem –
how to make inroads
with the citrus-perfumed
temptation waltzing his way. 

He wonders if
she’ll leave with him 
at midnight.

He is crestfallen
when she leaves
with his friend.

Ah well.  
First world problems.

© N Nazir 2022

Written for Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt: Viable, 82 words, Shay’s Word Garden, where we are given inspiration with singer/songwriter Tom Waits (words used: sentimental, Romeo, piano, temptation, waltzing, midnight, crestfallen), The Sunday Muse (images as shown), Poets and Storytellers United theme: war and peace, and Ragtag Daily Prompt: Citrus

Sometimes You Choose Deliberate Optimism

Lisa Fonssagrives standing on the Eiffel Tower, taken by Erwin Blumenfeld

A gesture.  Goes on stretching and stretching.  The brick has a charm in the world of ideas.  Careening into the future.  The jazz of lip syncing during the early stages.  Of romantic design.  Is it raining, ohhhh.  Listen, let’s rendezvous.  Clouds will come and go, days will ebb and flow.  Yes, dogs may dream in black and white.  But technicolour abounds everywhere.  Get over it with your minimalism.  Sometimes, there is maximalism.  Open your viewfinder.  Use a wide-angle lens.  The landscape is a curve veering into the abyss.  Minutiae collects together to form a larva of brilliant existence.  I pop bubbles in your face with sarcasm.  Hey!  Check out this effing view!  It doesn’t take a brainiac to know what hardcore beauty looks like.  It is.  Ek stasis.  

© N Nazir 2022

Written for Shay’s Word Garden where we are given inspiration with Creem magazine (words used: brainiac, brick, charm, hardcore, jazz, romantic, stages, veering), The Sunday Muse (image as shown), Poets and Storytellers United (slightly off-prompt), Ragtag Daily Prompt: Design

This Poem Got Up Late

Photo by on

The world is ablaze.  Unrest unrests.  Winter exits, slow, blurry-eyed.  Blossoms push through oblivious, say, what did I miss?  Oh, nothing much, frowns Winter, just some idiot wants a pan-Slavic universe and sent a bunch of tanks to persuade everyone.  Oh, says blossom, nodding, what’s a tank?


Hey, said the mercenaries, roll over.
Be gone, demon! said the people. 
You’ll regret that, said mercenaries. 
To the death! yelled the people and charged.
Mercenaries climb back into their tanks, tutting
but momentarily thwarted.


What does the poet know?  Their words are not ammunition, no one understands them half the time.
M’sieu, the poet knows everything, they just code it up.
What’s the point of that?  So only a select few get it?  Isn’t that a bit smug?
I think it’s cause they’re shy.
I’d say it’s criminally vulgar.


Is change the same as transformation?  How?  Why not?
The quandariness of skirmish.
The giantess of disorder. 
The anatomy of the twisted days.


Just throw all the words at it, see what happens, says poet.
Forget words, I want ice cream, says poet friend.
Don’t you care?  Our stunted spring blows strange winds
and you want ice cream, says poet.
Well, I already ate my words, said poet friend
and I’m still hungry. 


Russian soldiers swan into a house, frighten a woman’s elderly father.  Get out, she screams, clumsily tries to brandish a weapon she has never used.  They look at each other then back at her.  Relax, they say, we’re only looking for food and smokes.  Got any?  Hands shaking, she gives them some and they leave.  Fuming, she glares lasers at their departing backs.  The fucking audacity.

© N. Nazir 2022

Written for Shay’s Word Garden, where Shay gives us inspiration with Edna St Vincent Millay (who I had never heard of before now). Words used: winter, blossoms, idiot, swan (changed from swans).

Shared for dVerse Open Link Night, hosted by Lisa and Sanaa.

*The phrase ‘criminally vulgar’ is taken from a Smiths song.

The Sum of All its Parts

The weather sneezes
through a crack in the windowsill.
The moment changes course.
Somewhere, a sound like
a thrumming microcosm.


I have a circus of blood inside me
and the workings of my body are beautiful.
As it is, exactly as it is.
The inconsistency of vision
the oversensitivity of skin
the dryness of hands from overdoing
the non-Platonic proportions
the passing tension from being so good
at shouldering burdens.
This good machine deserves good clothes.


Some houses are ill and lean a little to one side.
They wish someone would place a lantern
in their naked hearth and stroke a hand
along their walls as they keep at bay
the hollering elements
the ceaseless intelligence of rain
the hornets and lions and zombies.
All that hard work they do, for you.


Other houses are an ambient sadness.
Only laughter can shock the molecules,
break the trance of inertia. Music too,
awning outward in smoke ring vibrations.


Still others offer themselves to you like a hug
in their strength, their completeness
in how much they were loved before you
and love you with their love excess
being taught so well, all that warmth
soaked in the walls and buzzing still.

You sleep well there and dream
of origins close to the ocean
some ancestral morn-song
and realise once again that
the season turned on its axis
as you honeyed through your slumber.

© N Nazir 2022

Stork, © N Nazir 2020

Written for Shay’s Word Garden, this week hosted by Hedgewitch (Joy), who gives us inspiration with the legendary poet Pablo Neruda.

Written also for dVerse Poetics, hosted by Lillian, who invites us to write a poem using one of the given proverbs / adages. I was inspired by:

“Things are not always what they seem.” – Beekeeper and the Bees, from Aesop’s Fables.