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Keith Collard Jun 2013
The Quest for the Damsel Fish  by Keith Collard

Author's  Atmosphere

On the bow of the boat, with the cold cloud of the dismal day brushing your back conjuring goose bumped flesh you hold an anchor.  For the first time, you can pick this silver anchor up with only one hand and hold it over your head. It resembles the Morning Star, a brutal medieval weapon that bludgeons and impales its victims.  Drop it into the dark world beyond the security of your boat--watch the anchor descend.
        Watch this silver anchor--this Morning Star--descend away from the boat and you, it becomes swarmed over with darkness.  It forms a ******-metallic grin at first as it sinks, then the sinking silver anchor takes its last shape at its last visible glimpse.  It is so small now as if it could be hung from a necklace.  It is a silver sword.  
Peering over the side of the boat, the depths collectively look like the mouth of a Cannibalistic Crab, throwing the shadows of its mandibles over everything that sinks down into it--black mandibles that have joints with the same angle of a Reaper's Scythe.  

I am scared looking at this sinking phantasm.  I see something from my youth down there in this dark cold Atlantic.  I see the silver Morning Star again, now in golden armor.  I remember a magnificent kingdom, in a saltwater fish tank I had once and never had again.  A tropical paradise that I see again as I stare down into the depths.  This fish tank was so beautiful with the most beautiful inhabitants who I miss.  Before I could lift the silver anchor--the Morning Star--over my head with only one hand, turning gold in that morning sun-- I was a boy who sat indian style, cross legged--peering into this brilliant spectacle of light I thought awesome.  I thought all the darkness of home and the world was kept at bay by this kingdom of light...

Chapter  1 Begins the Story

The Grey Skies of Mass is the Name of This Chapter.

                                                      ­­                        
    
 Air, in bubbles--it was a world beauty of darkness revealed in slashes of light from dashing fluorescent bulbs overhead this fish tank.
Silver swords of fluorescent energy daring to the bottom, every slash revealing every color of the zodiac--from the Gold of Scorpio to the purple of Libra combining into the jade of the Gemini. 
In the center, like a dark Stonehenge were rocks. The exterior rocks had tropical colors like that of cotton candy, but the interior shadows of the rocks that was the Stonehenge, did not possess one photon of light. The silver messengers of the florescent energy from above would tire and die at their base.  The shadows of the Stonehenge rocks would stand over them as they died.

 
          When the boy named Sake climbed the rickety wood stairs of the house, he did so in fear of making noise, as if to not wake each step.
   Until he could see the glowing aura of his fish tank then he would start down that eerie hall, With pictures of ghosts and ghosts of pictures staring down at him as he walked down that rickety hallway of this towering old colonial home.  He hurried to the glowing tank to escape the black and white gazing picture frames.
                    The faint gurgling, bubbling of the saltwater tank became stronger in his ear, and that sound guided him from the last haunt of the hallway-- the empty room that was perpendicular to  his room.   He only looked to his bright tank as soon as he entered the hallway from the creaky wooden steps.  Then he proceeded to sit in front of this great tropical fish tank in Indian style with his legs folded over one another as children so often would sit.
  The sun was setting.  The reflections from the tank were beginning to send ripples down the dark walls. Increasing  wave after wave reflecting down his dark walls.  He thought they to be seagulls flapping into the darkness until they were overcome as he was listening to the bubbling water of his tank.
                " Hello my fish, hello Angel, hello Tang, hello  Hoomah, hello Clown and hello Damsel … and hello to you Crab...even though I do not like you," he said in half jest not looking at the crab in the entrance of the rocks.  The rocks were the color of cotton candy, but the interior shadows did not possess a photon of luminescence.  All other shadows not caused by the rocks--but by bright swaying ornament--were like the glaze on a candy apple--dark but delicious.  Besides the crab's layer in the rock jumble at the center of the tank which was a Stonehenge within a Stonehenge--the tank was a world of bright inviting light.
                The crab was in its routine,  motionless in the entrance to his foyer, with his scythe-like claws in the air, in expectation of catching one of the bright fish someday.  For that reason the boy tried to remove the crab in the past, but even though the boy was fast with his hand, the optical illusion of the tank would always send his hand where the crab no longer was.  He did not know how to use two hands to rid the crab in the future by trapping and destroying the Cannibal Crab ;  his father, on a weekend visit, gave the Crab to the boy to put into the bright world of the saltwater tank, which Sake quickly regretted.  His father promised him that the Crab would not be able to catch any of the fish he said " ...***** only eat anything that has fallen to the bottom or each other..."

         A scream from the living room downstairs ran up the rickety wood and down the long hall and startled the boy.  His mother sent her shrieks out to grab the boy, allowing her to not have to waste any time nor calorie on her son; for she would tire from the stairs, but her screams would not, allowing her to stay curled up on the couch.  If she was not screaming for Sake, she was talking as loud as screams on the phone with her girlfriends.  The decibels from her laugh was torture for all in the silent house.   A haughty laugh in a gossipy conversation, that overpowered the sound of the bright tropical fish tank in Sake's room that was above and far opposite her in the living room.
               " Sake you have to get a paper-route to pay for the tank, the electricity bill is outrageous," she said while not taking her eyes off the TV and her legs curled up beside her.  He would glad fully get a paper-route even if it was for a made up reason.  He turned to go, and looked back at his mother, and a shudder ran through him with a new thought:  someday her appearance will match her voice.  

              Upon reaching his tank,  Hoomah was trying to get his attention as always.  Taking up pebbles in his big pouty pursed lips and spitting them out of his lips like a weak musket.  The Hoomah was a very silly fish, it looked like one of Sake’s aunts, with too much make up on, slightly overweight, and hovering on two little fins that looked incapable of keeping it afloat, but they did.  The fins reminded him of the legs of his aunt--skinny under not so skinny.’

               The Tang was doing his usual aquanautics , darting and sailing was his trick.  He was fast, the fastest with his bright yellow triangular sail cutting the water.  Next was the aggressive Clown fish, the boy thought she was always aggresive because she didn't have an anemone to sleep on.  The Clown was strong and sleek with an orange jaw and body that was built like a tigress.
  Sake thought something tragic about the body if the  orange Clown and the three silver traces that clawed her body as decoration -they reminded him of the incandescent orange glow of a street lamp being viewed through the rainy back windshield of a car.   The Clown fish was a distraction that craved attention.
The Clown would chase around some of the other fish and jump out of the water to catch the boy's eye. 
                 Next is the Queen Angel fish, she is the queen of the tank, she sits in back all alone, waving like a marvelous banner, iridescent purple and golden jade.  Her forehead slopes back in a French braid style that streams over her back like a kings standard waving before battle, but her standard is of a house of beauty, and that of royal purple.

                    Lastly is the Damsel Fish, the smallest and most vulnerable in the tank.  She has royal purple also, rivaling the queen. Her eyes are lashed but not lidded like the Hoomah.  Her eyes are elliptical, and perhaps the most human, or in the boy’s opinion, she is the most lady like, the Hoomah and the Queen Angel come to her defence if she is chased around by the Clown.  Her eyes penetrate the boys, to the point of him looking away.  

                      Before the tank, in its place in the corner was a painting, an oil painting of another type of Clown donning a hat with orange partial make-up on his face (only around eyes nose and mouth there was ghost white paint) and it  had two tears coming down from its right eye.  The Clown painting was given to him by his mother, it seems he could not be rid of them, but Sake at first was taken in by the brightness of the Clown, and the smooth salacious wet look of the painting. it looked dripping, or submerged, like another alternate reality.  The wet surreal glaze of the painting seemed a portal, especially the orange glow of the Clown's skin without make-up.  .  If he tried to remember of times  before the Clown painting that preceded the Clown fish, he thought of the orange saffron twilight of sunset, and watching it from the high window from his room in the towering house.  How that light changed everything that it touched, from the tree tops and the clouds, to even the dark hallway leading up to his room.  The painting and the Clown fish did not feel the same as those distant memories of sunset, especially the summer sunset when his mother would put him to bed long before the sun had set.  
Sake did not voice opposition to the Clown.
Then he was once again trapped by the Clown.  
            The boy was extremely afraid of this painting that replaced the sunsets , being confined alone with it by all those early bedtimes.
Sake once asked his mother if he could take it down, whereas she said " No."  That clown would follow him into his dreams, always he would be down the hill from the tall house on the hill, trying to walk back to the house, but to walk away or run in a dream was like walking underwater or in black space, and he would make no distance as the ground opened up and the clown came out of the ground hugging him with the pryless grip of eight arms.  He would then wake up amid screams and a tearful hatted clown staring somberly down at him from the wall where it was hung.  Night made him fear the Clown painting more;  that ghost white make-up decorating around the eyes and mouth seeming to form another painting in entirety.  He could only look at the painting after a while when the lights were on, and the wet looking painting was mostly orange from the skin, neck, and forearms of the hat wearing clown.  But the painting is gone now, and the magnificent light display of the tank is there now.  

                Sake pulled out the fish food, all the fish bestirred in anticipation of being fed.  The only time they would all come together; and that was to mumble the bits of falling flakes: a chomp from the Clown, a pucker from the Hoomah, the fast mumble of the Tang, and the dainty chew of the Damsel.  The Queen Angelfish would stay near the bottom, and kiss a flake over and over.   She would not deign herself to go into a friendly frenzy like the other fish; she stayed calm, yet alluring like a flag dancing rhythmically in the breeze, but never repeating the same move as the wind never repeats the same breeze.  She is the only fish to change colors.  When the grey skies of Mass emit through every portal in the house at the height of its bleakness, her colors would turn more fantastic, perhaps why she is queen.

                 He put his finger in the top of the watery world; the warmth was felt all the way up his arm.  After feeding, his favorite thing to do was to trace his finger on the top of the warm water and have the Damsel follow it. She loved it, it was her only time to dance, for the Clown would descend down in somewhat fear ( or annoyance) of the boys finger, and the Damsel and he would dance.  The boy, thought that extraordinary.

                     Sake bedded down that night, to his usual watery world of his room.  The reflective waves running down the walls like seagulls of light, with the rhythmic gurgling sound and it's occasional splash of the Clown, or the Hoomah swooping into the pebbly bottom to scoop up some pebbles for spitting making the sound "ccchhhhh" --cachinging  like a distant underwater register.  The tank’s nocturne sound was therapeutic to the boy.

                      Among waking up, and being greeted by his sparkling treasure tank--that was always of the faintest light in the morning due to the grey skies of Mass coming through every portal to lessen the tropical spectrum-- the boy would render his salutations " Good morning my Hoomah.....good morning Tang, my Damsel, and your majesty Queen Angel.....and so forth.  Until the scream would come to get him, and he would walk briskly past the empty room and the looming family pictures of strangers.  His mother put him to work that day, to "pay for the fish tank" but really to buy her a new cocktail dress for her nightly forays.  The boy did not care, the tank was his sun, emitting through the bleak skies of Mass, and even if the tank was reduced to a haze by the overcast of his life, it only added a log to the fire that was the tropical world at night, in turn making him welcome the dismal day.
                  On a day, when the overcast was so thick, he felt he could not picture his rectangular orb waiting for him at night. He had trouble remembering what houses to deliver the paper.  He delivered to the same house three times.  Newspapers seemed to disappear in his hands, due to their color relation to the sky.   Leaves were falling from the trees—butterfly like—he went to catch one, he missed--a first. For Sake could walk through dense thorned brambles and avoid every barb, as a knight in combat or someone’s whose heart felt the painful sting of the barb before.  He would stand under a tree in late fall, and roll around to avoid every falling leaf, and pierce them to the ground deftly with a stick fashioned as a sword.  He could slither between snow flakes, almost like a fish nimbly avoiding small flakes.  
                  After he finished his paper-route , he went to his usual spot under an oak tree to fence with falling leaves.  As the other boys walked by and poked fun he would stall his imagination, and look to the brown landscape of the dry fall.  The crisp brown leaves of the trees were sword shapes to him.  He held the battle ax shape of the oak leaf over his eye held up by the stick it was pierced through, and spied the woodline through the sinus of the oak leaf lobe.  The brown white speckled scenery, were all trying to hide behind eachother by blending in bleakfully; he pretended the leaf was Hector’s helmet from the Illiad—donned over his eyes.
“ Whatchya doing Sake?” asked a young girl named Summer.  Sake only mumbled something nervously and stood there.  And a pretty Summer passed on after Sake once again denied himself of her pretty company.  He looked to the woodline again, a mist was now concealing the tall apical trees.  It now looked like the brown woodland was not trying to retreat behind eachother in fall concealment, but trying to emerge forth out of the greyness to say "save us."

“ Damgf” he uttered, and could not even grasp a word correctly.  His head lifted to the sky repeatedly, there was no orb, and the shadows were looming larger than ever; fractioned shadows from tree branches were forming scythes all over the ground.
             He entered the large shadow that was his front door, into the house that rose high into the sky, with the simplicity of Stonehenge.  He climbed the rickety petrified stairs and went down the hall.  Grey light had spotlighted every frame on the wall.  He looked into the empty room, nothingness, then his room, the tank seemed at its faintest, and it was nearing twilight.  He walked past the tank to look out the w
howard brace Feb 2012
Inconspicuous, his presence noted only by the obscurity and the ever growing number of spent cigarette stubs that littered the ground.  It had been a long day and the rain, relentless in its tenacity had little intention of stopping, baleful clouds still  hung heavy, dominating the lateness of the afternoon sky, a rain laden skyline broken only by smoke filled chimney pots and the tangled snarl of corroded television aerials.

     The once busy street was fast emptying now, the lure of shop windows no longer enticed the casual browser as local traders closed their premises to the oncoming night, solitary lampposts curved hazily into the distance, casting little more than insipid pools mirrored in the gutter below, only the occasional stranger scurrying home on a bleak, rain swept afternoon, the hurried slap of wet leather soles on the pavement, the sightless umbrellas, the infrequent rumble of a half filled bus, hell-bent on its way to oblivion.

     In the near distance as the working day ended, a sudden emergence of factory workers told Beamish it was 5-o'clock, most would be hurrying home to a hot meal, while others, for a quick drink perhaps before making the same old sorry excuse... for Jack, the greasy spoon would be closing about now, denying him the comfort of a badly needed cuppa' and stale cheese sandwich.  A subtle legacy of lunchtime fish and chips still lingered in the air, Jack's stomach rumbled, there was little chance of a fish supper for Beamish tonight, it protested again... louder.

     From beneath the eaves of the building opposite several pigeons broke cover, startled by the rattle as a shopkeeper struggled to close the canvas awning above his shop window.  Narrowly missing Beamish they flew anxiously over the rooftops, memories of the blitz sprang to mind as Jack stepped smartly to one side, he stamped his feet... it dashed a little of the weather from his raincoat, just as the rain dashed a little of the pigeons' anxiety from the pavement... the day couldn't get much worse if it tried.  Shielding his face, Jack struck the Ronson one more time and cupped the freshly lit cigarette between his hands, it was the only source of heat to be had that day... and still it rained.

     'By Appointment to Certain Personages...' the letter heading rang out loudly... 'Jack Beamish ~ Private Investigator...' a throat choking mouthful by any stretch of the imagination, thought Jack and shot every vestige of credulity plummeting straight through the office window and amidst a fanfare of trumpet voluntary, nominate itself for a prodigious award in the New Year Honours list.   Having formally served in a professional capacity for a well known purveyor of pickled condiments, who  incidentally, brandished the same patronage emblazoned upon their extensive range of relish as the one Jack had more recently purloined from them... a paid commission no less, which by Jack's certain understanding had made him, albeit fleeting in nature, a professional consultant of said company... and consequently, if they could flaunt the auspicious emblem, then according to Jack's infallible logic, so could Jack.  

     The recently appropriated letterhead possessed certain distinction... in much the same way, Jack reasoned, that a blank piece of paper did not... and whereas correspondence bearing the heading 'By Appointment' may not exactly strike terror into the hearts of man... unlike a really strong pickled onion, it nevertheless made people think twice before playing him for the fool, which sadly, Jack had to concede, they still invariably did... and he would often catch them wagging an accusing finger or two in his direction with such platitudes as... "watch where you put your foot", they'd whisper, "that Jack's a right Shamus...", and when you'd misplaced your footing as many times as Jack had, then he reasoned, that by default the celebrated Shamus must have landed himself in more piles of indiscretion than he would readily care to admit, but that wouldn't be quite accurate either, in Jack's line of work it was the malefactor that actually dropped him in them more often than not.

     A cold shiver suddenly ran down his spine, another quickly followed as a spurt of icy water from a broken rain spout spattered across the back of his neck, he grimaced... Jack's expression spoke volumes as he took one final pull from his half soaked cigarette and flicked it, amid an eruption of sparks against the adjacent brick wall.  Sinking further into the shadow he tipped his fedora against the oncoming rain, then, digging both hands deep within his pockets, he huddled behind the upturned collar of his gabardine... watching.

     It was times such as these when Jack's mind would slip back, in much the same way you might slip back on a discarded banana peel, when a matter of some consequence, or in particular this case the pavement, would suddenly leap up from behind and give the back of Jack's head a resoundingly good slapping and tell him to "stop loafing around in office hours... or else", then drag him, albeit kicking and screaming back into the 20th century.  This intellectual assault and battery re-focused Jack's mind wonderfully as he whiled away the long weary hours until his next cigarette; cup of tea, or the last bus home, his capacity to endure such mind boggling tedium called for nothing less than sheer ******-mindedness and very little else... Beamish had long suspected that he possessed all the necessary qualifications.  

     Jack had come a long way since the early days, it had been a long haul but he'd finally arrived there in the end... and managed to pick up quite a few ***** looks along the way.  Whilst he was with the Police Constabulary... and it was only fair to stress the word 'with', as opposed to the word 'in'... although the more Jack considered, he had been 'with' the arresting officer, held 'in' the local Bridewell... detained at Her Majesties pleasure while assisting the boys in blue with their enquiries over a minor infringement of some local by-law that currently had quite slipped his mind at that moment.  Throughout this enforced leisure period he'd managed to read the entire abridged editions of Kilroy and other expansive works of graffiti exhibited in what passed locally as the next best thing to the Tate Gallery, whereupon it hadn't taken Jack very long to realise that it was always a good place to start if you wanted free breakfast, in fact the weeks bill of fare was tastefully displayed in vivid, polychromatic colour on the wall opposite... you just had to be au-fait with braille.
                            
     No matter how industrious Beamish laboured to rake the dirt there always appeared to be a dire shortage of gullible clients for Jack to squeeze, what would roughly translate as an honest crust out of, and although his financial retainer was highly competitive he understood that potential clients found it bewildering when grappling with the unplumbed depths of his monthly expense account, which would tend to fluctuate with the same unpredictability as the British weather, the rest of Jack's agenda revolved around a little shady moonlighting... in fact he'd happily consider anything to offset the remotest possibility of financial delinquency... short of extortion... which by the strangest twist was the very word prospective clients would cry while Jack beavered around the office with dust-pan and brush sweeping any concerns they may have had frantically under the carpet regarding all culpability of his extra-curricular monthly stipend... and they should remain assured at all times... as they dug deep and fished for their cheque books, and simply look upon it as kneading dough, which eerily enough was exactly the thick wedge of buttered granary that Jack had every intention of carving.

     Were there ever the slightest possibility that a day could be so utterly wretched, then today was that day, Jack felt a certain empathy as he merged with his surroundings... at one with nature as it were.  The rain, a timpani on the metal dustbin lids, by the side of which Beamish had taken up vigil, also taking up vigil and in search of a morsel was the stray mongrel, this was the third time now that he'd returned, the same apprehensive wag, yet still the same hopeful look of expectation in his eyes, a brief but friendly companion who paid more attention to Jack's left trouser leg than anything that could be had from nosing around the dustbins that day... some days you're the dog, scowled Beamish as he shook his trouser leg... and some days the lamppost, Jack's foot swung out playfully, keeping his new friend's incontinence at a safe distance, feigning indignance  the scruffy mongrel shook himself defiantly from nose to tail, a distinct odour of wet dog filled the air as an abundance of spent rainwater flew in all directions.   Pricking one ear he looked accusingly at Jack before turning and snuffled off, his nose resolutely to the pavement and diligently, picking out the few diluted scents still remaining, the poor little stalwart renewed its search for scraps, or making his way perhaps to some dry seclusion known only to itself.
  
     Two hours later and... SPLOSH, a puddle poured itself through the front door of the nearest Public House... SPLOSH, the puddle squelched over to the payphone... SPLOSH, then, fumbling for small change dialled and pressed button 'A'..., then button 'B'... then started all over again amid a flurry of precipitation... SPLASH.  The puddle floundered to the bar and ordered itself a drink, then ebbed back to the payphone again... the local taxi company doggedly refused to answer... finally, wallowing over to the window the puddle drifted up against a warm radiator amidst a cloud of humidity and came to rest... flotsam, cast upon the shore of contentment, the puddle sighed contentedly... the Landlady watched this anomaly... suspiciously.

     The puddle's finely tuned perception soon got to grips with the unhurried banter and muffled gossip drifting along the bar, having little else to loose, other than what could still be wrung from his clothing... Beamish, working on the principle that a little eavesdropping was his stock-in-trade engaged instinct into overdrive and casually rippled in their general direction...  They were clearly regulars by the way one of them belched in a well rehearsed, taken-a-back sort of way as Jack took stock of the situation and was now at some pains to ingratiate himself into their exclusive midst and attempt several friendly, yet relevant questions pertinent to his enquiries... all of which were skillfully deflected with more than friendly, yet totally irrelevant answers pertinent to theirs'... and would Jack care for a game of dominoes', they enquired... if so, would he be good enough to pay the refundable deposit, as by common consent it just so happened to be his turn...  Jack graciously declined this generous offer, as the obliging Landlady, just as graciously, cancelled the one shilling returnable deposit from the cash register, such was the flow of light conversation that evening... they didn't call him Lucky Jack for nothing... discouraged, Beamish turned back to the bar and reached for his glass... to which one of his recent companions, and yet again just as graciously, had taken the trouble to drink for him... the Landlady gave Jack a knowing look, Beamish returned the heartfelt sentiment and ordered one more pint.

     From the licenced premises opposite, a myriad of jostling customers plied through the door, business was picking up... the sudden influx of punters rapidly persuaded Beamish to retire from the bar and find a vacant table.  Sitting, he removed several discarded crisp packets from the centre of the table only to discover a freshly vacated ashtray below... by sleight of hand Jack's Ronson appeared... as he lit the cigarette the fragile smoke curled blue as it rose... influenced by subtle caprice, it joined others and formed a horizontal curtain dividing the room, a delicate, undulating layer held between two conflicting forces.

     The possibility of a free drink soon attracted the attention of a local bar fly, who, hovering in the near vicinity promptly landed in Jack's beer, Beamish declined this generous offer as being far too nutritious and with the corner of yesterdays beer mat, flipped the offending organism from the top of his glass, carefully inspecting his drink for debris as he did so.

     A sudden draught and clip of stiletto heels as the side door opened caused Beamish to turn as a double shadow slipped discreetly into the friendly Snug... a little adulterous intimacy on an otherwise cheerless evening.  The faceless man, concealed beneath a fedora and the upturned collar of his overcoat, the surreptitious lady friend, decked out in damp cony, cheap perfume and a surfeit of bling proclaimed a not too infrequent assignation, he'd seen it all before... the over attentive manner and the band of white, Sun-starved skin recently hidden behind a now absent wedding token, ordinarily it was the sort of assignment Jack didn't much care for... the discreet tail, the candid snapshot through half drawn curtains... and the all too familiar steak tartare... for the all too familiar black eye.

     To the untrained eye, the prospect of Jack's long anticipated supper was rapidly dwindling, when it suddenly focused with renewed vigour upon the contents of a pickled egg jar he'd observed earlier that evening, lurking on the back counter, his enthusiasm swiftly diminished however as the belching customer procured the final two specimens from the jar and proceeded to demolish them.  Who, Jack reflected, after being stood out in the rain all day, had egg all over his face now... and who, he reflected deeper, still had an empty stomach.  Disillusioned, Jack tipped back his glass and considered a further sortie with the taxicab company.

     "FIVE-BOB"!!! Jack screamed... you could have shredded the air with a cheese grater... hurtling into the kerb like a fairground attraction came flying past the chequered flag at a record breaking 99 in Jack's top 100 most not wanted list of things to do that day... and that the cabby should think himself fortunate they weren't both stretched flat on a marble slab, "exploding tyres" Jack spluttered, dribbling down his chin, were enough to give anyone a coronary... further broadsides of neurotic ambiance filled the cab as the driver, miffed at the prospect of missing snooker night out with the lads, considered charging extra for the additional space Jack's profanity was taking...

     And what part of 'Drive-Carefully', fumed Beamish, did the cabby simply not understand, that pavements were there to be bypassed, 'Nay Circumvented', preferably on the left... and not veered into, wildly on the front axle... an eerie premonition of 'jemais-vu' perched and ready to strike like a disembodied Jiminy Cricket on Jack's left shoulder, looking to stick its own two-penny worth in at the 'Standing-Room-Only' arrangements in the overcrowded cab... and at what further point, Jack shrieked, eyes leaping from his head as he lurched forward, shaking his fist through the sliding glass partition, had the cabbie failed to grasp the importance of the word 'Steering-Wheel...' someone wanted horse whipping, and as far as Beamish was concerned the sole contender was the cab driver...

     In having a somewhat sedate and unruffled disposition it had fallen to Beamish... as befalls all great leaders in times of adversity, to single handedly take the bull by the horns, so to speak and at great personal cost, alert the unwary passing motorist...  Waving his arms about like a man possessed whilst performing acrobatic evolutions in the centre of the road as the cabby changed the wheel came whizzing around the corner at a back breaking 98 on Jack's ever growing list... and why, Jack puzzled, why had they all lowered their side windows and gestured back at him in semaphore..?  Rallying to its aid, Jack's head and shoulders now joined his shaking fist through the sliding glass partition and into the cabby's face, "Who" Beamish screeched with renewed vigour ,"Who Was The Man", Jack wanted to know... *"a
Ma Cherie Sep 2016
Speaking of broken hearts
and mended fenced in mem'ries  
I am painting skies
of tangerine, saffron
& an illuminated lilac hue
against the starkly contrasted crisp cornflower blue, stretching canvas that is
along with all the
other blindingly beautiful colors of a twilight sky

And those dripping cotton candy stratospheric clouds
Ice crystals freezing into supercooled
water droplets
Streaking the sky in cirrus whispers
..I hear them whisper, "hello"...

Blinding beauty
through unadulterated sunlight
I am fleeced like a lamb
watching in awe,
..in wonder
then stomping sounds
of coming thunder,

Finding depth and height
out  in the stratosphere
Blinded by the
After Light
or afterglow
affected by the amount of haze
I'm in a daze
...as I am reaching

High above the fading light
of a brilliant early fall sunset
I take a big breath
of that sumptuous air
and twirl my skirted legs
my painted toes
where I know
I am back
to solid ground

Appreciating the last time
I say sleep well
to you  my dear
summertimes sweet mem'ries
and the fun we had this year.

Cherie Nolan © 2016
Wow....idk. Felt inspired.
Cweeta Cwumble May 2016
I followed my dear friends to the edge of a cliff
and was greeted by a peculiar thing.
There, standing on the edge of the earth
was a swing set waiting just for me.
Her thick black seat and strong metal arms
cradled me while together we flew
into the starry night canvas, sprawling
dark blue, except for a splatter of twinkling
firefly-speckles, from the cityscape
to the moon.

Each time she lifted me I felt closer
to the heavens. I raised my chin
and let the gentle kiss of raindrops
wash away my sins, cleansing
and revitalizing my body like a baptism.
I’ll never forget the smell of the rain
on the freshly-sprouted grass, with dew drops
made from the breath of my friends
hanging delicately in the sweet air
like glass beads strung on a wire
while the crisp wind carried me higher and higher
and the most brilliant masterpiece ever created
was painted across the entire night sky.
Claire Sep 2014
No I won't call it fall.
Crisp is the feeling.
Crisp is the taste.
Apples on the trees.
Wind through the air.
The leaves carry my soul.
Everlasting into the winters edge.
Hold me close my dear.
It's that crisp time of year.
D Conors Sep 2010
Crisp, the fallen leaves now pile,
the times are changing, Autumn-style,
breezes rake the tippy-tops of trees,
bare branches rattle like skeleton keys.
Subtle September has come once again,
tipping its hat to the Summer's end,
makes clear and crisp the evening air,
the harvest season now sidles near,
grass and weeds will wither dry,
scythes and sickles swing low and high,
gourds of pumpkins soon will burst in patches,
fat apples drop down cider-press hatches,
so soon those sugary coats of frost shall rise,
and sharp, chilly winds will sting teary eyes,
fruit pies will bake, brown nuts will roast,
glasses of wine shall arise in toasts,
to the approach of yet another Fall,
before the stark-white of Winter blankets all.
D. Conors
11 September 2010
ArianaRusso May 2014
Crisp air, crisp air

wistful  whisper
weeping writhe

Crisp air, crisp air

Pale eyes, dainty lips

Crisp air, crisp air

Thaw
amorous embrace

Flushed air, flushed air

wistful kiss, crimson lips

blossom, bloom
bloodless doom

Pleased ease from a faithful and analeptic ******

-Rouse, rise, awaken

just a delusion, dream;
Only musing

Fizzle
September Roses May 2018
Thick, warm, fuzzy air
Radiates against your skin, making you want to doze off
You sit on the front of a low red car that looks another era, leaning on the glossy hood.
I want to put your lips on mine
The world feels yellow, and orange.
It's as if clear smoke has filled the air
My eyes are dimmed through thick sunglasses, my body absorbing the warmth through jeans and a small black shirt
I'm in a lucid daze
Looking at you through a curtain of straight black hair, not bothered to move it from my face.
You're eyes the crisp refreshing blue in a world tinted amber
Like fresh water, so cooling as I gaze in them.
Like a spray of water on your back
After hours of sunbathing
We sit there
We say nothing
We take in the sun
   We don't need anything else
JJ Hutton Dec 2012
Spending the last day with Maegan Finn,*
who, turns out, prefers to be called Mae

11:35 p.m.

I burn the popcorn. Just the pieces against the bag's underbelly.
Like a nightclub bouncer, I decide which pieces to let inside
a white, ancient bowl. One, on which, a former roommate scrawled
"THIS MACHINE KILLS MUNCHIES" upon its side in red, permanent ink.
I never said the night would be

perfect. But when I walk into my bedroom carrying the snack fiasco,
I know Ms. Maegan Finn doesn't mind. Something between her vine-framed,
honey irises and my gaze, some mischievous energy, causes her to lower
her head. She allows a smile. She's sitting on my twin-sized bed. Her back to a pillow
to the

wall. An empty pillow beside her waits for me. With one hand she moves her hot chocolate
to the side, with the other she lifts my calico comforter for me to climb under. I never
said the night would be

perfect. But I know Ms. Maegan Finn doesn't mind. Because when I say, "I'm sorry. I didn't really plan for this," nervous laugh, "this is the worst final meal of all-time. You can leave if you want.
You don't have to go down with the ship."

She responds, "I don't mind," raises an eyebrow as she reads the bowl. Dismisses it. And grabs a handful of popcorn. On the television, a white-haired man with heavy jowls and tree bark wrinkles begins to talk.

...planet Earth will be recycled. The universe recycled.

"So, when does this guy think the world will end?" I ask.

"Midnight."

"Chris said two."

"Two p.m.? Like today? Like already past?"

"Yeah."

Maegan shakes her head,"Stupid *******."

11:40 p.m.

"So, if I hadn't botched dinner, what would you have chosen for your last meal?"

"Well, Joshy-poo, I'd have to say popcorn and hot chocolate."

"Seriously."

"It's salty. It's sweet. The temperatures compliment each other.
It shouldn't work, but it does. If the world wasn't ending,
I'd suggest you open a restaurant."

"C'mon. What would your last meal be?"

...with friends. Cling to your loved ones as the final minutes pass by.
The world becomes perfect. The calendar pages turn no...

"Do you remember Waffle Crisp?" she breaks gently.

"You've got to be kidding me."

"Hold on."

"Any meal on the planet. Anything! And you choose-"

"Waffle Crisp."

"Oh, that terrible commercial with the grannies in disguise."

"Grannies and all," staring at the reflective surface of the hot chocolate,
she begins talking in distant pieces like reading off a teleprompter,
"Waffle            Crisp            reminds

me           of           my

              dad."

"I see."

A commercial is on for ******. I never said the night would be

perfect.

...picking the right moment is easy with...

"Why do you think of your dad?"

Maegan releases a deep exhale/tension-laugh.

"I don't know. I mean, I

guess it's because every morning -- well, before my parents got divorced --
he'd come down the stairs, mess up my hair -- God, I'd get so mad --, and
he'd say,
'Mae, may the world learn from your perfection today.'
He'd kiss my forehead. I'd eat Waffle Crisp. I remember the smell -- the shapes."

11:51 p.m.

...less than ten minutes. Go outside with your families
look to the

heavens...

"How's the world supposed to end? Has he said?" Maegan asks.

With a finger raised, I finish chewing my popcorn.

"The planets are aligning right?"

"Yeah, I've heard that. I've heard the Mayans just
ended their calendars on the

date. But I don't know how either of those scenarios make the world end, though."

"Exploding sun?"

"Maybe an asteroid?"

"Could be," I say.

Ms. Maegan Finn rests her head on my shoulder. "You should ask another question."

"Um, okay."

...Security Systems. Are your children safe?

"I got one," I grab the remote and turn down the television. "What is something you haven't told

anyone? One secret that otherwise would die with you."

"I hate the name Maegan."

"Why?"

"It's a terrible name."

"Is not."

"It is too. First off, not only did my parents indulge the cruelty of switching the 'a' and 'e',

but

then they went ahead and gave me the most common girl's name on the planet.
I don't stand out until I say, 'Excuse me, you misspelled my name.' It's not funny.
Hell, even when I say that, their usual response is, 'No, I didn't misspell your name.'
Because they'd know."  Flustered, Maegan puts the white, ancient bowl of popcorn on the ground. "And get this away from me."

"What would you rather be called?"

"Mae. Just Mae. I always liked it."

"Alright, Ms. Mae."

...hoisted unto judgement. Some without absolution...

"What about you, Mr. Josh? What's your secret?"

I take a sip of hot chocolate. I look at the bare wall behind the television, and wish I had
decorated it, but I

never did. The paintings are even in my closet. They just need to be put up.

"I love you."

"What?"

"I love you, Mae."

Mae smiles wide. Puts her hand on my shoulder, "Your'e joking right?"

"Nope."

"That's a bold secret to tell," she laughs.

"Not the reaction I was expecting."

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry. It's just -- what happens tomorrow? When I have to see you again."

"I'm betting on the exploding sun."

"Or the asteroid."

"Or the asteroid."

11:59 p.m.

...a matter of seconds until we are cast like dice into the blackness of...

Mae takes my hot chocolate. Places the porcelain cups on the carpeted floor. With a "c'mere" she peels me off the pillow, off the wall. Moves the pillow to the head of the bed. She guides my body until I'm lying down. Straddling me, she leans down. Traces my shoulder blades, then softly latches on to them. She leans further.

...9, 8, 7...*

A kiss.

A long kiss. The weight transfers from my body into her, then is carried toward the ceiling by some mischievous energy. At the end of the world, Ms. Mae Finn kisses me. Kisses me despite popcorn. Despite hot chocolate. Despite love confessed too soon. Just when I never want that minute to end, it




ends.



12:00 a.m.
          
               But a new minute begins.

"That was perfect," Mae says.
S E L Oct 2013
brrrr...


snow-capped mountain
air so crisp
neat lines
nosetip gets sleety touch

warm inside
cosy in here
with memory-touches
of rain

so
here's a clear and crisp dispatch
abiding little dispute -

amidst the falling snow
on coldened hands
and needed fingertips
a brush of temperate smiles
all hid and bundled up
in ready bows
just for you

smile a while
you never know
when the sun may catch your dial
elaine Jul 2018
I.
brown eyes and soft lips; hushed words on cold nights, marijuana filled lungs, constant affection with loving arms always wrapped around my waist.
angst feelings overtake the love that had once moved into the heart of a broken soul, eyes seeking lust in another, loving the next who came by.

II.
pale skin with a caring smile, friendly eyes, living in the greater good, Marlboro pressed against her lips as the painful words begin to tug down her smile.
waves crashing against the rocky shoreline of her mind, fighting about whatever there is to, coming clean with the hurt that has overcome her soul. promising a better life calms the storm raging inside her hazel eyes.

III.
deep blue oceans trapped into the soft craters in her mind. dreadful for the loss of love that slowly destroyed her young mind. skipping school and upset parents.
restless nights, dark circles hiding under the spark in her beautiful eyes that once held her lovers captive. medication slowly slides down her throat as she is accompanied by pills and whiskey, slowly fading away from this pathetic world.

IV.
Smoke fills the midnight air as her petit face quietly enters the crisp cool night, daydreams filling her thoughts that pull her away into a better life.
heartbreak and ***** filled every friday night aching to be released into the adult world, free from all restrictions.

VI.
skin like hot chocolate that melted the cold inside others. laughter filling the room as we stepped in just me and you, never thinking of what was to become.
Hidden secrets became reviled as we said our goodbyes. silence washed over us and soon i took my last glance at the passing girl who once knew me. streetlights dimmed, showing teardrops dripping down as we thought about how it was.
Nick Durbin Nov 2012
Light rain washes the red from my soul,
I close my eyes to see the darkness -
My own personal escape from the world...
The crisp air trickling its way to my chapped lips,
Invading my mouth and crawling into my lungs,
A brief discovery -
I exhale,
S    L    O    W    L    Y  
Thoughts are relinquished almost instantaneously,
Quietly in my solitude; nothingness -
Extraneous Relief.
Josiah W Menzies Mar 2013
I am dying
From within. I don’t wish to,
But I think of this skin
That holds me

Back and I feel ill. I stare,
Glazed over, at all the happiness I have tried to
Capture in moments of grace,
And self contentment.

But this does not do me justice.
This hand does not do me justice.
It all falls short of feeling.

Now I write blankly, efficiently, capturing
What I feel because it is easy.

Do I long for you, or do I wish happiness
Would knock me dead?
Knock me down,
The earth upon my head.

I wait, I long, silently.
Suffering all, wishing nothing.
Nothing will come of nothing.
Or shall I become a sod
So as not to feel and rot,
But just rot, unaware.

I am dying, like a flower,
Whose time is limited.
But unlike a flower,
I see what’s coming.
Unlike the single, once crisp tulip
That hangs aside from the others still-fresh,
Falling from the boring vase
I see my fall
And contemplate it often.
And read poetry which seems both
To help and to hinder.
Like you, an enigma.

The feeling seeps through my nib
Through my heart, through my ribs
Gushing out onto a page, limited,
Tired but taking shape.

Hope leaves me, to be implanted
In a line
A seed,
Sewn. Waiting, longing, wishing quietly
To grow.

But not knowing that its time is limited.
Steve Jan 2018
Katie Crisp
Sweet will-o'-the-wisp
Blazing bright tonight
For my niece who was married this weekend
Emma Feb 2017
A small clearing surrounded by trees,
Everything is bright and vibrant.
A crisp breeze blowing,
Swaying the grass.

The ground is covered by rocks
Of various shapes, colors, and sizes.
Bladed grass and ivy-like plants
Growing in the cracks of the stones.

A small white butterfly fluttering about,
So full of beauty and life:
Like the sweet-smelling flowers,
So simple with a fragrance of purity.

A soft breeze blows rustling the leaves,
Seeming to shush the world.
All is still, obeying the command,
And all around is at peace.
Written June 2016
you asked me to come:it was raining a little,
and the spring;a clumsy brightness of air
wonderfully stumbled above the square,
little amorous-tadpole people wiggled

battered by stuttering pearl,
                                leaves jiggled
to the jigging fragrance of newness
—and then.  My crazy fingers liked your dress
….your kiss,your kiss was a distinct brittle

flower,and the flesh crisp set
my love-tooth on edge.  So until light
each having each we promised to forget—

wherefore is there nothing left to guess:
the cheap intelligent thighs,the electric trite
thighs;the hair stupidly priceless.
Elaina Dec 2013
I find myself standing alone in the barren valley. The wind is cold, it burns my nose. I feel it moving my hair. Shivers run though me. The smell it brings tells me that snow is not far off.

Looking in the distance, clouds cover the mountain. It's where I must go. A new home lies beyond the tall peaks. It's calling me. Why did it send it's message now?

It's hard to explain this pull it has over me. I must get there. It's where I belong. Where I am supposed to be. Moving forward I keep my focus. Determined to survive.
...........

It's warmer now. I feel the heat of the sun. The brightness of the day has replaced the gray of the dawn. Others are making themselves known.
..................

I see the tall grass move against the wind. Rabbit moves leaving a trail of dust. The shadow of a hawk passes to the left as it chases after it's intended meal.
...................

Soon I must eat. Looking around I see the dew covered tips of tender new shoots. Putting my head down I breathe in the scent of the earth, knowing that she will always provide.

Walking again I pleasure in the warmth of the sun.
...................

Looking up, the peaks are throwing their shadow over me. I begin the climb. Steady I go, feeling more and more sure of my path. The path that guides me home, and the path that guides my soul.

The higher I climb, the colder it gets. Patches of white snow appear. The clouds of my breath fade into the space in front of me. Onward I push, my goal is true, to reach the other side.
...................

The more I struggle, the more I want this, need this. Placing one foot in front of another I make my way.

To the right, I see not far off, a overhang. A place of shelter for the night. The daylight is gone and rest is calling. When the sun rises next, my journey will take me deeper into the mountain, nearer to my home.
....................

Late into the night, stars appear. Brilliant lights such as I have never seen. The air feels new, so cold and crisp. It tells me that new beginnings are here. I sleep knowing all is well.
.....................

The morning sun brings relief from the cold. As I travel onward, it's warmth on the snow provides water to quench my thirst.

The trees are gone now. The rugged mountainside holds little in it's rocky soil. Life is scarce. This only serves to increase my drive to get home. Soon, very soon, I will be there.
......................

The sun that brought warmth earlier has crossed over the peaks. Cold is settling in, but I can see the end of the rise. In a very short time I will be in sight of my new home.
.....................

My soul is singing. Far off in the distance, I look down on a flock of birds winging effortlessly through the air. Light from the late afternoon sun is dancing off the winding river, and a heard of Buffalo graze freely among the grasses.

At last, I step down from the mountain. The overwhelming drive that guided me, has lead me home. Everywhere I look, I see what brought me here. Tears form. I am more than blessed. I am... complete.
The original running title was 'Come back for more, or is this the end?: January 15, 13, 8, 5e, 1. December 31x2, 29, 14, 9, 8'.
raine miller Aug 2013
luminescent shards slice through the night sky,
proudly blazing the cacophony of freedom and nationalistic pride
their screams piercing the crisp night air,
already tinged with fingers of hickory smoke
and delicate strings of strawberries

exploding into being and
crumbling into dust
simultaneously,
the broken shards of stars
float and scatter across the indigo sky
like wind-swept leaves scuttling over puddles in fall
Caitlin Drew Nov 2012
You'll love her with all your skin, tongue and lungs.
The way that the air is just so much more crisp whenever she's in proximity to your hands.
It turns the scattered dust in the atmosphere into magnifying glasses
Aimed directly at her
Spotlighting everything you wish you could put into words but can't
Because she's just too ******* unbelievable
That even if you tried, you would offend yourself and the gods with how little it compares to
The love she makes you feel in reality.

You would do everything for her.
Hold her until your bones start to crack
So that she'll understand just what you mean
When you tell her that you'll never let her go.
But she still doesn't get it.
She'll never understand that when you tell her that you want nothing more
Than to let your dust be her dust, her words to be in your cheeks
Her nose to be your daughters nose
You mean that you want nothing more than to keep her forever.

But you never will.
Because you never stood a chance.
You thought that by giving your whole self over to her she would offer you the same respect.
That's not how this world works.
It never was.
These valiant efforts of yours are now dubbed selfish and inconsiderate by others
For not taking her feelings into account.
Because she doesn't know what true love is.
She never felt the need to have you near.
For her daughters smile to be your smile.
For your hands to cradle her head when she's sad.
To let you talk for hours without listening to a single ******* word you're saying,
Because she's lost in the sound of your voice.

Because she doesn't know how to accept anything she isn't willing to give.
LJ Chaplin Sep 2015
The heat,
The way it ripples from the steel handlebars
And burns my hands,
The way the clunking of the chain feels
As each pedal propels me forward
Beneath the sun.
The sky is blue,
The air is crisp and leaves pinpricks
On my skin,
Soothed by the tenderness
Of sun rays that fall like curtains
Upon the concrete.

It smells of rubber,
A lingering scent of nostalgia
That fills my lungs like tar
And fills my heart with youthful
Thoughts.
As the wrinkles emerge,
And the delicate cracks begin to show,
I realize that my bike
Is the last memento that
Resonates through my aging ways.

Let's take a final spin down the boulevard,
Before the sun goes down
And my bones ache once more.
ladies and gentlemen this little girl
with the good teeth and small important *******
(is it the Frolic or the Century whirl?
ones memory indignantly protests)
this little dancer with the tightened eyes
crisp ogling shoulders and the ripe quite too
large lips always clenched faintly,wishes you
with all her fragile might to not surmise
she dreamed one afternoon
                            ….or maybe read?

of time a when the beautiful most of her
(this here and This, do you get me?)
will maybe dance and maybe sing and be
absitively posolutely dead,
like Coney Island in winter
Hear me, Lord of the Stars!
For thee I have worshipped ever
With stains and sorrows and scars,
With joyful, joyful endeavour.
Hear me, O lily-white goat!
O crisp as a thicket of thorns,
With a collar of gold for Thy throat,
A scarlet bow for Thy horns!

Here, in the dusty air,
I build Thee a shrine of yew.
All green is the garland I wear,
But I feed it with blood for dew!
After the orange bars
That ribbed the green west dying
Are dead, O Lord of the Stars,
I come to Thee, come to Thee crying.

The ambrosial moon that arose
With ******* slow heaving in splendour
Drops wine from her infinite snows.
Ineffably, utterly, tender.
O moon! ambrosial moon!
Arise on my desert of sorrow
That the Magical eyes of me swoon
With lust of rain to-morrow!

Ages and ages ago
I stood on the bank of a river
Holy and Holy and holy, I know,
For ever and ever and ever!
A priest in the mystical shrine
I muttered a redeless rune,
Till the waters were redder than wine
In the blush of the harlot moon.

I and my brother priests
Worshipped a wonderful woman
With a body lithe as a beast's
Subtly, horribly human.
Deep in the pit of her eyes
I saw the image of death,
And I drew the water of sighs
From the well of her lullaby breath.

She sitteth veiled for ever
Brooding over the waste.
She hath stirred or spoken never.
She is fiercely, manly chaste!
What madness made me awake
From the silence of utmost eld
The grey cold slime of the snake
That her poisonous body held?

By night I ravished a maid
From her father's camp to the cave.
I bared the beautiful blade;
I dipped her thrice i' the wave;
I slit her throat as a lamb's,
That the fount of blood leapt high
With my clamorous dithyrambs
Like a stain on the shield of the sky.

With blood and censer and song
I rent the mysterious veil:
My eyes gaze long and long
On the deep of that blissful bale.
My cold grey kisses awake
From the silence of utmost eld
The grey cold slime of the snake
That her beautiful body held.

But --- God! I was not content
With the blasphemous secret of years;
The veil is hardly rent
While the eyes rain stones for tears.
So I clung to the lips and laughed
As the storms of death abated,
The storms of the grevious graft
By the swing of her soul unsated.

Wherefore reborn as I am
By a stream profane and foul
In the reign of a Tortured Lamb,
In the realm of a sexless Owl,
I am set apart from the rest
By meed of the mystic rune
That reads in peril and pest
The ambrosial moon --- the moon!

For under the tawny star
That shines in the Bull above
I can rein the riotous car
Of galloping, galloping Love;
And straight to the steady ray
Of the Lion-heart Lord I career,
Pointing my flaming way
With the spasm of night for a spear!

O moon! O secret sweet!
Chalcedony clouds of caresses
About the flame of our feet,
The night of our terrible tresses!
Is it a wonder, then,
If the people are mad with blindness,
And nothing is stranger to men
Than silence, and wisdom, and kindness?

Nay! let him fashion an arrow
Whose heart is sober and stout!
Let him pierce his God to the marrow!
Let the soul of his God flow out!
Whether a snake or a sun
In his horoscope Heaven hath cast,
It is nothing; every one
Shall win to the moon at last.

The mage hath wrought by his art
A billion shapes in the sun.
Look through to the heart of his heart,
And the many are shapes of one!
An end to the art of the mage,
And the cold grey blank of the prison!
An end to the adamant age!
The ambrosial moon is arisen.

I have bought a lily-white goat
For the price of a crown of thorns,
A collar of gold for its throat,
A scarlet bow for its horns.
I have bought a lark in the lift
For the price of a **** of sherry:
With these, and God for a gift,
It needs no wine to be merry!

I have bought for a wafer of bread
A garden of poppies and clover;
For a water bitter and dead
A foam of fire flowing over.
From the Lamb and his prison fare
And the owl's blind stupor, arise
Be ye wise, and strong, and fair,
And the nectar afloat in your eyes!

Arise, O ambrosial moon
By the strong immemorial spell,
By the subtle veridical rune
That is mighty in heaven and hell!
Drip thy mystical dews
On the tongues of the tender fauns
In the shade of initiate yews
Remote from the desert dawns!

Satyrs and Fauns, I call.
Bring your beauty to man!
I am the mate for ye all'
I am the passionate Pan.
Come, O come to the dance
Leaping with wonderful whips,
Life on the stroke of a glance,
Death in the stroke of the lips!

I am hidden beyond,
Shed in a secret sinew
Smitten through by the fond
Folly of wisdom in you!
Come, while the moon (the moon!)
Sheds her ambrosial splendour,
Reels in the redeless rune
Ineffably, utterly, tender!
Hark! the appealing cry
Of deadly hurt in the hollow: ---
Hyacinth! Hyacinth! Ay!
Smitten to death by Apollo.
Swift, O maiden moon,
Send thy ray-dews after;
Turn the dolorous tune
To soft ambiguous laughter!

Mourn, O Maenads, mourn!
Surely your comfort is over:
All we laugh at you lorn.
Ours are the poppies and clover!
O that mouth and eyes,
Mischevious, male, alluring!
O that twitch of the thighs
Dorian past enduring!

Where is wisdom now?
Where the sage and his doubt?
Surely the sweat of the brow
Hath driven the demon out.
Surely the scented sleep
That crowns the equal war
Is wiser than only to weep ---
To weep for evermore!

Now, at the crown of the year,
The decadent days of October,
I come to thee, God, without fear;
Pious, chaste, and sober.
I solemnly sacrifice
This first-fruit flower of wine
For a vehicle of thy vice
As I am Thine to be mine.

For five in the year gone by
I pray Thee give to me one;
A love stronger than I,
A moon to swallow the sun!
May he be like a lily-white goat
Crisp as a thicket of thorns,
With a collar of gold for his throat,
A scarlet bow for his horns!
The amateur poet May 2014
With skin of satin and heart of glass
The dancer watches the seasons pass
The crisp winter air has gone away
Leaving summer an empty stage

Her hair is long
Her body tired
For she has long awaited summers hour

The day is light, life leaps through the sky
Bringing forth flowers and bright butterflies

The nights are warm
A speckled sky
The orchestra plays, natures guide

She stands to dance
Her eyes are blue
But alas she has lost her dancing shoes

The moonlight dances in her eyes
Reflecting the light as she cries
Kason Durham Apr 2014
Blowing in the wind,
Smells of salt; a hazy mist,
Sands of time run through sands so fine,
Damp with the tide that crashed like a fist,
The sun on the horizon starts to fade.

Cold and crisp, we sift through the waves,
Capped ice; a foaming delight,
They fill the air with sounds so fair,
Our toes fall through the water like an anchor,
The light falls and the night reigns.

Fingers upon fingers, playing on their own,
We fall through the air; cutting the sky,
My back to the earth, yours to the moon,
Our gaze locks like lovers leading light between us,
The sounds of the world come alive.

A gentle caress against skin so soft,
A kindled embrace, rolling against sand so coarse,
Passions flair in the darkness, the night breathes heavy,
As the ocean kisses the sands, so too our lips,
Whispers and sighs cut through the crashing flood.
Dreamer Mar 2015
Bright, glowing rays slanting through naked branches.
Crisp air and moving masses of formed metal.
Kept beards, tattoos, rising wisps of coffee roast.
Sally A Bayan Mar 2016
Every death
I have felt, or known,
In silence, i mourn,
Within my breath...

No words come upfront
Just thoughts, preponderant...

I'd feel the freezing cold of an empty space
Feel the absence...clearly imagine a lost face
No smiles, spanning from cheek to cheek
Eyes, seek answers...
suddenly, I'm there by the shallow water of the creek
While some nearby creatures quietly chirp...and squeak
While I......... I could not even speak...

Living,
Is realizing...and accepting
At the right time, they turn brown, the weeds...and reeds,
But, under the water...waiting, growing...are their seeds
Brown ferns...are almost detached from a mossy concrete wall
With a strong current, and wind, they'd be carried...ready to fall

The driftwood lying by the shore...is always wet, but petrified
Brown fallen leaves, on the green grass...no more hold...crisp and dried,
The dead bark of a tree...in pieces...are crumbling...
Merging with the wet earth...in a process of fertilizing
Deep down under ....a fresh spark of life is starting.
All these, remind,
Life and death stand side by side,
That in the midst of death-
Something new is birthed...
When faced with death,
there is always someone's living breath
And, as long as the heart wills to beat
Then, life.....will still exist.

Hundreds, or a thousand times,  
We all have died
In the high and low of life's tides,
Physically,
Emotionally.

We remember
Those who have left
Those who have survived..are still around
We think of those who are next to leave,
Waiting for their chests' final heave

---And then, we think of ourselves---

Worry not of our own time
Make each of our remaining days
Be golden, beaming, and bright
With good deeds, and straight pathways

The earth is a moving circle
It makes a round.......as it spins
We try to live outwards....and then, within
Any way we live it...life is an endless cycle.


Sally



Copyright March 23, 2016
Rosalia Rosario A. Bayan
***A  HAPPY  EASTER TO EVERYONE!!! ***
the crisp morning air
embraces my skin
greeting each pore
with a welcome
to wake up
Written before my morning bike ride to work.
Danny Z Sep 2018
As Autumn approaches,
my mind drifts to the decaying leaves,
Halloween,
the cool, crisp breeze...
The communal understanding that eternal heaven comes only with
death—
that Summer must always go.
And that beloved Autumn must always usher in bitter Winter who lays the foundations
for an exalted Spring.
Oh hell...I hope for a long Autumn, I want to make it stay—
like a host who lectures his party guest for too long
so he won't look at his watch.
Oh how I need the frumpy sweaters and pumpkin heads on window sills!
Oh how I need the billowing steam from milky beige cocoa,
the misty light rain in the gray of the morning,
the high canopy of fleshy red flakes!
And echoes of children laughing as they eat candy on their way home from trick-or-treating—reminding me that life can be enjoyed
with sacred rituals and good company.
I need Autumn personified—
a cool-headed, crackling-fireplace-girl.
A quilt-maker, cloud-gazer, two-dogs-and-a-cat bookworm.
Someone comforting like oatmeal.
Someone surprising like the first day of school.
I need Autumn.
I need Autumn but it never seems to need me too.
Let's have an affair over thousands of miles.
I know you through the words you've written down,
Which tell me you are equal parts baffled and fascinated
By the billions of minds that make up this crazy, crazy world we live in.
I'm asking you to take off your work uniform slowly and deliberately
So I can see where you've tattooed all of those nights smoking *** and laughing on your chest.
And I promise not to be intimidated by the black spot next to your heart
Inked in fully with the names of every girl you've brought home
And used as a muse those weeknights you just wanted to love something.
I don't fear your short, crisp lines filled with inside jokes you're dying to share
With anyone who isn't you.
I don't fear a little bit of darkness or loneliness.
I only fear that I'll never be able to feel your breath on my neck as we sway back and forth
Cloaked in smoke laying on a bed of aluminum and grease-stained shirts.
Or I'll never be able to run my hand along your chest as your lungs fill up with the sweet smell of rain.
I don't know you, but I like to imagine that you're a cliche ocean of depth and passion
That wants to do right by anyone who will do right by him.
So let's do this, let's have a cross country love affair of the senses
And feel each other like we're just learning what it means to touch.
Laura Aug 2018
Minnehaha Park is hot in the summer
Even by the water
Who knew it would be so hot
Even down by the water?
But all of it is hot

And there are acorns everywhere
Scattered on the ground
Below our butts as we try to sit
And have a little picnic
On a brightly checkered blanket
Between two tall trees
That tower above us
And grant us shade
While pelting acorns down
Into our cheese and crackers

And fancy rosé wine
Whatever that means
I thought wine was wine
But I guess they have personalities
Like people
Like couples
Some things pair well together
Like my crisp pineapple and cheap ******' pizza
Or your stinky blue cheese and weird cookie-like *******
Like us

And the cheese sits on a green marble slab
Elegant as ****
Because that's just who you are
But that marble slab sits on top of a pizza box
Simple as ****
Because that's just who I am
And we pair well
On this hot *** summer day
While we drink rosé
And "I love you" is all we say
Because sometimes we don't have to say anything
We're okay without words
In the middle of a park
On a hot *** summer day
Poetry May 2015
The waves moving in and out like a goddess stroking the sand
The clouds rolling across the sky with ease
The bright sun warming us up for the cold water
The beach is my favorite place
Especially when the red and purple is painted across the sky like a visual lullaby
When the air turns crisp
When sky fades into darkness
And you can see the refection of stars shining off the gentle water ⭐
❇❇❇❇
Where I'd rather be
Jeff Raheb Aug 2014
Dal Lake

I float on Dal Lake
Suspended
between the thick soupy crisp air of soldiers
water lilies, Kashmiri bread
and the Muslim prayers
that penetrate the hardness of war
chanting Allah Bismallah
Floating Islam
Holy words drenching the air
Drenching the green cloth of Hindu soldiers
Sliding down the cool metal of a rifle
9 years of war
1,000 houseboats lie empty
in the Himalayan fog
Intricately carved furniture
Thick with dust
and the powder of blood and bullets

Himalayan silhouette etched black
against the song of lotus gatherers
Foggy voices like cloud of moon
Lotus lake
Gray of war and desperation
Children beg
1 rupee
1 rupee
1 rupee
Endless monologue
Parched like lotus shaped paddle
They throw flowers to me
endlessly
I throw them back
endlessly

Time passes slowly
like smoke on a lizard’s tail
trailing in the thick, rancid air
of burning meat and maple leaves
Like a shikara
moving over the glass of Kashmir

The sound of a dozen Bangees
floating over the water
Hollow, solemn and mournful
Echoing against the hardness
of the surrounding mountains
The circle of Himalayas
Like a womb
around the prayers of Pachin

In the middle of the lake
I hear the call to prayer
Azan Nemarz Suba
Azan Nemarz Pashin
Azan Nemarz Degar
Azan Nemarz Sham
Azan Nemarz Koftan
From dawn till dusk

Azan
4 mosques
4 singers
4 directions
staggered by a breath
like an imperfect echo

Azan slips into the pockets of island soldiers
Waters the impatience of soldiers on the shore
Steals into the vacant eyes of soldiers in the Mosque
They want to go home to their wives and children
They want to leave the place of prayer, which is not theirs
The place of prayer, which has seen death
The place where God was pushed out
In order to not see the killing
To **** what they don’t see
The place, which was no longer a refuge

Outside

Dal Lake turns to the color of red lentils
cooking in a dented metal ***
In the Shikara boat we eat dal and rice
and throw scraps into the silver water
where it washes up
onto the ***** boots of a soldier
I hear the dull gray click, click of his rifle
as it touches the ground

The prayers have ended
Amanda Sorna Nov 2012
Purple, blue, pink, and green,
Waves of color fill the room.
Crisp cold air, We hide
beneath the walls of blankets.
Words spoken twice,
Spastic moments.
Hilarious pictures pinned to boards,
giggles shatter late night silence.
Tanks with treasure spilling over,
Fish swimming back and forth.
Cereal, and sometimes milk,
Wait to be eaten.
Movie nights, and roommate dinners,
Granola hostages, and hidden peanut butter.
All these things define who we are,
Roommates.
PK Wakefield Jun 2010
mark the crisp mirth with wrinkled cheeks;

a day comes sun gilded

                                                              glowing golden,

a stroke of brilliant star tears
               playing lancing

d                                             a
                      ppl                           e                            



                               s


on the neatly

organized floor of a forest reposed

green


                               languor
Bouazizi’s heavy eyelids parted as the Muezzin recited the final call for the first Adhan of the day.

“As-salatu Khayrun Minan-nawm”
Prayer is better than sleep

Rising from the torment of another restless night, Bouazizi wiped the sleep from his droopy eyes as his feet touched the cold stone floor.

Throughout the frigid night, the devilish jinn did their work, eagerly jabbing away at Bouazizi with pointed sticks, tormenting his troubled conscience with the worry of his nagging indebtedness. All night the face of the man Bouazizi owed money to haunted him. Bouazizi could see the man’s greasy lips and brown teeth jawing away, inches from his face. He imagined chubby caffeine stained fingers reaching toward him to grab some dinars from Bouazizi’s money box.

Bouazizi turned all night like he was sleeping on a board of spikes. His prayers for a restful night again went unanswered. The pall of a blue fatigue would shadow Bouazizi for most of the day.

Bouazizi’s weariness was compounded by a gnawing hunger. By force of habit, he grudgingly opened the food cupboard with the foreknowledge that it was almost bare. Bouazizi’s premonition proved correct as he surveyed a meager handful of chickpeas, some eggs and a few sparse loaves. It was just enough to feed his dependant family; younger brothers and sisters, cousins and a terminally disabled uncle. That left nothing for Bouazizi but a quick jab to his empty gut. He would start this day without breakfast.

Bouazizi made a living as a street vendor. He hustles to survive. Bouazizi’s father died in a construction accident in Libya when he was three. Since the age of 10, Bouazizi had pushed a cart through the streets of Sidi Bouzid; selling fruit at the public market just a few blocks from the home that he has lived in for almost his entire life.

At 27 years of age, Bouazizi has wrestled the beast of deprivation since his birth. To date, he has bravely fought it to a standstill; but day after day the multi-headed hydra of life has snapped at him. He has squarely met the eyes of the beast with fortitude and resolve; but the sharp fangs of a hardscrabble life has sunken deep into Bouazizi’s spleen. The unjust rules of society are powerful claws that slash away at his flesh, bleeding him dry: while the spiked tendrils of poverty wrap Bouazizi’s neck, seeking to strangle him.

Bouazizi is a workingman hero; a skilled warrior in the fight for daily bread. He is accustomed to living a life of scarcity. His daily deliverance is the grace of another day of labor and the blessed wages of subsistence.

Though Allah has blessed this man with fortitude the acuteness of terminal want and the constant struggle to survive has its limits for any man; even for strong champions like Bouazizi.

This morning as Bouazizi washed he peered into a mirror, closely examining new wrinkles on his stubble strewn face. He fingered his deep black curls dashed with growing streaks of gray. He studied them through the gaze of heavy bloodshot eyes. He looked upward as if to implore Allah to salve the bruises of daily life.

Bouazizi braced himself with the splash of a cold water slap to his face. He wiped his cheeks clean with the tail of his shirt. He dipped his toothbrush into a box of baking powder and scoured an aching back molar in need of a root canal. Bouazizi should see a dentist but it is a luxury he cannot afford so he packed an aspirin on top of the infected tooth. The dissolving aspirin invaded his mouth coating his tongue with a bitter effervescence.

Bouazizi liked the taste and was grateful for the expectation of a dulled pain. He smiled into the mirror to check his chipped front tooth while pinching a cigarette **** from an ashtray. The roach had one hit left in it. He lit it with a long hard drag that consumed a good part of the filter. Bouazizi’s first smoke of the day was more filter then tobacco but it shocked his lungs into the coughing flow of another day.

Bouazizi put on his jacket, slipped into his knockoff NB sneakers and reached for a green apple on a nearby table. He took a big bite and began to chew away the pain of his toothache.

Bouazizi stepped into the street to catch the sun rising over the rooftops. He believed that seeing the sunrise was a good omen that augured well for that day’s business. A sunbeam braking over a far distant wall bathed Bouazizi in a golden light and illumined the alley where he parked his cart holding his remaining stock of week old apples. He lifted the handles and backed his cart out into the street being extra mindful of the cracks in the cobblestone road. Bouazizi sprained his ankle a week ago and it was still tender. Bouazizi had to be careful not to aggravate it with a careless step. Having successfully navigated his cart into the road, Bouazizi made a skillful U Turn and headed up the street limping toward the market.

A winter chill gripped Bouazizi prompting him to zip his jacket up to his neck. The zipper pinched his Adam’s Apple and a few droplets of blood stained his green corduroy jacket. Though it was cold, Bouazizi sensed that spring would arrive early this year triggering a replay of a recurring daydream. Bouazizi imagined himself behind the wheel of a new van on his way to the market. Fresh air and sunshine pouring through the open windows with the cargo space overflowing with fresh vegetables and fruits.

It was a lifelong ambition of Bouazizi to own a van. He dreamed of buying a six cylinder Dodge Caravan. It would be painted red and he would call it The Red Flame. The Red Flame would be fast and powerful and sport chrome spinners. The Red Flame would be filled with music from a Blaupunkt sound system with kick *** speakers. Power windows, air conditioning, leather seats, a moonroof and plenty of space in the back for his produce would complete Bouazizi’s ride.

The Red Flame would be the vehicle Bouazizi required to expand his business beyond the market square. Bouazizi would sell his produce out of the back of the van, moving from neighborhood to neighborhood. No longer would he have to wait for customers to come to his stand in the market. Bouazizi would go to his customers. Bouazizi and the Red Flame would be known in all the neighborhoods throughout the district. Bouazizi shook his head and smiled thinking about all the girls who would like to take rides in the Red Flame. Bouazizi and his Red Flame would be a sight to be noticed and a force to be reckoned with.

“EEEEEYOWWW” a Mercedes horn angrily honked; jarring Bouazizi from the reverie of his daydream. A guy whipping around the corner like a silver streak stuck his head out the window blasting with music yelling, “Hey Mnayek, watch where you push that *******.”

The music faded as the Mercedes roared away. “Barra nikk okhtek” Bouazizi yelled, raising his ******* in the direction of the vanished car. “The big guys in the fancy cars think the road belongs to them”, Bouazizi mumbled to himself.

The insult ****** Bouazizi off, but he was accustomed to them and as he limped along pushing his cart he distracted himself with the amusement of the ascending sun chasing the fleeting shadows of the night, sending them scurrying down narrow alleyways.

Bouazizi imaged himself a character from his favorite movie. He was a giant Transformer, chasing the black shadows of evil away from the city into the desert. After battling evil and conquering the bad guys, he would transform himself back into the regular Bouazizi; selling his produce to the people as he patrolled the highways of Tunisia in the Red Flame, the music blasting out the windows, the chrome spinners flashing in the sunlight. Bouazizi would remain vigilant, always ready to transform the Red Flame to fight the evil doers.

The bumps and potholes in the road jostled Bouazizi’s load of apples. A few fell out of the wooden baskets and were rolling around in the open spaces of the cart. Bouazizi didn’t want to risk bruising them. Damaged merchandise can’t be sold so he was careful to secure his goods and arrange his cart to appeal to women customers. He made sure to display his prized electronic scale in the corner of the cart for all to see.

Bouazizi had a reputation as a fair and generous dealer who always gave good value to his customers. Bouazizi was also known for his kindness. He would give apples to hungry children and families who could not pay. Bouazizi knew the pain of hunger and it brought him great satisfaction to be able to alleviate it in others.

As a man who valued fairness, Bouazizi was particularly proud of his electronic scale. Bouazizi was certain the new measuring device assured all customers that Bouazizi sold just and correct portions. The electronic scale was Bouazizi’s shining lamp. He trusted it. He hung it from the corner post of his cart like it was the beacon of a lighthouse guiding shoppers through the treachery of an unscrupulous market. It would attract all customers who valued fairness to the safe harbor of Bouazizi’s cart.

The electronic scale is Bouazizi’s assurance to his customers that the weights and measures of electronic calculation layed beyond any cloud of doubt. It is a fair, impartial and objective arbiter for any dispute.

Bouazizi believed that the fairness of his scale would distinguish his stand from other produce vendors. Though its purchase put Bouazizi into deep debt, the scale was a source of pride for Bouazizi who believed that it would help his profits to increase and help him to achieve his goal of buying the Red Flame.

As Bouazizi pushed his cart toward the market, he mulled his plan over in his mind for the millionth time. He wasn't great in math but he was able to calculate his financial situation with a degree of precision. His estimations triggered worries that his growing debt to money lenders may be difficult to payoff.

Indebtedness pressed down on Bouazizi’s chest like a mounting pile of stones. It was the source of an ever present fear coercing Bouazizi to live in a constant state of anxiety. His business needed to grow for Bouazizi to get a measure of relief and ultimately prosper from all his hard work. Bouazizi was driven by urgency.

The morning roil of the street was coming alive. Bouazizi quickened his step to secure a good location for his cart at the market. Car horns, the spewing diesel from clunking trucks, the flatulent roar of accelerating buses mixed with the laughs and shrieks of children heading to school composed the rising crescendo of the city square.

As he pushed through the market, Bouazizi inhaled the aromatic eddies of roasting coffee floating on the air. It was a pleasantry Bouazizi looked forward to each morning. The delicious wafts of coffee mingling with the crisp aroma of baking bread instigated a growl from Bouazizi’s empty stomach. He needed to get something to eat. After he got money from his first sale he would by a coffee and some fried dough.

Activity in the market was vigorous, punctuated by the usual arguments of petty territorial disputes between vendors. The disagreements were always amicably resolved, burned away in rising billows of roasting meats and vegetables, the exchange of cigarettes and the plumes of tobacco smoke rising as emanations of peace.

Bouazizi skillfully maneuvered his cart through the market commotion. He slid into his usual space between Aaban and Aameen. His good friend Aaban sold candles, incense, oils and sometimes his wife would make cakes to sell. Aameen was the markets most notorious jokester. He sold hardware and just about anything else he could get his hands on.

Aaban was already burning a few sticks of jasmine incense. It helped to attract customers. The aroma defined the immediate space with the pleasant bouquet of a spring garden. Bouazizi liked the smell and appreciated the increased traffic it brought to his apple cart.

“Hey Basboosa#, do you have any cigarettes?“, Aameen asked as he pulled out a lighter. Bouazizi shook the tip of a Kent from an almost empty pack. Aameen grabbed the cigarette with his lips.

“That's three cartons of Kents you owe me, you cheap *******.” Bouazizi answered half jokingly. Aameen mumbled a laugh through a grin tightly gripping the **** as he exhaled smoke from his nose like a fire breathing dragon. Bouazizi also took out a cigarette for himself.

“Aameem, give me a light”, Bouazizi asked.

Aameen tossed him the lighter.

“Keep it Basboosa. I got others.” Aameen smiled as he showed off a newly opened box of disposable lighters to sell on his stand.

“Made in China, Basboosa. They make everything cheap and colorful. I can make some money with these.”

Bouazizi lit his next to last cigarette. He inhaled deeply. The smoke chased away the cool air in Bouazizi’s lungs with a shot of a hot nicotine rush.

“Merci Aameen” Bouazizi answered. He put the lighter into the almost empty cigarette pack and put it into his hip pocket. The lighter would protect his last cigarette from being crushed.

The laughter and shouts of the bazaar, the harangue of radio voices shouting anxious verses of Imam’s exhorting the masses to submit and the piecing ramble of nondescript AM music flinging piercing unintelligible static surrounded Bouazizi and his cart as he waited for his first customers of the day.

Bouazizi sensed a nervous commotion rise along the line of vendors. A crowd of tourists and locals milling about parted as if to avoid a slithering asp making its way through their midst. The hoots of vendors and the cackle of the crowd made its way to Bouazizi’s knowing ear. He knew what was coming. It was nothing more then another shakedown by city officials acting as bagmen for petty municipal bureaucrats. They claim to be checking vendor licences but they’re just making the rounds collecting protection money from the vendors. Pocketing bribes and payoffs is the municipal authorities idea of good government. They are skilled at using the power of their office to extort tribute from the working poor.

Bouazizi made the mistake of making eye contact with Madame Hamdi. As the municipal authority in charge of vendors and taxis Madame Hamdi held sway over the lives of the street vendors. She relished the power she had over the men who make a meager living selling goods in the square; and this morning she was moving through the market like a bloodhound hot on the trail of an escaped convict. Two burly henchmen lead the way before her. Bouazizi knew Madame Hamdi’s hounds were coming for him.

Bouazizi knew he was ******. Having just made a payment to his money lender, Bouazizi had no extra dinars to grease the palm of Madame Hamdi. He grabbed the handle bars of his cart to make an escape; but Madame Hamdi cut him off and got right into into Bouazizi’s face.

“Ah little Basboosa where are you going? she asked with the tone of playful contempt.

“I suppose you still have no license to sell, ah Basboosa?” Madame Hamdi questioned with the air of a soulless inquisitor.

“You know Madame Hamdi, cart vendors do not need a license.” Bouazizi feebly protested, not daring to look into her eyes.

“Basboosa, you know we can overlook your violations with a small fine for your laxity” a dismissive Madame Hamdi offered.

Bouazizi’s sense of guilt would not permit him to lift his eyes. His head remained bowed. Bouazizi stood convicted of being one of the impoverished.

“I have no spare dinars to offer Madame Hamdi, My pockets are empty, full of holes. My money falls into everyone’s palm but my own. I’m sorry Madame Hamdi. I’ll take my cart home”. He lifted the handlebars in an attempt to escape. One of Madame Hamdi’s henchmen stepped in front of his cart while the other pushed Bouazizi away from it.

“Either you pay me a vendor tax for a license or I will confiscate your goods Basboosa”, Madame Hamdi warned as she lifted Bouazizi’s scale off its hook.

“This will be the first to go”, she said grinning as she examined the scale. “We’ll just keep this.”
Like a mother lion protecting a defenseless cub from the snapping jaws of a pack of ravenous hyenas, Bouazizi lunged to retrieve his prized scale from the clutches of Madame Hamdi. Reaching for it, he touched the scale with his fingertips just as Madame Hamdi delivered a vicious slap to Bouazizi’s cheek. It halted him like a thunderbolt from Zeus.

A henchman overturned Bouazizi’s cart, scatter
Three years ago today Muhammad Bouazizi set himself on fire igniting the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia sparking the Arab Spring Uprisings of 2011.

— The End —