Shadorma: The last call

Please proceed
To gate number one.
Final call.
She kisses me, once. Sniffs. Smiles.
Don’t forget to write.

I promise.
She nods, wipes her eye.
Well. So long.
Turns. She’s gone.
I almost call after her:
Wait. I meant to say –

But say what?
Nothing is enough.
Not even
I love you.
Three words will not build a bridge
Across half a world.

Got to go.
I pick up my bag,
Try to breathe.
Find I can’t.
Walk to the plane, holding a
Gun to my own head.


Loving the shadorma. Thank you, Ina! N.

8 thoughts on “Shadorma: The last call

    • Thank you, Christine, I’m glad you liked this one. I have Ina to thank for introducing me to the shadorma; it’s like a long haiku, and really quite addictive. I’m just working on joria now, which I can see being equally habit-forming! Would love to see a shadorma from you; it’s a nice painless way into formal verse (sonnets are definitely an acquired taste, but well worth the trouble…) N.x

  1. Great work again, Nick. What I like about these is the tightness of the language and the images. The form sort of forces that, doesn’t it? The form obviously lends itself to a Nick Moore tale. There is a direct relationship to the last shadorama you wrote. Ina’s got you started out on something!

    • I have to say I think the shadorma is a serious contender for the title of my Favourite Form, at least at the moment. You’re absolutely right; the restrictions of the syllable count force one to weigh and consider every word, and really focus in on the deails. Funny thing is, I’ve never got the hang of haiku (in their true sense, not just as poems of 17 syllables) but I’m finding so much space and flow in the shadorma, even though it’s just two extra lines and nine more syllables. I trained as a journalist after I completed my degree, and I guess I still have some of those instincts. This kind of ‘reportage’ writing certainly feels good to me: I’m pleased it reads well to you, too. And this is a poem I’ve been wanting to write for over 20 years. N.

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