An Experiment in Haiku and Trireme Sonnet


scorching summer breeze
she stood gazing at the Nile
a goddess, no less


Bastet, she ruled in great royal chambers
A life of joy and dance permeated
Thousands of years of exquisite sublime

Sun-God Ra's bewitching lovely daughter
Above all, she held her cats most sacred
To run through temples of the most divine

Her court of cult and loyal followers
Adored her - she was both feared and revered
Her grace, aggression, seduction combined

If I could live but, a joyous hour
In those ancient times with my beloved
To walk by her side, and to make her mine

To live, and die - beheld by such power
To be loved by so tender a lover

words by ninotaziz. all rights reserved

Once again, Samuel Peralta entices us, this time to try something not quite new - yes, a sonnet, but a structured one that promises to be an exciting experiment - what he terms as a Trireme Sonnet. I was thrilled to be introduced to the work of Heather Horton of Canada - and I admit, I am always happy to be reminded of the land I spent growing into adulthood. Her artwork "Sasha, Sun"  inspired the poem above.

I think I am going to trip over iambic pentameters but I will give it a try.
Lovely introduction and prompt Samuel, over at dVerse.

And  a little haiku as well. Thank you.

Ancient Patterns

Celtic Passion

Long before Romeo and Juliet
I fell in love with love
Courageous Tristan, fiery Iseult
Passion that moved the earth

Greek Legends

The curiousity of Anisedora
Released all pain, suffering and evil
But Epithemeus, despite caution, loved her
Only hope remained for the world

Chinese Loyalty

The love of the Emperor
For the little nightingale
Can be forgotten for a while
But at the end of the tale

- irreplaceable.

Words by ninotaziz. All rights reserved.
Ancient patterns belong to the world.


For Poets United and Open Link Night

Scheherazade of Persia (a haiku, ghazal and free verse)

Hope shimmers skywards
Stars greet summer night stories 
Arabian Tales

The moon and stars have come out to play, my love
As you walk in the garden tonight, my love

Pale in comparison to your loveliness
     The tall trees and river can only sigh, love                

You tell stories to the Sultan in chambers
The cliffhanger is here as dawn draws nigh, love

You live yet another day, as he wonders
The people do pray for you and your life, love

Day ends and once again the Queen disappears
Hope illuminates the streets until sunrise, love

Today, in books and around the lounge fires
Storytellers pay tribute to you, my love

rich walls whisper
tapestries hang
delicious folklore spills forth
behind screen of virtue

transcend time and place

horrific terror
she will bring it to end
with delicious selfless love
behind screen of truth

beauty and grace

by ninotaziz, the storyteller. all rights reserved.


Inspired by beauty, I write a haiku, a ghazal and free verse in tribute to a most famous ancient Queen. Do you know who she is and the name of her city?

Thank you Kelvin at dVerse. You debut in style.

When heroes fall

silence is deafening
when heroes fall from grace
deep freeze winter
takes place

le silence est terrifiant
où les héros tomber de la grâce
l'hiver arrête le coeur

on reflection, my heart is uncertain what to feel when seemingly immortal men prove they are very human after all.
words by ninotaziz. all rights reserved.

Leonard Cohen

This is my work. Writing is my work...
                       ...and in your work you locate your self respect

                                                                          Leonard Cohen

You opened your eyes to the world
And translated that to soulful words
that touched the hearts

Like a Bird of Wire

"Like a bird on the wire, 
Like a drunk in a midnight choir 
I have tried in my way to be free."

Thank you Leonard Cohen. For words.


For dVerse. Thank you Mary.

Wind of History by Jacek Yerka

I think of the difficult times and sometimes, disappointment that Leonard Cohen went through earlier in life. From this he drew words from a place he said he knew not. Isn't this a wonderful inspiration to all writers as we write with passion and love for the written word, not knowing where they came from. Finding out in the end, it was well worth the pain, the time, the paper they were written on.

from suffering and pain
a tortured place, haunted
came the gift of words

My tribute to Cohen continues on the Magpie Tales

The Ghazal of the Storyteller

A couple of weeks ago, dVerse introduced the Ghazal. And I was enthralled. But I could not come up with a single nugget of inspiration. Well, tonight, my muse came a-waltzing, and here is my offering for anyone who cares to drop by. Thank you, Samuel.

Out of darkness, comes forth the storyteller 
And they cry out loud - Oh please, storyteller

Spin us a legend,  take us to the heavens
We crave your words like a disease, storyteller

I unleash the tale of the Persian Slave
Give them an enthralling whiz storyteller

Of tortured forbidden love with Noureddin
They cry, Oh what sublime bliss, storyteller

The tales of the Arabian Nights never end
Only the Caliph, can give his leave, storyteller

I smile and say, I will stay all night my friend
I, ninotaziz,  Caliph's storyteller.

             Words by ninotaziz   Copyright 2013 © ninotaziz.  All rights reserved.

Ghazal in Malaysia, is a traditional form of music and song popular in the southern region of the country, Johore and other states. It is a legacy of the Arabic traders of the 15th and 16th century.

A simpler time

Of late I reminisce
And dream of childhood days
I think of things I miss
And butterflies that fly my way

Simply, a day in our lives
spent at home,  in the garden
Ice cream was pure delight
The news was of champions

Of late I reminisce
And dream of childhood days
I think of how world peace
Is now precarious, far away

Simply, a day in our lives
Sublime, safe and serene

Of late I reminisce
And dream of childhood days.

Words by ninotazizCopyright 2013 © ninotaziz.All rights reserved.
Gay, who is absolutely busy moving, invited us to explore the tools of our trade as poets over at dVerse. This reminded me of the times I was a young girl, writing poetry just for the fun of it. Often, I turned to rhymes, rime, assonance and alliteration without realising these were forms that produced musical tones to a piece of writing.

And yes, life was simpler then. The news was not so much in the face, and Presidents come and go when their term was done. The TV was the dominating electronic device. And the office was in the office. But then, we did not have access to the world at our kitchen table. Oh yes, we did. There was the radio.

Thirty years ago, I had no idea what haiku was, and that there was a French poetry form fashioned after our Malay pantun called pantoun. I never knew that Ghazal, which is a genre of traditional songs to me, was also poetry.

Thank you dVerse, thank you Gay.

Note : Most memorable piece of news  then - Nadia Comaneci winning gold at the Olympics and seven  perfect 10s in Montreal. And Torvill and Dean's unforgettable routine - Bolero in Ottawa. I was there. In Ottawa. In 1984.

Sweet sorrows

we danced around
the teacup rim
for the last time


held onto our kiss
until stars appeared 
on the edge

of time

covered my lips
over your goodbye
so bittersweet

I so

crave sweet sorrows
like this shall last
a lifetime


J'ai couvert
mes lèvres sur votre
au revoir très tendre

baiser doux, plus triste, tres triste


For dVerse : Letting Go
in response to Claudia's exploration of the Art of letting go

and the Magpietales
The moment of unforgettable  love is here!


red river flows still
centuries of hate linger
kingdoms embrace fall


In memory of Champa

Memory woven

The Icarus Quandary

All my life, I play hard, write poetry with passion, love deeply. Since I was a young child, I was with a book - always. I could trace the passage of time through books I read at home, in school, while I waited for life to embrace me. I wanted to be three things – a writer, a writer, a writer at all cost

Words - a trailblazer
Going out on a limb
Flying high

For a while then, I forgot my dream. In the quest for the ordinary life, I forgot my burning desire to write, the poet and writer buried deep within a place dreams did not visit, hopes did not sing

Lost, I fell
From paradise at the tip
Of a pen

Then sparkling moments, the birth of my firstborn, finding my muse - the love of my life, me – embracing life as never before, moment upon moment leading me to this point in time

The writer within
Grasp your destiny

In the blanket of the bluest of nights, despair engulfs me, I know within me lies a poet of fierce nationalistic pride. Yet my country lies sleeping, unaware of the beauty of our land, our history, our people, our legends, our forest and skies. Sees only glimmering towers, eco-tours and jungle treks without understanding the turtle’s song of regret upon the waves of the ocean or the story of Onangkiu of  Gelanggui.

Tears like
Pearls escaping from
The broken necklace

I press on… for in this quest, my children’s children will continue the dream of the pomegranate – a story within each translucent seed of awareness.

Words by ninotazizCopyright 2010 © ninotaziz.
All rights reserved.

Today, Victoria over at dVerse prompts us to look at our memories for inspiration. Here, I feature an old poem but one that I feel so strongly reflects my recollection of my life (for which I thank God for daily). And poems which recap my childhood memories too! As a writer, I often felt that  my own memories overlap with those of my ancestors. This could be due to the fact that in our family, we talk about events one hundred years ago as if they just happened yesterday.
My name is ninotaziz daughter of Abang Tik, daugher of Chu Rahmah daughter of Yang Chik daughter of Bebunga, storytellers of old. And Zalina, daughter of Abdul Aziz, son of Tok Muda Salehuddin, son of Tok Awang Pekan, son of Tok Nik, son of Tok Tunggal, son of Tok Ghafur, son of Tok Haji, son of Tok Sabur, ancient warriors all.
 Here are some of my  memory woven poems, written throughout my life :

Words of wisdom

While we keep putting off
bringing forth what it is
that we were born to do,
time sneaks up behind us
and steals Tomorrow.

Sherry Blue Sky
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