Hemingway Inspired this Poem

It is very hard to write this way, beginning things backward…
–The Torrents of Spring (1926)
Ernest Hemingway

Isn’t that how karma works?  
You tie up all the loose ends
the ragged edges running astray.  
And what of the lessons
that never get learned?  
Are they repeated harder than ever
for every wanton evil or wilful non-action committed-

(because sometimes not-doing was the wrong thing to do
and doing anything in that moment, however imperfect
would have been the right thing to do, but you still didn’t do it) 

so you get demoted further and further away from being human
until you finally come back as a gnat 
only to be slap-squashed
on the beefy forearm 
of a man pinked in the sun.

(And then what would you return as?  
An amoeba?  
A virus?  
An imp?)

But then isn’t going backwards just a type of remembering
a hindsight of ideas
a retracing of steps
the bits of gem 
you left washed up on the beach of your soul
to be cherished and cupped in palm
or tossed back into the ocean of subconscious?

And if you’ve already arrived and are in the throes of retelling
then surely the tale has been resolved 
and you are simply colouring in the empty spaces 
with cinnamon or sienna or indigo
rendering fullness without compromising truth. 
Is that possible?

I’d like to know when my retrograde becomes a revolution 
full circle, in and of itself, icing-dusted with stars.

I’d like to know when time travel becomes less like falling
and more like backward rolling in anecdotal clown tumbles.

I’d like to know how far back I must resurrect my soul
in order to step out of mummification and become whole.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

© N. Nazir 2021

Written for dVerse Poetry Prompt hosted by Msjadeli: to write a poem inspired by Hemingway using one of the quotes provided.

This Poem is an Only Child

What does it mean to be solitudinarian?
How do loners learn to lone?

Is it diamond solitaire, your precious time?
Are you lonesome tonight?

Is the lone wolf still a pack animal?
Or black sheep for going its own way?

Does the hermit suffer being unable 
to share his lightbulb moments?

Reclusing in his cave exclusively.
(Maybe he resides in a tree).

I, Hans Solo, seek solitude
for it is here that I find plenitude.

Unique, single, whole, complete. 
Full like moon, sole like earth

Brimmed like sea
one entity.

© N. Nazir 2021

Photo by David Besh on Pexels.com

Written for Sammi Scribbles weekend writing prompt: https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/2021/05/08/weekend-writing-prompt-208-solitudinarian/

Luminous Diptera

Untitled, digital photograph, © N Nazir 2021

Sorrow is the most efficient light-producing entity in the world. 
Its luciferous quality communicates with other woes
and their similar dance steps attract each other.

Despair flies around with its unique firework display 
while calculation sits perched on a branch waiting 
for its own particular brand of ache to arrive.

(Calculation – genus: from the determinus family, also known as stratagem, totting up, figuring out or the reckoning).

Some despairs synchronise their flashing patterns to attract more calculations 
particularly those oft-seen American types that live in the Great Smoky Mountains.
How successful they are is another matter.

(Despair – genus: from the abandonment family, also known as pain, anguish, melancholy or gloom)

Each sorrow has its own particular colour.  
Some glow cerulean
others blaze green 
while still others storm
orange or flare yellow.

They taste disgusting, however.  

When sorrows are mistakenly thought to appear delicious 
they instead emit a bitter blood that poisons the muncher.
(the munchee’s last laugh).

They often practise cannibalism of their own kind.
Calculations like to consume opposite despairs of their own genera 
by mimicking their dance steps then eating them alive 
whilst the poor despair believed they were finally going to mate
with the perched and tantalising calculation. 

Yet if nectar of the gods is scarce
and there are no unsuspecting despairs
they will eat silent moving spirals or nothing at all.

The fascinating thing is that sorrows have their own language. 

Females sorrows, aka calculations, will puppet the language of a despair
aka male sorrow, from another clan (a rival despair, no less)
to trick it into mating with them when it really wants to gorge them alive
which it often successfully achieves. 

What they don’t realise
and this is the dark splendid bluff of the whole thing

is that the male sorrow of the same clan as the female
also mimics the dance steps of the rival sorrow
so the female ends up eating its own kind not a rival sorrow at all.

What a sad sphinxes’ riddle it all is!

So, to the left of the equator the number of sorrows is declining
because the too-clever belly-gorging females are eating them all
by tricking the not-clever-enough males
who plot their own back and get eaten anyway. 

So how can they truly evolve? 
They morph into something else, forget themself then eat themself.
Proof that being too clever can destroy you.

Or perhaps the calculation goes to great lengths not to have babies
and Nature colludes with her?

Sorrows, ought you not commune in the dance steps you were given 
without mask or farce, then no one would be souped?
What sophisticated arts you use to demise each other
no wonder sorrow is rife yet shrinks.
Nature wrestles with its own demons.

And what of the light?

Those pillager-humans, the energy suckers that they are
hunt and harvest these sorrows
to achieve luminosity or luciferous ends.
So both depairs and calculations 
cannot migrate 
cannot adapt
cannot evolve.

they simply


© N Nazir 2021

*Thank you, David Attenborough, Planet Earth, BBC, National Geographic and Ecowatch.com for all the fascinating info (which I have thwarted and debunked so trust only 50%).  ‘Tis an incredible planet we inhabit.

I know this poem is too long and needs editing but I’ve got to tick off the poem for today as my day is already full.  

Thank you so much for continuing to read my work.  I appreciate it so much. ❤️
I’m definitely not one of those writers that thinks they know it all.  In fact, I sometimes cringe at my own work.  

I truly welcome any constructive feedback and comments. ☀️

NaPoWriMo Prompt: to use facts about an animal with any references to the animal itself replaced with other abstract notions, to be rearranged and edited into a poem.


Sympathy for Medusa

The ancients will always be the ancients
their word reshaped or diluted or
new meaning gleaned
better than intended –
and the wives of great men
in themselves great
are still only remembered as wives
or not remembered.

While the human bud continues to sprout
from seed and blood
scattered and grown
until they too become ancient.
Is it all recorded somewhen?
Even stones have memory

man’s bones hugged and all
weathers weathered
quietly wearing the secrets
of time and Earth-blood.
Even stones shoot through
space-time, space-born
galaxy-wide, cruising

whilst Earthbound I search
for intergalactic soul turnover
not airborne yet
nor superluminal
but sentient through time storms.

And pandemia is just a name
a quiet eyrie thunder
like drums in tight unison.

© N Nazir 2021

NaPoWriMo Prompt: “Past and Future” – to use at least one word or idea from the Classical Dictionary together with one from the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction to create a poem.

screen shot from Classical Dictionary, 2021