The Streets Were Deserted

but for a lone hobo and his dog.  
I went to say hello, it was on my way
after all. He didn’t look well

nor did the hound, who I petted anyway.  
Come to the shelter, I said
you’ll get a hot meal and a warm bed.

The hobo shook his head
they don’t let you in with a dog.

Oh, I didn’t know that. Sorry. So trite 
to wish him merry christmas after that.

I’m sorry, I said again and gave him some change
little good it did, everything closed on the eve.

Then I walked to the shelter, huddled against the wind
late for my shift at the kitchen.

© N Nazir 2022

*Thankfully, this rule has now changed and dogs are allowed to stay with their owners if they check in at the homeless shelters over the Christmas / New Year period (in the UK).

Shared for W3, hosted by David, where Murisopsis, the poet of the week, invites us to write a poem of exactly fourteen lines on the topic of poverty (moral, romantic, financial, etc).

Shared also for dVerse Open Link Night, hosted by Linda.


And here’s my Throwback Thursday for you. I love this band. Couldn’t Care More by the Fine Young Cannibals from their album with the same name, first released in 1985. What have you been listening to lately? 🙂

A Bit of Fun

Collage poems & Erasure Poem #94 (Text source: A Primer for Poets & Readers of Poetry by Gregory Orr), © N Nazir 2022


*Shared for dVerse Open Link Night, hosted by Bjorn.


*And here’s my Thursday Throwback share, an absolute classic. If you’re so young you’ve never heard of Salt-N-Pepa or En Vogue, then I hereby gift you. What’s been your song of the day?

*I dedicate this song to Bryan Adams 🙂


first I must sit here 
and draw
with the morning

out of this jungle of forces
in these here woods, he said

be alone 
than feel more alone 
somewhere I don’t belong

one might even 
find themselves
newly passed over

and climactic
nor too wild

we interpret death
as a brave afterlife
as talisman.  

Your beating heart.

© N Nazir 2022

Written for dVerse Poetry Prompt, hosted by Laura who invites us to write a poem using the last lines of the last twelve poems we have written (or the last lines of published poems from books or web links) and, whilst keeping those lines unadulterated, to arrange them into a poem.

I decided to use my own poems going backwards from the most recent, enjambing them onto extra lines, and rearranging them from their original date order. Most of them are published on my blog but a couple of end lines are new.

Here’s how it would have read with no tinkering:

first I must sit here and draw
out of this jungle of forces

with the morning

one might even find themselves
we interpret death as a brave afterlife

heartfelt and climactic
nor too wild

in these here woods, he said
newly passed over

be alone than feel more alone somewhere I don’t belong
as talisman. Onward. Your beating heart. Onward.

As you can see, it definitely needed reshuffling 🙂


My Throwback Thursday music share is Debussy’s Les son et les parfums tournent dans l’aire du soir. Because it’s divine. What are you listening to at the moment?

Star Walks

Star Walks, Erasure Poem #75, gel pen and biro on paper, (Sketchbooks 2022), © N Nazir 2022
Text source: Sum: Tales from the Afterlives, David Eagleman, p.21

Our lucky nights

are spent taking

star walks.

In our dream dialogue

we interpret death

as a brave afterlife.

*published over at Ink Sweat and Tears on 07.11.22

*shared for dVerse Open Link Night, hosted by Sanaa.

I’ve become very cavalier with my attitude towards Throwback Thursday having missed the odd one here and there. But I reserve the right to continue the tradition when I’m in the mood. So here’s mine for today. Okay, I know Starman would have been the most obvious choice to complement the poem but it’s not my fave Bowie song (shock, gasp). Heroes is, along with Wild is the Wind and The Man Who Sold the World. And let’s not forget the soundtrack to Labyrinth, oh no. That’s in a league of its own.

What’s your favourite Bowie song? Will you join me by sharing it in the comments? Or feel free to share your latest ear worm, whatever that may be 🙂

The Crack Between the Worlds

They can’t hear you in the upside-down.  You would do well not to get caught there.  It is the shadow thrown by the light and exists in the realm of barely real tipping over into the concrete world.  There is no day, only a howling wind of eternal night, housing all the other howling lost things.  Things with teeth and beating wings.  Stingers.  Go quietly now, tread with care.  It holds all your nightmares, they shiver through the trees, not merely brain conjurings but entities.  Your fears fleshed them and you didn’t even know it.  Another’s nightmare birthed them and now you’re in it.

You would do well not to get caught in the upside-down.  It is cold, so cold.  Everything shifts in the dark, becomes other.  How can you believe your own eyes?  Illusions trick you at every turn.  You, human, have no place there.  Don’t will it accidentally, don’t get caught in the in-between and slip through.  You may not return.  Unless you are wily.  Unless you have some fire and can keep your head.  But even then, even then.  Don’t give in to your fears.  

But if you find yourself in the upside-down, you must face the shadow self of all that was.  To solve the riddle of your escape.  Your own death you must face.  Take heart.  Become stealth.  Wear a costume of power, a trinity as talisman.  Onward.  Your beating heart.  Onward. 

© N Nazir 2022

Written for W3 Prompt #24: Wea’ve Written Weekly at The Skeptic’s Kaddish hosted by David, where the poet of the week (which happens to be me, I know, right? Pretty stoked 🙂) invites us to write an ekphrastic poem inspired by a horror film that gave you the chills. For example, Interview with a Vampire, Halloween, The Babadook, to name a few. Or it could be a comedy horror, such as The Addams Family or Shaun of the Dead, etc. You could write from the point of view of one of the characters, or respond to a particular scene, whatever you prefer.

Or, if that’s not your thing . . . you could write about an experience that gave you the chills, any form permitted.

*Despite this being my own prompt, it took me a while to get into it as I don’t deal well with horror films and I generally avoid them. Comedy horrors are more down my street. Having said that, you may have guessed that my prose poem was responding to popular horror series, Stranger Things (yeah, I know, that was an about-turn but this one’s an exception).

Written also for Shay’s Word Garden, where we are given inspiration with poet, Ric Masten, and musician, Neil Young. Words used: stingers / quietly / riddle / costumes / trinity. I’m a bit late to this Word Garden as Shay has already started a new one based on the poetry of Christina Rossetti, which you can also take part in here if you wish.


My Throwback Thursday is the suitably chilling Hell is Round the Corner by Tricky featuring Martina Topley-Bird, from his debut album, Maxinquaye. Tricky was originally a member of British trip-hop band Massive Attack (another Bristol legend) in the early 90s before he went solo. You may also recognise him from his walk-on part in Hollywood blockbuster The Fifth Element as one of the characters trying to steal Corbyn Dallas’ airline tickets 🙂