If You Know What’s Good for You

© John Towner, Unsplash

The season brings a delirium of time
shifty as quicksand, but I’m too far adrift to
fathom it.  It’s just so damned hard to get
into these dreary daily doings, so I’m drunk

on a procrastination of coffee.  I don’t
want to unravel, unanchored, just want to be
a charming plaything, winsome, not martyred
as house elf, one of those unseen slaves

who ensure the spick-span purification of
sparkling quarters, a place that swallows time
with its early phantoms.  Only when asleep I get
to better chase the perfect escape, a drunk

devouring wolf sleep, rogue and sham.  I stay
bed-long into Sunday morning, an earned drunk
aftermath of a night’s unspooling of limbs on
the comfort and cooling of sheets, the taste of wine

iron scent in my hair, my long-abandoned virtue
lost somewhere, a hyena of chores circling my poetry
but for now, I’ll deliquesce, vegetate, do whatever.

© N Nazir 2023

Written for Shay’s Word Garden, where we are given inspiration with a word list from the surreal poetry of Rimbaud.  Words used: season, delirium, charming, plaything, phantoms, asleep, wolf, sham, hyena.

Written also for WWW at the Skeptic’s Kaddish, where the poet of the week (Angela Wilson) challenges us to write a golden shovel poem, a form that entails us to incorporate a line or section of a known poem as the final word in each line (similar to an acrostic).  I’ve never done one before so I was keen to have a go.  I included a section of Baudelaire’s well-known poem Get Drunk.

“…Time to get drunk!
Don’t be martyred slaves of Time,
Get drunk!
Stay drunk!
On wine, virtue, poetry, whatever!”

*You can read the full Baudelaire poem here.

*Of course, my poem is not true.  Though such a Saturday night is familiar to me, it’s been a while.  Last night, I had a nice cup of cocoa and was all tucked up in bed at a perfectly reasonable time 🙂

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? 🙂

Shadows & Reflections, Line & Form

© Simon Berger, Unsplash

we are explorers.
Describe how
it was when
you climbed to the very top
then drank it all in.

fills you out again
your band width.
Here we make garlands of time.
Yes.  It’s a good wind.


Chalk it up
to experience
how you caved
to moments
of chasing dreams when dreams were
taken.  And yet, oh –


vapour seduction
not easy
nor sinless.
It’s just physiology
stealing my senses.  


The hauntings
the shoulda, woulda
coulda, the
ifs and buts
the is-it-too-late.  And yet
a ghost of longing.


Point.  Focus.
Zoom in.  Keep still.  Click.
Frozen frames.
Light bouncing.
Moments captured forever
as memory fades.

© N Nazir 2022

Written for Shay’s Word Garden where Shay brings us inspiration with Paige Ackerson-Kiely (words used: explorers, describe, oxygen, garlands, chalk, vanilla, vapour), and We’Ave Written Weekly, hosted by David, where the poet of the week, Sylvia Cognac, invites us to write a Shadorma poem (3/5/3/3/7/5) up to seven stanzas long, (it was on the topic of food but I’ve only just read the instructions properly so that bit didn’t happen, oops).

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 🙂

A Sonnet about Something or Other

Karmic sighs in this indigo dreamscape
show us a glimpse of a new becoming
as the wind rattles, the future takes shape
and somewhere I hear the sound of humming.
The times are apocalyptic, you say
yet there are dreams in your imagining
only time will tell as fates have their way
for hearts will never refrain from singing.
Love is the thing in times untellable 
when everything else seems impossible.

© N Nazir 2022

Written for W3 Prompt #24: Wea’ve Written Weekly at The Skeptic’s Kaddish, where the poet of the week invites us to write a ‘Minute’ poem or a Shakespearean sonnet using iambic pentameter. I chose the latter, obvs 🙂

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


I wish my Throwback Thursday was somehow related to my poem but it couldn’t be more incongruous 😀 I chose it merely for the fact that I was listening to the Great Purple One today and it had been a while since I’d heard this utter gem. So I thought I’d share it with you too! Need I explain Prince? Of course not. What was your song of the day? ❤