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love is a flash of a news
love outweigh the news
love outweigh the flash of the news
news outweigh the news of a flash
news outweigh the news of love
a news of flash is a news of love
outweigh is outweighing a flash of a news

sensation is sensation of a flash
sensation is sensation of a news
sensation is a news flash sensation
sensation is a news flash love
sensation is outweighing sensation to its news
sensation is outweighing sensation to its love
sensation is outweighing sensation to its flash of love

love is a flash of sensation
love is a flash of a flashing sensation
love is a flash of a flashing news sensation
the love of sensation is the love of the news
the love of sensation is the love of a flashing news
a flash of sensation is a flash of a news
a flashing flash is a flash of a flashing love
my writing is called philosophical writing. i only uses middle ages words,words liked gracious,extravaganza,etc… the meaning of the word "flash" is for instance like the comic hero The Flash. this poem is about a divided time is a divided love. i don’t add capitalization’s on my writing.
Terry O'Leary Jan 2014
1.   Beginnings

Her babe was her joy, such a beautiful boy,
and he suckled her breast till the end.
The slaver sought cash, bestowed mammy a thrash,
sold her babe to a gentrified friend.
Yes, life flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

With mammy not there, Sammy dared not to dare
but to bide near the edge of the night.
Yet nevertheless one must always outguess
else absorb burning stings of the bite.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Though learning the rules in the shadows of fools
as he grew to a leery lean lad
he often defied but he never once cried
although whipped at the post whene’er bad.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.


2.   Youth

The cotton gin broke and nobody spoke,
so ol’ ***** said  “BENNY’S TO BLAME”.
But Sammy said ‘No...  *****, jus’ cain’t be so,
no ’tain’t Benny, ’tain’t Benny’s sore name’.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

“LOOK, SEE IN HIS EYES HOW THAT NG** BOY LIES!”
- replied Sam ‘no I’s tellin da truth’.
But daring to speak earned him scars for his cheek
and thus blemished the bloom of his youth.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

“THE COTTON GIN’S BROKE, AND THAT JUST AIN’T NO JOKE”
and he called upon Benny to pay:
“BENNY GOT NO EXCUSE, DRAPE HIS NECK WITH THE NOOSE”,
just as Sam feared ol’ ***** would say.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Black faces soon blanched as Ben bended a branch
near the base of a broken oak tree.
His body hung bare as it swung in the air
while the buzzards and crows shrieked with glee.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.


3.   Flight

Sam’s feet were unclad, as befitting the lad
(as alone as a stone in his path)
when  he started to run neath the sly sliding sun  
being followed and fearing God’s wrath.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Surrounded and caught brought his efforts to naught,
child in chains at the end of his trek;
winds wept as he went, with his spirit unbent,
a cold collar of steel ’round his neck.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

“FLOG THE BOY FROM HIS TOES TO THE TIP OF HIS NOSE”
- only so could a lesson be taught -
for to set an example, Sam’s death might be ample
was what the ol’ ***** first thought.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

But since boughten at birth, Sam had proven his worth
so his loss would be too much to bear
and as Sam was a child the ol’ ***** was mild,
said “ENOUGH” when Sam’s back was laid bare.      
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.


4.   Life

Sam grew to a man, branded ‘boy’ by the clan,
as they spat on the trails that he tread;
should he dare raise his gaze with a gander that strays
they’d be certain to sever his head.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Once Sam found a wife whom they ripped from his life,
yes along with the babe at her breast
(was it simply their greed or by heaven decreed?).
Well, with hindsight you might guess the rest.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.


5.   Destiny

From phantoms of fright neath the frail foggy night
Sammy soared as he fled to escape
and he no longer crawled (lady liberty called!)
through the darkness, a black hole agape.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Unleashed! Frenzied dogs hounded Sam through the bogs,
(baying beasts neath the ****** red moon).
White fangs intermeshed as they mangled his flesh,
freedom flayed through the pale afternoon.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.

Sam’s body was torn leaving little to mourn
but there’s really no need to despair
and there’s no need to cry for his spirit can’t die,
being borne by bound men everywhere.
Yes, it flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
yet another cruel link in their chain.



                          EPITAPH

                    SAM
Revolted and clashed ’gainst the cruel leather lash
and broke free from the choke of their chain.



                         EPILOGUE

Those parts of the past that we gaze at aghast
reveal harrowing questions quite plain –

Why people quite free, just like you, just like me,
were so happy inflicting such pain?

Why we bask in the throes of humanity’s woes
while the tyrants and tyrannies reign?

Why we sit back and watch, sometimes scratching our crotch,
as it happens again and again?

And I’m wondering too (’cause I don’t have a clue),
might we each be a link in their chain?
Arturo Delgado  Jan 2013
Flash
Arturo Delgado Jan 2013
Flash

I want to do something crazy
Like running ****
Maybe get a little tipsy
If you want me to
I'll go out and do a show
Show you everything I have
You know how this goes
If you say calm down
I'll just get louder
If you tell me one more time
Why would you rather?
**** the fun, down **** it now
Tonight we are going all out.

Flash flash baby flash flash
flash flash x2
Close your eyes
Don't pay attention
Loose your mind
To *******
Let's pose into a fun position
And act the fool did I forget to mention?
Melodyx2
Girl don't get shy let's have a blast
Come with me and just Flash!

If you don't loosen up you may even get booed
Were not chill were just to crazy for you
Is how we are so
Don't you wait up
I'll just leave you and go get drunk.
If you say calm down
I'll just get louder
If you tell me one more time
Why would you rather?
**** the fun, down **** it now
Tonight we are going all out.

Chorus

Half Psychotic, sip Hypnotic, got my feet on electronic
So robotic, its bionic
Call it retro-phonic
I know you wanted, baby you just forgot it
Is how it happened, you were a little on it
Before you met me, you were a tiny bit boring
Look the sun's out, and now's good Morning.
CautiousRain  Apr 2017
Flash
CautiousRain Apr 2017
Flash forward.
Flashback.

Progress isn't possible
without a little dip in the pool
so keep looking back;
trip over the wires,
set them off and see what happens.

Flash forward.
Flashback.

Drag me through the mud,
but don't let me look
at the mess I've made
in the mirror.

Flash forward.
Flashback.

Hear that voice.
Hear it.
HEAR IT.
Hear it and weep.

Flash forward.
Flashback.
Flash forward.
Flashback.
Flash forward.
Flashback.
FLASH FORWARD.

*Please don't take me back there.
Tbh I am pretty sure I am not okay but at the same time???? not much I can do about it so gg life, thanks so much
Erin Lynn  Sep 2014
Flash
Erin Lynn Sep 2014
Flash on
Skin out in the open. Bare.
Flash out
I can only feel for it is to dark to see.
Flash on
I stare at my skin. The slice so deep it would need serious care.
Flash Out
I feel the emotional pain bleeding out from me.
Flash on
My skin mixed in colors between dark red and lightly fair.
Flash out
I just want to sit in the darkness and be
Flash on
Reality comes back. Lights turn on with a painful glare.
Flash out
I'm back. In the darkness where I feel damage free.
Thirty floors up, rifle in hand
windows blown out, a view of the land
she sighs... eight years of war, no end in sight
darkness prevails, gunshots in the night.
she's still there, provisions nearby
listening for the enemy's cry
she's cleaned her rifle a thousand times
two hundred tick marks, etched in fine lines
one down, an army to go.
she prayed to god that the flash wouldn't show.

this city's been dead for over a year
yet theres still so many who cower in fear
of her fifty cal blast in the dead of the night.
the enemy falls, no more need for fright
shes been here for nearly a year,
ten thousand rounds and an airdrop every moon
with a note that says the war could end soon
the food is bad but you hardly notice
the company's good, after all theyre the closest.
her spotter, a man, was all she had now
he swore he'd protect her no matter how
theyd been lovers, and friends even too
after all... it gave them something to do
a single shot rips through the night
tearing apart the enemy on the right
one more down, an army to go.
she prayed that the flash wouldn't show

she looked through the scope of her closest ally
the fifty cal's sights perfect to her eye
watching for movement, always alert.
as she felt his hand slip beneath her shirt.
she grinned a little as he crept towards her neck
shivering tingles made her a wreck
as she lie in prone, watching the town
glad to have this man around
"wait" she whispers, a target in sight
she lines up the shot and it echoes tonight.
one more down, an army to go.
she prayed that the flash wouldn't show.

she sigh's again, back to work.
watching wherever shadows lurk.
a flurry of shots rips through the air
straight past her face, singeing her hair
the flash gave him away, as he fired unaware
that he'd woken a ****** coaxed out of her lair
one more down, an army to go.
she prayed again that the flash wouldn't show.

the letters stopped coming, but the packages came
she knew what it meant, but everything's the same
this is life for her now, nothing will change
the war will go on, its nothing strange
theres five hundred marks on the .50 so far
theres more in their army, wherever they are
one more down, an army to go
she prays ever still that the flash wont show.

fifteen years later, its been days since a ****
everything was silent, all was still
instead of a package, a chopper came in
set down on the building with the ****** within
the rifle now had a thousand marks on its frame
almost all of them white, one red streak bright as a flame
she packed up her gear, the rifle and ammo
wiped off the dirt on her old urban camo
she made her way up, the general awaits
wondering what happened, her spotter's fate.
the one red streak, the mark of her friend
she was there, but he wasn't in the end.
driven insane by the constant fight
she'd put him out of his misery one night.
she said not a word as she boarded the ride
one single tear fell, with no attempt to hide the pain inside
one more down, no army to go
she prayed no more that the flash would show.
(epilogue)
her beloved fifty cal, now hung on her wall
rewarded to her for answering duty's call
that one red mark overshadowed the rest
he'd stuck with her so far, he'd done his best.
she was the best, the greatest marksman of all time
the dreams never ceased, the memories never ended
the death of her beloved, and the years she'd spent with
never left her, nor did she want them to
she got a call one day, she had a job to do.
the rifle came down from its spot on the wall
the time came again to answer the call
one more down, an army to go
she prayed once more that the flash wouldn't show
labyrinths  Jun 2014
CHANGES
labyrinths Jun 2014
Flash back to grade four, sitting in my room, listening to Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance. Pin up posters of Pete Wentz and Gerard Way filled my room. (Thanks a lot, Tiger Beat.)
My sister held out her pinky saying, "Promise me you'll never be emo."
Fifth grade me, not even know what emo meant, intertwined our pinkies.

Flash forward to grade six, sitting in my room, listening to Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance. Pin up posters of Pete Wentz and Gerard Way filled my room. (Thanks a lot, Tiger Beat.)
My tiny pale wrist appeared to be a canvas for art. I wanted to draw a self portrait; a sad little girl with big dreams, no friends, a mommy with a heart condition and a daddy that didn't love her.
I took a tack from my wall and began to paint my wrist with blood.

Flash back to grade five, when wen we spent all our time on the soccer field behind the school.
Whether we were playing soccer or picking at the leaves that hung by the fence, every recess we were there.
Sometimes the older kids would come along, if not just to bug us.
Eighth grade meant swearing and spitting.
My best friend was always braver than I was. I remember her saying "the Earth has never tasted anything as vile as your spit."
I swallowed down my own saliva.

Flash forward to the eleventh grade, where we spent all our time in the smoker's pit in front of the school.
Whether we were smoking cigarettes or waiting for someone to finish, ever lunch break we were there.
Sometimes people would walk through us to get to the bus stop.
Ninth grade meant coughing as much as you could just to let everyone know you were ******* about breathing the smoke filled air.
No one was brave anymore. We were all cowards, our vile, nicotine infused spit hitting the pavement in front of us.
I stepped on my cigarette ****.

Flash back to first semester, grade nine, hearing about people I used to know doing drugs and hooking up.
I said I couldn't believe it. These people that I used to know. I couldn't believe Sarah was doing drugs. She was so pure and innocent.
I promised my best friend I would never do anything.
She promised me she wouldn't either.

Flash forward to second semester, grade nine, doing drugs and hooking up.
I said it was just a coping mechanism. The person that you used to know was still there. I'm still pure and innocent.
I promised my best friend I was okay.
She asked me if I was high.

Flash back to my first day of kindergarten. Letting go of my mom's hand for the first time.
The caterpillars in my stomach had turned into butterflies for the first time.
I kissed my mom goodbye and finally, like the caterpillars in my stomach, I broke through my cocoon.
For the first time in my life, I was free to spread my wings and fly.

Flash forward to my last day of high school. Wrapping my arms around friendships I had worked so hard to build and saying my final goodbyes.
The caterpillars in my stomach had turned into butterflies for the second time.
I shook my teacher's hand and took my diploma and finally, like the caterpillars in my stomach, I broke through my cocoon.
For the second time in my life, I was free to spread my wings and fly.
sometimes people change
but it's all right
because you'll find your way back.

spent my day inside a hospital today talking to doctors.
i learned more about myself in the four hours that i was there than i ever did in school.
RA  Jan 2014
flash
RA Jan 2014
I'm sitting on the edge
of my bed, trembling and
     flash [I'm huddled in the
                kitchen corner, she's
                advancing on me, blocking
                every way of escape]
wishing I could be ok again, wishing
I wasn't damaged beyond
     flash [I'm on the
                stairs, crouched over so
                she can't reach my
                stomach because I'm already
                crying hard enough to almost
                be throwing up, gagging
                around screams]
any kind of repair that I
can foresee, praying that
     flash [I'm curled on my bed like
                a foetus, I ran away until
                there was no further
                to run and still
                she followed me. Hit
                my back, it hurts
                the least there]
the terror will pass, and I
won't have to remember
     flash [I'm thinking desperately
                around the thumps of
                knuckles on flesh and the screams
                I can't contain that next time I
                will hit back I won't
                be frozen in place, wishing
                bitterly I wasn't shamelessly
                lying to myself]
this.*
     *flash
[I can't breathe.]
December 14, 2014
   panic attack.
preservationman Jan 2015
A race between the Flash and the Man of Steel
This would be a competition for real
Who do you think would move fast?
Who would you think would come in last?
It’s a possibility in what could be
Imagine two Super Marvel’s in a race too see who is truly great
It would also show their sportsmanship in how they both relate
It would be a run to the finish
The winner being triumphed and distinguished
This wouldn’t be a race against crime
That story is another time
Flash moving at the speed of light
The Man of Steel feeling a bit uptight
The Man of Steel would be disqualified if he were to fly in order to win
But the Man of Steel coming from another planet, would that automatically disqualify from then
A canny detail
But the policy remains in order to preserver
It was Flash in the lead
The Man of Steel was maneuvering in proceed
Just around the bend
It was Flash being the champion at the very end
Well the Marvel Hero’s shook hands and are off to fight crime
This will be until the end of time.
Cyril Blythe Nov 2012
I followed Delvos down the trail until we could see the mouth of the mine. The life and energy of the surrounding birches and sentential pines came to a still and then died as we left the trees shelter behind and walked closer, closer. The air was cold and dark and damp and smelled of mold and moths. Delvos stepped into the darkness anyways.
“Well, girl, you coming or aren’t you?”
I could see his yellowed tobacco teeth form into a smile as I stepped out of the sun. It was still inside. The canary chirped in its cage.
“This tunnel is just the mouth to over two hundred others exactly like it. Stay close. Last thing I need this month is National Geographic on my *** for losing one of their puppet girls.”
“Delvos, ****. I have two masters degrees.” I pulled my mousey hair up into a tight ponytail. “I’ve experienced far more fatal feats than following a canary in a cave.”
He rolled his eyes. “Spare me.” He trotted off around the corner to the left, whistling some Louis Armstrong song.
“I survived alone in the jungles of Bolivia alone for two months chasing an Azara’s Spinetail. I climbed the tallest mountain in Nepal shooting Satyr Tragopans along the cliff faces. In Peru I…” Suddenly I felt the weight of the darkness. I lost track of his lantern completely. I stopped, my heartbeat picked up, and I tried to remind myself of what I had done in Peru. The mine was quiet and cold. I wiped my clammy, calloused hands on my trail pants and took a depth breath.

In through the nose. Out through the mouth. This is nothing. I followed a Diurnal Peruvian Pygmy-Owl across the gravel tops of the Andes Mountains, no light but the Southern Cross and waning moon above. I am not scared of darkness. I am not scared of darkness.
I stopped to listen. Behind me I could hear the wind cooing at the mouth of the mine.
Taunting? No. Reminding me to go forward. Into the darkness.
I shifted my Nikon camera off my shoulder and raised the viewfinder to my eyes, sliding the lens cap into my vest pocket. This routine motion, by now, had become as fluid as walking. I stared readily through the dark black square until I saw reflections from the little red light on top that blinked, telling me the flash was charged. I snapped my finger down and white light filled the void in front of me. Then heavy dark returned. I blinked my eyes attempting to rid the memories of the flash etched, red, onto my retina. I clicked my short fingernails through buttons until the photo I took filled the camera screen. I learned early on that having short fingernails meant more precise control with the camera buttons. I zoomed in on the picture and scrolled to get my bearings of exactly what lay ahead in the narrow mine passageway. As I scrolled to the right I saw Delvos’ boot poking around the tunnel that forked to the left.
Gottcha.
I packed up the camera, licked my drying lips, and stepped confidently into the darkness.

When I first got the assignment in Vermont I couldn’t have been more frustrated. Mining canaries? Never had I ever ‘chased’ a more mundane bird. Nonetheless, when Jack Reynolds sends you on a shoot you don’t say no, so I packed up my camera bag and hoped on the next plane out of Washington.
“His name is John Delvos.” Jack had said as he handed me the manila case envelope. He smiled, “You’re leaving on Tuesday.”
“Yes sir.”
“Don’t look so smug, Lila. This may not be the most exotic bird you’ve shot but the humanity of this piece has the potential to be a cover story. Get the shots, write the story.”
I opened the envelope and read the assignment details in the comfort of my old pajamas back at my apartment later that night.
John Delvos has lived in rural Vermont his entire life. His family bred the canaries for the miners of the Sheldon Quarry since the early twenties. When “the accident” happened the whole town shut down and the mines never reopened. . There were no canaries in the mines the day the gas killed the miners. The town blamed the Delvos family and ran them into the woods. His mother died in a fire of some sort shortly before Delvos and his father retreated into the Vermont woods. His father built a cabin and once his father died, Delvos continued to breed the birds. He currently ships them to other mining towns across the country. The question of the inhumanity of breeding canaries for the sole purpose of dying in the mines so humans don’t has always been controversial. Find out Delvos’ story and opinions on the matter. Good luck, Lila.
I sighed, accepting my dull assignment and slipped into an apathetic sleep.


After stumbling through the passageway while keeping one hand on the wall to the left, I found the tunnel the picture had revealed Delvos to be luring in. Delvos reappeared behind the crack of his match in a side tunnel not twenty yards in front of me
“Do you understand the darkness now, Ms. Rivers?” He relit the oily lantern and picked back up the canary cage. “Your prestigious masters degrees don’t mean **** down here.”. He turned his back without another word. I followed deeper into the damp darkness.
“Why were there no canaries in the mine on, you know, that day?” The shadows of the lantern flickered against the iron canary cage chained on his hip and the yellow bird hopped inside.
“I was nine, Ms. Rivers. I didn’t understand much at the time.” We turned right into the next tunnel and our shoes crunched on jagged stones. All the stones were black.
“But surely you understand now?”
The canary chirped.

When I first got to Sheldon and began asking about the location of the Delvos’ cabin you would have thought I was asking where the first gate to hell was located. Mothers would smile and say, “Sorry, Miss, I can’t say,” then hurriedly flock their children in the opposite direction. After two hours of polite refusals I gave up. I spent the rest of the first day photographing the town square. It was quaint; old stone barbershops surrounded by oaks and black squirrels, a western-themed whiskey bar, and a few greasy spoon restaurants. I booked a room in the Walking Horse Motel for Wednesday night, determined to get a good night’s sleep and defeat this town’s fear of John Delvos the following day.
My room was a tiny one bed square with no TV. Surprise, surprise. At least I had my camera and computer to entertain myself. I reached into the side of my camera bag, pulled out my Turkish Golds and Macaw-beak yellow BIC, and stepped out onto the dirt in front of my motel door and lit up. The stars above stole all the oxygen surrounding me. They were dancing and smiling above me and I forgot Delvos, Jack, and all of Sheldon except its sky. Puffing away, I stepped farther and farther from my door and deeper into the darkness of Vermont night. The father into the darkness the more dizzying the star’s dancing became.
“Ma’am? Everything okay?”
Startled, I dropped my cigarette on the ground and the ember fell off. “I’m sorry, sir. I was just, um, the stars…” I snuffed out the orange glow in the dirt with my boot and extended my hand, “Lila Rivers, and you are?”
“Ian Benet. I haven’t seen you around here before, Ms. Rivers. Are you new to town?” He traced his fingers over a thick, graying mustache as he stared at me.
“I’m here for work. I’m a bird photographer and journalist for National Geographic. I’m looking for John Delvos but I’m starting to think he’s going to be harder to track than a Magpie Robin.”
Ian smiled awkwardly, shivered, then began to fumble with his thick jacket’s zipper. I looked up at the night sky and watched the stars as they tiptoed their tiny circles in the pregnant silence. Then, they dimmed in the flick of a spark as Ian lit up his wooden pipe. It was a light-colored wood, stained with rich brown tobacco and ash. He passed me his matches, smiling.
“So, Delvos, eh?” He puffed out a cloud of leather smelling smoke toward the stars. “What do you want with that old *******? Don’t tell me National Geographic is interested in the Delvos canaries.”
I lit up another stick and took a drag. “Shocking, right?”
“Actually, it’s about time their story is told.” Benet walked to the wooden bench to our left and patted the seat beside him. I walked over. “The Delvos canaries saved hundreds of Sheldonian lives over the years. But the day a crew went into the mines without one, my father came out of the ground as cold as when we put him back into it in his coffin.”
I sat in silence, unsure what to say. “Mr. Benet, I’m so sorry…”
“Please, just Ian. My father was the last Mr. Benet.”
We sat on the wooden bench, heat leaving our bodies to warm the dead wood beneath our legs. I shivered; the star’s dance suddenly colder and more violent.
“Delvos canaries are martyrs, Ms. Rivers. This whole town indebted to those tiny yellow birds, but nobody cares to remember that anymore.”
“Can you tell me where I can find Mr. Delvos and his, erm, martyrs?” The ember of my second cigarette was close to my pinching fingertips.
“Follow me.” Ian stood up and walked to the edge of the woods in front of us. We crunched the dead pine needles beneath our feet, making me aware of how silent it was. Ian stopped at a large elm and pointed. “See that yellow notch?” he asked. Sure enough, there was a notch cut and dyed yellow at his finger’s end. “If you follow true north from this tree into the woods you’ll find this notch about every fifty yards or so. Follow the yellow and it’ll spit you out onto the Delvos property.”
“Thank you, Ian. I really can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am.
“You don’t have to.” He knocked the ash out of his pipe against the tree. “Just do those birds justice in your article. Remember, martyrs. Tell old Delvos Ian Benet sends his regards.” He turned and walked back to the motel and I stood and watched in silence. It was then I realized I hadn’t heard a single bird since I got to Sheldon. The star’s dance was manic above me as I walked back to my room and shut the door.

The canary’s wings and Delvos stopped. “This is a good place to break our fast. Sit.”
I sat obediently, squirming around until the rocks formed a more comfortable nest around my bony hips. We had left for the mines as the stars were fading in the vermillion Vermont sky that morning and had been walking for what seemed like an eternity. I was definitely ready to eat. He handed me a gallon Ziploc bag from his backpack filled with raisins, nuts, various dried fruits, and a stiff piece of bread. I attacked the food like a raven.
“I was the reason no canaries entered the mines that day, Ms. Rivers.”
Delvos broke a piece of his bread off and wrapped it around a dried piece of apricot, or maybe apple. I was suddenly aware of my every motion and swallowed, loudly. I crinkled into my Ziploc and crunched on the pecans I dug out, waiting.
“Aren’t you going to ask why?”
“I’m not a parrot, Mr. Delvos, I don’t answer expectedly on command. You’ll tell me if you want.” I stuffed a fistful of dried pears into my mouth.
Delvos chuckled and my nerves eased. “You’ve got steel in you, Ms. Rivers. I’ll give you that much.”
I nodded and continued cramming pears in my mouth.
“I was only nine. The canaries were my pets, all of them. I hated when Dad would send them into the mines to die for men I couldn’t give two ***** about. It was my birthday and I asked for an afternoon of freedom with my pets and Dad obliged. I was in the aviary with pocketfuls of sunflower-seeds. Whenever I threw a handful into the air above me, the air came to life with wings slashing yellow brushes and cawing songs of joy. It was the happiest I have ever been, wholly surrounded and protected by my friends. Around twelve thirty that afternoon the Sheriff pulled up, lights ablaze. The blue and red lights stilled my yellow sky to green again and that’s when I heard the shouting. He cuffed my Dad on the hood of the car and Mom was crying and pushing her fists into the sheriff’s chest. I didn’t understand at all. The Sheriff ended up putting Mom in the car too and they all left me in the aviary. I sat there until around four that afternoon before they sent anyone to come get me.”
Delvos took a small bite of his bread and chewed a moment. “No matter how many handfuls of seeds I threw in the air after that, the birds wouldn’t stir. They wouldn’t even sing. I think they knew what was happening.”
I was at a loss for words so and I blurted, “I didn’t see an aviary at your house…”
Delvos laughed. “Someone burnt down the house I was raised in the next week while we were sleeping. Mom died that night. The whole dark was burning with screams and my yellow canaries were orange and hot against the black sky. That’s the only night I’ve seen black canaries and the only night I’ve heard them scream.”
I swallowed some mixed nuts and they rubbed against my dry throat.
“They never caught the person. A week later Dad took the remainder of the birds and we marched into the woods. We worked for months clearing the land and rebuilding our lives. We spent most of the time in silence, except for the canary cries. When the house was finally built and the bird’s little coops were as well, Dad finally talked. The only thing he could say was “Canaries are not the same as a Phoenix, John. Not the same at all.”
We sat in silence and I found myself watching the canary flit about in its cage, still only visible by the lanterns flame. Not fully yellow, I realized, here in the mines but not fully orange either.

When I first walked onto John Delvos’ property on Thursday morning he was scattering feed into the bird coops in the front of his cabin. Everything was made of wood and still wet with the morning’s dew.
“Mr. Delvos?”
He spun around, startled, and walked up to me a little too fast. “Why are you here? Who are you?”
“My name is Lila Rivers, sir, I am a photographer and journalist for National Geographic Magazine and we are going to run an article on your canaries.”
“Not interested.”
“Please, sir, can I ask you just a few quick questions as take a couple pictures of your, erm, martyrs?”
His eyes narrowed and he walked up to me, studying my face with an intense, glowering gaze. He spit a mouthful of dip onto the ground without breaking eye contact. I shifted my camera bag’s weight to the other shoulder.
“Who told you to call them that?”
“I met Ian Benet last night, he told me how important your birds are to this community, sir. He sends his regards.”
Delvos laughed and motioned for me to follow as he turned his back. “You can take pictures but I have to approve which ones you publish. That’s my rule.”
“Sir, it’s really not up to me, you see, my boss, Jack Reynolds, is one of the editors for the magazine and he...”
“Those are my rules, Ms. Rivers.” He turned and picked back up the bucket of seed and began to walk back to the birds. “You want to interview me then we do it in the mine. Be back here at four thirty in the morning.”
“Sir…?”
“Get some sleep, Ms. Rivers. You’ll want to be rested for the mine.” He turned, walked up his wooden stairs, and closed the door to his cabin.
I was left alone in the woods and spent the next hour snapping pictures of the canaries in their cages. I took a couple pictures of his house and the surrounding trees, packed up my camera and trekked back to my motel.

“You finished yet?” Delvos stood up. The mine was dark, quiet, and stagnant. I closed the Ziploc and stuffed the bag, mainly filled with the raisins I had sifted through, into my pocket.
Delvos grunted and the canary flapped in its cage as he stood again and, swinging the lantern, rounded another corner. The path we were on began to take a noticeable ***** downward and the moisture on the walls and air multiplied.  
The lantern flickered against the moist, black stones, sleek and piled in the corners we past. The path stopped ahead at a wall of solid black and brown Earth.
The canary chirped twice.
It smelled of clay and mildew and Delvos said, “Go on, touch it.”
I reached my hand out, camera uselessly hanging like a bat over my shoulder. The rock was cold and hard. It felt dead.
The canary was fluttering its wings in the cage now, chirping every few seconds.
“This is the last tunnel they were digging when the gas under our feet broke free from hell and killed those men.”
Delvos hoisted the lantern above our heads, illuminatin

— The End —