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Kathryn Rose Mar 2018
Don't you dare speak those words.

You know exactly what they will do,
to you,
and to him.

There will be no more
you and him.

Like the peach blossoms
broken from the delicate, young branches,
the verbal hail storm,
the weight of the ice,
will knock him to the frozen ground.

Raw,
Unsure how much affection he can return,
of how his own whirling thoughts fit with yours.
Your tale, far from fairy, will end.

Your open heart will shrivel,
like the salty sardines you left on the wooden picnic table
in the burning sun.

You will regret your thoughts and
you will regret your feelings,
but know, sadly, there was nothing left to do,
but leave too soon.
adi Apr 13
They say be scared of funerals
Because the wooden box traps beasts.
I say what is one funeral compared to the whole
Graveyard in my heart in which I so carefully lowered my memories,
Packed them like sardines, their skeletons grinding bones to dust,
Crunching sounds you can only hear
If you get close enough to smell the decay.
Lazhar Bouazzi Jul 2016
I
A hungry black-backed gull,
ready for the ****,
circled over a school of sardines.
II
Beyond the black-backed gull,
an old boat stood still,
waiting for a place in the harbor.
III
At the top of the hill –
in the back -
rose a lighthouse and a mosque
Who,
through their small windows
Gazed at the aquatic scene.

(c) LazharBouazzi
Jim Davis Nov 2018
Our eyes filled with wonder
Our minds twisted in change
Much like hobbits going afar
Then returning to sweet home
Our lives were changed forever

We rode slow and flew so fast
In tin cans from here and to there
Never taking off our shoes
Hardly touching the ground
Hardly touching Africa

Hiding behind camera lens
Wearing our face in masks
As a people not African black
Who worry not the future
Living easily in time’s moment

Like sardines aligned in tight
Wild creatures within confines
Electricity, steel, and wire
Tall fences stopping escape
To other worlds and realms afar

Except the leopards of night
Who easily roam across
All defined or artificial borders
Escaping cramped tin cans
Basking in Africa’s buttery light

Except for our African guide
With Christian name of Dexter
But named actually as
Tichayambuka Nekutenda
Nenyasha Chikerema

More comfortable sleeping in
Deep bush amongst beasts
Without down comforters,
perfumes, socks, or shoes
Living life in happy quiet freedom

A man raised speaking Bantu
in a small Shona tribe
Born in the Zimababwan village
Of Mutekedza in Mashonaland
East in the Chivhu Area.

From his father’s family
Given a totem of Zebra Brown
Then recited in love poem daily
by his proud mother
To affirm him as a man

Although he must also
be like the leopard
Unconfined in simple borders
Or tin can walls all around
Able to traverse the world

We as tourists were and are
Salty, smelly, near rotten sardines
I see him smile
And I laugh, and I know
Ndino ziva anorarama se  mbada


©  2017 Jim Davis
Notes:  The last line in Shona language means “I know he lives as a Leopard”
Jun 2014
Title

Mr. Ketchup was ready and waiting for the first tram to run to the Burgh Street airport. It had been years of utter chaos with all the road works and the endless track being laid on every road in Butterworth town.
  ‘About time too - my feet are killing me’ said Ketchup.
  ‘Yes,' answered a bleary eyed Haggis.
  ‘Oh I do wish that these people would stop shoveling’ snapped Ketchup.
  ‘Be patient otherwise we’ll all land up on the floor’ said Haggis.
  ‘It’s hardly surprising, look at everyone all packed in like sardines.’ groaned Ketchup.
  ‘Oh Mr Ketchup why do you have to complain about the least wee thing? Torn-face Tomato frowned.

The tram took ages before reaching the first station, and poor old Ketchup was desperate for a cold drink. He certainly looked annoyed in fact he seemed like he'd pass out at any second. No one could get moving and soon it would be time for the journey to end. But oh dear Mr. Ketchup felt dizzy and stars were floating in front of his eyes. Slowly he lost his balance and landed on the next lot of passengers, knocking them to the floor. Haggis looked like he’d seen a ghost. Well as you can imagine it wasn't a good experience for Mr Ketchup and his friends. The conductor stopped the tram while the other passengers got off in disgust making complaints to the conductor.
Mr Ketchup slowly came around while Haggis returned with a glass of cold water.
   ‘Eek ...what happened, my head feels a bit funny moaned Ketchup.
Neaps and Haggis hardly had time to explain when the ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital. Mr. Ketchup made a big fuss about lying on the stretcher but Haggis insisted on it. He lay wincing all the way to the hospital because of all the bumpy roads. They shouldn't have spent all of that money on the trams - it was shocking. It would have been far better to fix all these holes in the road he thought to himself.

After a long day Mr Ketchup climbed into bed and fell fast asleep. The very next morning the incident appeared in the local newspaper. The transport department were blamed for overcrowding the tram. The council were looking into the health and safety rules. Due to the very serious injuries that poor old Ketchup had suffered, he would be in line for a huge pay out or so he thought.
It wasn't until the first hearing in the court that he realised it would only be a pittance.
   Well I might have known it was too good to be true. He thought If they think that they can fob me off with sweets then they have got another coming. He smirked.      
  ‘What do you have in mind Haggis?’ he said looking worried."
  ‘Just you wait and see’ said Ketchup grinning.

The very next day Ketchup got up early and he had written half a dozen letters to very important people. One too the prime-minster to start with.
Within a matter of a week he received the letter that he longed for, inviting Ketchup to the prime-minister’s office. Mr Ketchup couldn't find his best suit, ‘Oh bother he thought the only one I do have has shrunk at the legs. It looks like my cat has died in them.’ he wailed.
  ‘Oh just look at you’ laughed Neaps and Haggis.
  ‘Why are you laughing at me?’ frowned Ketchup."
  ‘You're going dressed like a *****’ he roared with laughter.
  ‘You do look rather strange Neaps’ he said and looking away trying not to laugh again.
  ‘Well I suppose so if you say so’ he nodded.
  ‘Look why don't you all come down to mine, and I’ll sort you out smiled Torn-Faced Tomato.

Mr Ketchup couldn't believe what he was hearing, had Torn-face turned over a new leaf or maybe she had a soft spot after all. Half an hour later Ketchup looked fit to see the queen, neatly dressed in a tweed jacket with matching trousers and a white shirt with a green tie. He looked ever so smart. Ketchup whistled but oh dear he never noticed the cat tail and went flying, landing right in the cats dinner.  
Oh dear it looks like Mr Ketchup won't be going anywhere for the time being.....
What do you think?
M-E May 14
The sun radiating, melting
in a dark-blue teapot

Tides stirring, mixing
Magical yellow
in fabulous red
colors glowing as a peacock
In the sea

Pondering how beautiful
who created this
Beauty

cannon booms

Time to break the fast
As waves breaking and
Crashing on the rocky shore
Creating a natural, soothing
Symphony

Under
City lights coastline
And the dim blue skyline
And on candle lights
We dedicated the fast to God
And we broke the fast
with some refreshing dates
and replenishing water

Shared some hard-boiled eggs,
Stripes of fried pepper, an eggplant
And sardines
with two cats, ants
And the crescent moon
And we drank some hot tea
And "orange" juice

The waves crashes and
breaks on the rocks
Ants whispering,
so is grains of sand
Speaking languages
Which we can't comprehend
All creatures praising The Almighty
Hear it on SoundCloud:

https://m.soundcloud.com/user-697131084/spiritual-nights-day-07-an
Nigdaw Sep 11
A Jet
In a clear blue sky
Leaving a faint vapour trail
Pure white across azure

Perfect summer day
People shopping, driving
Leaving the house with claims
Of “Be back soon”
Not knowing they’d never be fulfilled

A crowd, in anticipation
Packed like sardines
Around an arena, waiting to be awed
Wowed by the spectacle of flight
One man among the clouds
Mocking their gravitational prison

But today, worlds collide
Are destroyed
Man finds that fragile flight
Ends on a road at traffic lights
Not the spectacle expected
But no less dramatic, a ball of flame

The crowd take pictures for the press
Hoping for a mention on the news
And update facebook status
Under a sky of clear blue
I witnessed the crash at Shoreham Air Show on 22 August 2015.
I. on the street

a white rocking chair for two
sullied and weary
like the silver of old heads
to pacify the cries of the baby
a rusted bike
pale pink with plastic blue fish on the wheels
the serenity of girlhood and the abandonment of its ways
to secure the freedom i was forbidden as i grew older
a small wooden cabinet
to hold the piece of land we don’t stand on anymore
the one we left behind like citrus rinds
whose winds and rains do not touch our necks or arms

II. at the marketplace

red tomatoes
earth’s rubies
memories of the new world
canned sardines from abroad
and the water they once swam in,
once fed the tomatoes
the world ocean is a moody mother
but she cradles us in her atlantic arms
even if sometimes she is freezing and her teats are bitter
banana leaves, cloves, chocolate
purple corn, white corn, potatoes— all guests of honor to our feasts
one candle of jesús and maría
a dollar each
the fruits of our brothers’ and sisters’ toil
what keeps us living and bleeding

III. in each home we lived

those invisible things that cannot be touched
ghosts
one time, a demon with a large head
sanctuary from the outside that does not touch us because we are among the fortunate
the foundations of that all american house that did not belong to us
not the hammers or the nails or the beams
not the furnishings or carpets or walls
in our first apartment, two mattresses
four stuffed animals,
the beginning of nurture
where at six years old i wanted to die and be born again
Ira Desmond Dec 2018
Last night,
I dreamt that the friend of a friend had died.

His body floated lifeless on the surface of the Pacific,
tossed about between the Bering Sea whitecaps

like an orca’s seal-pup plaything
while the Arctic wind whipped

and beat the freezing cold water
across his pallid face and through his chestnut hair.

Then his body
began to sink,

its silhouette appearing
against various monotone

canvases of blue
on its trip downward:

a vivid cornflower,
a pelagic cerulean,

a chasm of cold cobalt,
a starless twilight,

a forest of indigo,
a velvet curtain of navy.

Finally,
as it reached the deepest possible shade of midnight—

only a quantum away from black—
it stopped sinking.

There, in that void,
where daylight and color are considered but outlandish theories,

strange fish of all and shapes and sizes
began to surround the decomposing corpse:

Greenland sharks hailing from the frozen arctic,
mantis shrimp from the mangrove labyrinths,

eyeless electric eels from undersea caves near the Galápagos,
vampire squid rising cautiously up out of their World War One trenches,

scores of spindly ***** and pale worms that had ventured far beyond
the safe familiarity of their alien geothermal worlds.

At first, they approached the corpse gingerly,
nibbling only the tips of its hair and fingernails,

and then suddenly, voraciously,
they consumed it—until not even a skeleton remained.

Now, only a single point of light was left
there floating in the void.

And from this single point of light,
where just a moment before the corpse had floated,

a brilliant white lattice structure emerged,
unfurling as would a fern across a forest floor.

It fanned out onto the seabed
and then swept upward, upward

back toward those reaches of sea
where color is known

and fresh air gleefully permeates
that foamy outer membrane that skirts the base of the sky.

Scores of familiar fish began to lift up the crystalline structure—
schools of shimmering sardines,

stately, dignified manta rays,
skipjacks, bluefins, and white-tips,

brilliant cuttlefish, humble pufferfish,
shifty barracuda, gargantuan whale sharks,

all of them
beating their tails in concert

to carry this lattice away,
this measure of a life,

this husk of a soul
at last freed from its earthly bindings.

The fish were carrying it somewhere deeper,
somewhere darker,

to a place that I understood—
even from the inky depths

of my dreaming mind—
that I could not enter.

But then again,
I knew that someday

I would.
Mr Ketchups first trip on a tram
A Story by ROSALIND






Jun 2014

Title



Mr. Ketchup was ready and waiting for the first tram to run to the Burgh Street airport. It had been years of utter chaos with all the road works and the endless track being laid on every road in Butterworth town.
  ‘About time too - my feet are killing me’ said Ketchup.
  ‘Yes,' answered a bleary eyed Haggis.
  ‘Oh I do wish that these people would stop shoveling’ snapped Ketchup.
  ‘Be patient otherwise we’ll all land up on the floor’ said Haggis.
  ‘It’s hardly surprising, look at everyone all packed in like sardines.’ groaned Ketchup.
  ‘Oh Mr Ketchup why do you have to complain about the least wee thing? Torn-face Tomato frowned.



The tram took ages before reaching the first station, and poor old Ketchup was desperate for a cold drink. He certainly looked annoyed in fact he seemed like he'd pass out at any second. No one could get moving and soon it would be time for the journey to end. But oh dear Mr. Ketchup felt dizzy and stars were floating in front of his eyes. Slowly he lost his balance and landed on the next lot of passengers, knocking them to the floor. Haggis looked like he’d seen a ghost. Well as you can imagine it wasn't a good experience for Mr Ketchup and his friends. The conductor stopped the tram while the other passengers got off in disgust making complaints to the conductor.
Mr Ketchup slowly came around while Haggis returned with a glass of cold water.
   ‘Eek ...what happened, my head feels a bit funny moaned Ketchup.
Neaps and Haggis hardly had time to explain when the ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital. Mr. Ketchup made a big fuss about lying on the stretcher but Haggis insisted on it. He lay wincing all the way to the hospital because of all the bumpy roads. They shouldn't have spent all of that money on the trams - it was shocking. It would have been far better to fix all these holes in the road he thought to himself.

After a long day Mr Ketchup climbed into bed and fell fast asleep. The very next morning the incident appeared in the local newspaper. The transport department were blamed for overcrowding the tram. The council were looking into the health and safety rules. Due to the very serious injuries that poor old Ketchup had suffered, he would be in line for a huge pay out or so he thought.
It wasn't until the first hearing in the court that he realised it would only be a pittance.

   Well I might have known it was too good to be true. He thought If they think that they can fob me off with sweets then they have got another coming. He smirked.      

  ‘What do you have in mind Haggis?’ he said looking worried."
  ‘Just you wait and see’ said Ketchup grinning.



The very next day Ketchup got up early and he had written half a dozen letters to very important people. One too the prime-minster to start with.
Within a matter of a week he received the letter that he longed for, inviting Ketchup to the prime-minister’s office. Mr Ketchup couldn't find his best suit, ‘Oh bother he thought the only one I do have has shrunk at the legs. It looks like my cat has died in them.’ he wailed.
  ‘Oh just look at you’ laughed Neaps and Haggis.
  ‘Why are you laughing at me?’ frowned Ketchup."
  ‘You're going dressed like a *****’ he roared with laughter.
  ‘You do look rather strange Neaps’ he said and looking away trying not to laugh again.
  ‘Well I suppose so if you say so’ he nodded.
  ‘Look why don't you all come down to mine, and I’ll sort you out smiled Torn-Faced Tomato.



Mr Ketchup couldn't believe what he was hearing, had Torn-face turned over a new leaf or maybe she had a soft spot after all. Half an hour later Ketchup looked fit to see the queen, neatly dressed in a tweed jacket with matching trousers and a white shirt with a green tie. He looked ever so smart. Ketchup whistled but oh dear he never noticed the cat tail and went flying, landing right in the cats dinner.  

Oh dear it looks like Mr Ketchup won't be going anywhere for the time being.....
What do you think?




Jun 2014

Title



Mr. Ketchup was ready and waiting for the first tram to run to the Burgh Street airport. It had been years of utter chaos with all the road works and the endless track being laid on every road in Butterworth town.
  ‘About time too - my feet are killing me’ said Ketchup.
  ‘Yes,' answered a bleary eyed Haggis.
  ‘Oh I do wish that these people would stop shoveling’ snapped Ketchup.
  ‘Be patient otherwise we’ll all land up on the floor’ said Haggis.
  ‘It’s hardly surprising, look at everyone all packed in like sardines.’ groaned Ketchup.
  ‘Oh Mr Ketchup why do you have to complain about the least wee thing? Torn-face Tomato frowned.



The tram took ages before reaching the first station, and poor old Ketchup was desperate for a cold drink. He certainly looked annoyed in fact he seemed like he'd pass out at any second. No one could get moving and soon it would be time for the journey to end. But oh dear Mr. Ketchup felt dizzy and stars were floating in front of his eyes. Slowly he lost his balance and landed on the next lot of passengers, knocking them to the floor. Haggis looked like he’d seen a ghost. Well as you can imagine it wasn't a good experience for Mr Ketchup and his friends. The conductor stopped the tram while the other passengers got off in disgust making complaints to the conductor.
Mr Ketchup slowly came around while Haggis returned with a glass of cold water.
   ‘Eek ...what happened, my head feels a bit funny moaned Ketchup.
Neaps and Haggis hardly had time to explain when the ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital. Mr. Ketchup made a big fuss about lying on the stretcher but Haggis insisted on it. He lay wincing all the way to the hospital because of all the bumpy roads. They shouldn't have spent all of that money on the trams - it was shocking. It would have been far better to fix all these holes in the road he thought to himself.

After a long day Mr Ketchup climbed into bed and fell fast asleep. The very next morning the incident appeared in the local newspaper. The transport department were blamed for overcrowding the tram. The council were looking into the health and safety rules. Due to the very serious injuries that poor old Ketchup had suffered, he would be in line for a huge pay out or so he thought.
It wasn't until the first hearing in the court that he realised it would only be a pittance.

   Well I might have known it was too good to be true. He thought If they think that they can fob me off with sweets then they have got another coming. He smirked.      

  ‘What do you have in mind Haggis?’ he said looking worried."
  ‘Just you wait and see’ said Ketchup grinning.



The very next day Ketchup got up early and he had written half a dozen letters to very important people. One too the prime-minster to start with.
Within a matter of a week he received the letter that he longed for, inviting Ketchup to the prime-minister’s office. Mr Ketchup couldn't find his best suit, ‘Oh bother he thought the only one I do have has shrunk at the legs. It looks like my cat has died in them.’ he wailed.
  ‘Oh just look at you’ laughed Neaps and Haggis.
  ‘Why are you laughing at me?’ frowned Ketchup."
  ‘You're going dressed like a *****’ he roared with laughter.
  ‘You do look rather strange Neaps’ he said and looking away trying not to laugh again.
  ‘Well I suppose so if you say so’ he nodded.
  ‘Look why don't you all come down to mine, and I’ll sort you out smiled Torn-Faced Tomato.



Mr Ketchup couldn't believe what he was hearing, had Torn-face turned over a new leaf or maybe she had a soft spot after all. Half an hour later Ketchup looked fit to see the queen, neatly dressed in a tweed jacket with matching trousers and a white shirt with a green tie. He looked ever so smart. Ketchup whistled but oh dear he never noticed the cat tail and went flying, landing right in the cats dinner.  

Oh dear it looks like Mr Ketchup won't be going anywhere for the time being.....
What do you think?





Jun 2014

Title



Mr. Ketchup was ready and waiting for the first tram to run to the Burgh Street airport. It had been years of utter chaos with all the road works and the endless track being laid on every road in Butterworth town.
  ‘About time too - my feet are killing me’ said Ketchup.
  ‘Yes,' answered a bleary eyed Haggis.
  ‘Oh I do wish that these people would stop shoveling’ snapped Ketchup.
  ‘Be patient otherwise we’ll all land up on the floor’ said Haggis.
  ‘It’s hardly surprising, look at everyone all packed in like sardines.’ groaned Ketchup.
  ‘Oh Mr Ketchup why do you have to complain about the least wee thing? Torn-face Tomato frowned.



The tram took ages before reaching the first station, and poor old Ketchup was desperate for a cold drink. He certainly looked annoyed in fact he seemed like he'd pass out at any second. No one could get moving and soon it would be time for the journey to end. But oh dear Mr. Ketchup felt dizzy and stars were floating in front of his eyes. Slowly he lost his balance and landed on the next lot of passengers, knocking them to the floor. Haggis looked like he’d seen a ghost. Well as you can imagine it wasn't a good experience for Mr Ketchup and his friends. The conductor stopped the tram while the other passengers got off in disgust making complaints to the conductor.
Mr Ketchup slowly came around while Haggis returned with a glass of cold water.
   ‘Eek ...what happened, my head feels a bit funny moaned Ketchup.
Neaps and Haggis hardly had time to explain when the ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital. Mr. Ketchup made a big fuss about lying on the stretcher but Haggis insisted on it. He lay wincing all the way to the hospital because of all the bumpy roads. They shouldn't have spent all of that money on the trams - it was shocking. It would have been far better to fix all these holes in the road he thought to himself.

After a long day Mr Ketchup climbed into bed and fell fast asleep. The very next morning the incident appeared in the local newspaper. The transport department were blamed for overcrowding the tram. The council were looking into the health and safety rules. Due to the very serious injuries that poor old Ketchup had suffered, he would be in line for a huge pay out or so he thought.
It wasn't until the first hearing in the court that he realised it would only be a pittance.

   Well I might have known it was too good to be true. He thought If they think that they can fob me off with sweets then they have got another coming. He smirked.      

  ‘What do you have in mind Haggis?’ he said looking worried."
  ‘Just you wait and see’ said Ketchup grinning.



The very next day Ketchup got up early and he had written half a dozen letters to very important people. One too the prime-minster to start with.
Within a matter of a week he received the letter that he longed for, inviting Ketchup to the prime-minister’s office. Mr Ketchup couldn't find his best suit, ‘Oh bother he thought the only one I do have has shrunk at the legs. It looks like my cat has died in them.’ he wailed.
  ‘Oh just look at you’ laughed Neaps and Haggis.
  ‘Why are you laughing at me?’ frowned Ketchup."
  ‘You're going dressed like a *****’ he roared with laughter.
  ‘You do look rather strange Neaps’ he said and looking away trying not to laugh again.
  ‘Well I suppose so if you say so’ he nodded.
  ‘Look why don't you all come down to mine, and I’ll sort you out smiled Torn-Faced Tomato.



Mr Ketchup couldn't believe what he was hearing, had Torn-face turned over a new leaf or maybe she had a soft spot after all. Half an hour later Ketchup looked fit to see the queen, neatly dressed in a tweed jacket with matching trousers and a white shirt with a green tie. He looked ever so smart. Ketchup whistled but oh dear he never noticed the cat tail and went flying, landing right in the cats dinner.  

Oh dear it looks like Mr Ketchup won't be going anywhere for the time being..
What do you think?
F. Murray Abraham on Rye.
Sardines in Sardinia
with Stone Soup -
And Unrequited Stuff.
Like an Aperitif.

As Foolhardy as Love.

As Deep
as a Batch
Of In-Between.
with all
the Awkward
Silences.

II

We float where we float.
Our dazzling Oblivions
like a riot of tinsel
in the heat
of all Desire.

Like a Blind Kite

On an Island
that will eat a Dolphin
because “ Why Not? “

All Things being equal…
Why stop?

It’s Tokyo.
Ben Tol Dec 2018
Unintentionally the last man to be noticed,
"Who's next?" Everyone in the place is,
No customer relations.

Glut of purple cider drinkers,
Crammed in like sardines,
A ghost town after the final bell rings.

No entry without your adult pass,
Gardens with no grass,
That's if your lucky.

Otherwise, its street smoking with the beggars,
Have to separate from the cylinders of golden nectar,
There's not even an umbrella.
Hallway whitenoise, brain toys, medicate me
I need something and soon, strong
Come along, just now, open that can of sardines
It means we don't care, collectively, sublimely apathetic
The rhetoric is twisted, morality misted, disintegrate
Reproach and radiate the poison and that noise and
The boys are calling with rifles and machineguns
Infantry funds, nicotine in stiff lungs
It comes and lunges, for you, it's just how it do
React, snap back, back crack, spinal tap, piano wire wraps noose-like
Fly a high kite, set the bar high and crawl right under
Tear me asunder, lightning, thunder, another monumental blunder

— The End —