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Levi Kips Feb 7
Fact!
Zebras can’t sleep alone.
In a way I know how they feel. Every New Years Eve’s night, the hood turns into the Serengeti
and I’m the zebra waiting for my zebra friend named silence so i can feel secure enough to go to sleep.
Cause when the glock strikes 12, the ferocious bullets escape their caves, pouncing through the air, hunting for prey so they can send them to the destination where prayers lay. This is a daily fear living where i live
but on December 31st its the only time where its a promised flat line when the countdown meets its deadline, so that's why I wait it out, don’t sleep alone until i’m accompanied by the zebra of silence.
When she came into my life, she made me feel whole.
So whole that our love created a zebra of its own that guarded us through the night. Our love was so strong we slept through the annual running of predators that i usually wait for silence for until i can relax.
When she left she took the sound of silence that existed before her. Now every night I'm accompanied by the sounds of the memories we shared. Even though those sounds aren’t as vicious as a bullet’s roar in the middle of the night,
it is just as crippling to this wounded zebra heart of mine that stripes are black and blue now instead of black and white.
The sounds that used to scare me are the ones i take comfort in cause it beats the sounds of her voice occasionally creeping into my conscious. With the sound of predators roaming at night it reminds me of a time that i was alone and had no problem keeping that way.
A time where depression never knew me on a first name basis.
A time where I'm just a zebra waiting for another zebra to go to sleep.
I was confused
Everything was so confusing
All was painted in grey or gray ?

Hoo ?

Hey ! I asked the gorilla
What ? He answered back
Will you scratch my back ?

Okay !

Then I came across the Zebra
I said it's all so simple
Here it is in black and white

But he's not read all over
cheryl love Aug 2018
The Zebra smiles at the Lion
Who is wondering when he gets fed
The Rhino looks across at the Zebra
and this is what he said.....

"Why are you grinning my friend
especially at the old  Lion over there"
The Zebra replied that he was in a good mood
and to be judged just is  not being fair.

"I was not judging just a little bemused
and wondering why the good mood todtay
he saw no reason for it  - he wanted some mud
a nice dollop of sticky mud to have a **** good play.

But he knew life was not a bowl of cherries
not that cherries are his overall delight
No rains meant no mud and certainly n o smiles
not unless he put up one hell of a **** fight

The Zebra hated mud could not see the attraction
cherries gave him wind too  and at both ends
What a mess I'd be in he thought he started to think
Looking over at the Lion - what a strange signal he sends

The Lion was drooling over Zebra kebabs and Rhino stew
a little carrot and parsley he thought would be nice
drenched in gravy - his eyeballs spun round - they noticed
and ran off fast they dd not need telling twice.

Blast thought the Lion wheres my dinner gone
has the place gone mad and have I gone wild
This time the Rhino understood the Zebra
and this time they both stood and smiled
Argentum Jun 2017
When they get to the aquarium, the  kid asks if they have a Great White shark exhibit.


The volunteer says no, we don’t.


The kid asks, “Why? are you afraid he might try to eat people?”


The volunteer chuckles at this and tells him no. no aquarium has successfully held a Great White shark live for more than a few days.


You see, in order to stay alive, Great Whites and other sharks, like hammerheads, swim on their own continuously through the ocean, never stopping, never slowing, tramping a perpetual journey with many miles to go before they finally reach “sleep”. If they stop, the oxygen rich water around them no longer flows over their gills and into their bodies and they suffocate from the strain of being at rest. So they keep going, like lost children searching for their parents in a very large amusement park.


This need to keep moving, this need for space, has made it extremely difficult to keep them in our meager glass human death cages. When the Monterey bay aquarium managed to capture a juvenile that didn’t thrash itself to death like the adult sharks they netted before, it bashed its head against the tank’s sturdy walls until the shock of being dragged out of its home and put in the equivalent of a coffin killed it.


But, the volunteer continued cheerfully, we have other kinds of sharks here. We have zebra sharks, which don’t need to swim nonstop. In their natural habitat, they just lie on the ocean floor all day. The kid agrees to go see them


The zebra sharks are not lying on the floor nor do they look like zebras. They swim slowly  past him, leopard spots dotting their ridges on their backs, their fins, their long tails. “They’re called zebra sharks because of the zebra like patterns of the juveniles,” the volunteer explains. The ones we have here are adults.When they become adults, they get the spots and those ridges you see. Sometimes people mistake them for leopard sharks, which are a totally different species.”
The kid stares at the zebra sharks for a full ten minutes, looking for a sign of resignation at being called something they weren’t anymore, at collectively being referred to by a childhood nickname they had long outgrown. They did not seem to care.


He gets bored and goes to other exhibits, the split fin flashlight fish blinking on and off in their darkened tank, the touch pool, the medusa jellyfish with their trailing tentacles. But the sharks are what he remembers when he leaves, and they’re what he remember when he returns three months later, six months later, two years later, three, five, ten, this is what stays with him, the sharks in our tanks and the sharks in the ocean.
This was for school
Mitchell Duran Dec 2013
In the Fall, when the temperature of the Bay would drop and the wind blew ice, frost would gather on the lawn near Henry Oldez's room. It was not a heavy frost that spread across the paralyzed lawn, but one that just covered each blade of grass with a fine, white, almost dusty coat. Most mornings, he would stumble out of the garage where he slept and tip toe past the ice speckled patch of brown and green spotted grass, so to make his way inside to relieve himself. If he was in no hurry, he would stand on the four stepped stoop and look back at the dried, dead leaves hanging from the wiry branches of three trees lined up against the neighbors fence. The picture reminded him of what the old gallows must have looked like. Henry Oldez had been living in this routine for twenty some years.

He had moved to California with his mother, father, and three brothers 35 years ago. Henry's father, born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, had traveled across the Meixcan border on a bent, full jalopy with his wife, Betria Gonzalez and their three kids. They were all mostly babies then and none of the brothers claimed to remember anything of the ride, except one, Leo, recalled there was "A lotta dust in the car." Santiago Oldez, San for short, had fought in World War II and died of cancer ten years later. San drank most nights and smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day. Henry had never heard his father talk about the fighting or the war. If he was lucky to hear anything, it would have been when San was dead drunk, talking to himself mostly, not paying very much attention to anyone except his memories and his music.

"San loved two things in this world," Henry would say, "*****, Betria, and Johnny Cash."

Betria Gonzalez grew up in Tijuana, Mexico as well. She was a stout, short woman, wide but with pretty eyes and a mess of orange golden hair. Betria could talk to anyone about anything. Her nick names were the conversationalist or the old crow because she never found a reason to stop talking. Santiago had met her through a friend of a friend. After a couple of dates, they were married. There is some talk of a dispute among the two families, that they didn't agree to the marriage and that they were too young, which they probably were. Santiago being Santiago, didn't listen to anybody, only to his heart. They were married in a small church outside of town overlooking the Pacific. Betria told the kids that the waves thundered and crashed against the rocks that day and the sea looked endless. There were no pictures taken and only three people were at the ceremony: Betria, San, and the priest.

Of course, the four boys went to elementary and high school, and, of course, none of them went to college. One brother moved down to LA and eventually started working for a law firm doing their books. Another got married at 18 years old and was in and out of the house until getting under the wing of the union, doing construction and electrical work for the city. The third brother followed suit. Henry Oldez, after high school, stayed put. Nothing in school interested him. Henry only liked what he could get into after school. The people of the streets were his muse, leaving him with the tramps, the dealers, the struggling restaurateurs, the laundry mat hookers, the crooked cops and the addicts, the gang bangers, the bible humpers, the window washers, the jesus freaks, the EMT's, the old ladies pushing salvation by every bus stop, the guy on the corner and the guy in the alley, and the DOA's. Henry didn't have much time for anyone else after all of them.

Henry looked at himself in the mirror. The light was off and the room was dim. Sunlight streaked in through the dusty blinds from outside, reflecting into the mirror and onto Henry's face. He was short, 5' 2'' or 5' 3'' at most with stubby, skinny legs, and a wide, barrel shaped chest. He examined his face, which was a ravine of wrinkles and deep crows feet. His eyes were sunken and small in his head. Somehow, his pants were always one or two inches below his waistline, so the crack of his *** would constantly be peeking out. Henry's deep, chocolate colored hair was  that of an ancient Native American, long and nearly touched the tip of his belt if he stood up straight. No one knew how long he had been growing it out for. No one knew him any other way. He would comb his hair incessantly: before and after a shower, walking around the house, watching television with Betria on the couch, talking to friends when they came by, and when he drove to work, when he had it.

Normal work, nine to five work, did not work for Henry. "I need to be my own boss," he'd say. With that fact stubbornly put in place, Henry turned to being a handy man, a roofer, and a pioneer of construction. No one knew where he would get the jobs that he would get, he would just have them one day. And whenever he 'd finish a job, he'd complain about how much they'd shorted him, soon to move on to the next one. Henry never had to listen to anyone and, most of the time, he got free lunches out of it. It was a very strange routine, but it worked for him and Betria had no complaints as long as he was bringing some money in and keeping busy. After Santiago died, she became the head of the house, but really let her boys do whatever they wanted.

Henry took a quick shower and blow dried his hair, something he never did unless he was in a hurry. He had a job in the east bay at a sorority house near the Berkley campus. At the table, still in his pajamas, he ate three leftover chicken thighs, toast, and two over easy eggs. Betria was still in bed, awake and reading. Henry heard her two dogs barking and scratching on her bedroom door. He got up as he combed his damp hair, tugging and straining to get each individual knot out. When he opened the door, the smaller, thinner dog, Boy Boy, shot under his legs and to the front door where his toy was. The fat, beige, pig-like one waddled out beside Henry and went straight for its food bowl.

"Good morning," said Henry to Betria.

Betria looked at Henry over her glasses, "You eat already?"

"Yep," he announced, "Got to go to work." He tugged on a knot.

"That's good. Dondé?" Betria looked back down at her spanish TV guide booklet.

"Berkley somewhere," Henry said, bringing the comb smoothly down through his hair.

"That's good, that's good."

"OK!" Henry sighed loudly, shutting the door behind him. He walked back to the dinner table and finished his meal. Then, Betria shouted something from her room that Henry couldn't hear.

"What?" yelled Henry, so she could hear him over the television. She shouted again, but Henry still couldn't hear her. Henry got up and went back to her room, ***** dish in hand. He opened her door and looked at her without saying anything.

"Take the dogs out to ***," Betria told him, "Out the back, not the front."

"Yeah," Henry said and shut the door.

"Come on you dogs," Henry mumbled, dropping his dish in the sink. Betria always did everyones dishes. She called it "her exercise."

Henry let the two dogs out on the lawn. The sun was curling up into the sky and its heat had melted all of the frost on the lawn. Now, the grass was bright green and Henry barely noticed the dark brown dead spots. He watched as the fat beige one squatted to ***. It was too fat to lifts its own leg up. The thing was built like a tank or a sea turtle. Henry laughed to himself as it looked up at him, both of its eyes going in opposite directions, its tongue jutted out one corner of his mouth. Boy boy was on the far end of the lawn, searching for something in the bushes. After a minute, he pulled out another one of his toys and brought it to Henry. Henry picked up the neon green chew toy shaped like a bone and threw it back to where Boy boy had dug it out from. Boy boy shot after it and the fat one just watched, waddling a few feet away from it had peed and laid down. Henry threw the toy a couple more times for Boy boy, but soon he realized it was time to go.

"Alright!" said Henry, "Get inside. Gotta' go to work." He picked up the fat one and threw it inside the laundry room hallway that led to the kitchen and the rest of the house. Boy boy bounded up the stairs into the kitchen. He didn't need anyone lifting him up anywhere. Henry shut the door behind them and went to back to his room to get into his work clothes.

Henry's girlfriend was still asleep and he made sure to be quiet while he got dressed. Tia, Henry's girlfriend, didn't work, but occasionally would put up garage sales of various junk she found around town. She was strangely obsessed with beanie babies, those tiny plush toys usually made up in different costumes. Henry's favorite was the hunter. It was dressed up in camouflage and wore an eye patch. You could take off its brown, polyester hat too, if you wanted. Henry made no complaint about Tia not having a job because she usually brought some money home somehow, along with groceries and cleaning the house and their room. Betria, again, made no complain and only wanted to know if she was going to eat there or not for the day.

A boat sized bright blue GMC sat in the street. This was Henry's car. The stick shift was so mangled and bent that only Henry and his older brother could drive it. He had traded a new car stereo for it, or something like that. He believed it got ten miles to the gallon, but it really only got six or seven. The stereo was the cleanest piece of equipment inside the thing. It played CD's, had a shoddy cassette player, and a decent radio that picked up all the local stations. Henry reached under the seat and attached the radio to the front panel. He never left the radio just sitting there in plain sight. Someone walking by could just as soon as put their elbow into the window, pluck the thing out, and make a clean 200 bucks or so. Henry wasn't that stupid. He'd been living there his whole life and sure enough, done the same thing to other cars when he was low on money. He knew the tricks of every trade when it came to how to make money on the street.

On the road, Henry passed La Rosa, the Mexican food mart around the corner from the house. Two short, tanned men stood in front of a stand of CD's, talking. He usually bought pirated music or movies there. One of the guys names was Bertie, but he didn't know the other guy. He figured either a customer or a friend. There were a lot of friends in this neighborhood. Everyone knew each other somehow. From the bars, from the grocery, from the laundromat, from the taco stands or from just walking around the streets at night when you were too bored to stay inside and watch TV. It wasn't usually safe for non-locals to walk the streets at night, but if you were from around there and could prove it to someone that was going to jump you, one could usually get away from losing a wallet or an eyeball if you had the proof. Henry, to people on the street, also went as Monk. Whenever he would drive through the neighborhood, the window open with his arm hanging out the side, he would usually hear a distant yell of "Hey Monk!" or "What's up Monk!". Henry would always wave back, unsure who's voice it was or in what direction to wave, but knowing it was a friend from somewhere.

There was heavy traffic on the way to Berkley and as he waited in line, cursing his luck, he looked over at the wet swamp, sitting there beside highway like a dead frog. A few scattered egrets waded through the brown water, their long legs keeping their clean white bodies safe from the muddy water. Beyond the swamp laid the pacific and the Golden Gate bridge. San Francisco sat there too: still, majestic, and silver. Next to the city, was the Bay Bridge stretched out over the water like long gray yard stick. Henry compared the Golden Gate's beauty with the Bay Bridge. Both were beautiful in there own way, but the Bay Bridge's color was that of a gravestone, while the Golden Gate's color was a heavy red, that made it seem alive. Why they had never decided to pain the Bay Bridge, Henry had no idea. He thought it would look very nice with a nice coat of burgundy to match the Golden gate, but knew they would never spend the money. They never do.

After reeling through the downtown streets of Berkley, dodging college kids crossing the street on their cell phones and bicyclists, he finally reached the large, A-frame house. The house was lifted, four or five feet off the ground and you had to walk up five or seven stairs to get to the front door. Surrounded by tall, dark green bushes, Henry knew these kids had money coming from somewhere. In the windows hung spinning colored glass and in front of the house was an old-timey dinner bell in the shape of triangle. Potted plants lined the red brick walkway that led to the stairs. Young tomatoes and small peas hung from the tender arms of the stems leaf stalks. The lawn was manicured and clean. "Must be studying agriculture or something," Henry thought, "Or they got a really good gardener."

He parked right in front of the house and looked the building up and down, estimating how long it would take to get the old shingles off and the new one's on. Someone was up on the deck of the house, rocking back and forth in an old wooden chair. He listened to the creaking wood of the chair and the deck, judging it would take him two days for the job. Henry knew there was no scheduled rain, but with the Bay weather, one could never be sure. He had worked in rain before - even hail - and it never really bothered him. The thing was, he never strapped himself in and when it would rain and he was working roofs, he was afraid to slip and fall. He turned his truck off, got out, and locked both of the doors. He stepped heavily up the walkway and up the stairs. The someone who was rocking back and forth was a skinny beauty with loose jean shorts on and a thick looking, black and red plaid shirt. She had long, chunky dread locks and was smoking a joint, blowing the smoke out over the tips of the bushes and onto the street. Henry was no stranger to the smell. He smoked himself. This was California.

"Who're you?" the dreaded girl asked.

"I'm the roofer," Henry told her.

The girl looked puzzled and disinterested. Henry leaned back on his heels and wondered if the whole thing was lemon. She looked beyond him, down on the street, awkwardly annoying Henry's gaze. The tools in Henry's hands began to grow heavy, so he put them down on the deck with a thud. The noise seemed to startle the girl out of whatever haze her brain was in and she looked back at Henry. Her eyes were dark brown and her skin was smooth and clear like lake water. She couldn't have been more then 20 or 21 years old. Henry realized that he was staring and looked away at the various potted plants near the rocking chair. He liked them all.

"Do you know who called you?" She took a drag from her joint.

"Brett, " Henry told her, "But they didn't leave a last name."

For a moment, the girl looked like she had been struck across the chin with a brick, but then her face relaxed and she smiled.

"Oh ****," she laughed, "That's me. I called you. I'm Brett."

Henry smiled uneasily and picked up his tools, "Ok."

"Nice to meet you," she said, putting out her hand.

Henry awkwardly put out his left hand, "Nice to meet you too."

She took another drag and exhaled, the smoke rolling over her lips, "Want to see the roof?"

The two of them stood underneath a five foot by five foot hole. Henry was a little uneasy by the fact they had cleaned up none of the shattered wood and the birds pecking at the bird seed sitting in a bowl on the coffee table facing the TV. The arms of the couch were covered in bird **** and someone had draped a large, zebra printed blanket across the middle of it. Henry figured the blanket wasn't for decoration, but to hide the rest of the bird droppings. Next to the couch sat a large, antique lamp with its lamp shade missing. Underneath the dim light, was a nice portrait of the entire house. Henry looked away from the hole, leaving Brett with her head cocked back, the joint still pinched between her lips, to get a closer look. There looked to be four in total: Brett, a very large man, a woman with longer, thick dread locks than Brett, and a extremely short man with a very large, brown beard. Henry went back
Vexren4000 Mar 2017
Does the zebra know?
If it is white with black stripes,
Or black with white ones,
Does it consider its pattern?
When dashing from the ravenous lion.
Or looking upon another one if his kind.
Does the zebra know,
He is a symbol of the duality of life?

©BAS
Olivia Kent Sep 2013
Blood red plain of killing fields.
Lioness stalks her prey.
Tragic zebra separated from the herd.
As lady lion quiet as bird.
Creeps through concealing long grass.
Undergrowth.
Undercover.
Trying not to rustle.

Lioness has savvy.
Not Zebra mares' saviour today.
No games.
She flies.
Hear the wildebeest scatter.
They know she's there.
The birds, made them aware.

Assails from the side.
One fell swoop and zebra's down.
The other quadrupeds return from their scarper and scatter.
No fear today.
The lioness is fed.
She is not greedy.
Nature beat her quarry.
From the trees emerge her cubs to take their fill.
The laws of the wild instilled!

By ladylivvi1

© 2013 ladylivvi1 (All rights reserved)
Thought I'd write something simple x
Where zebra dance
Pale moondrops break the great divide.

Decadent shrubbery gives way
To the rhythmic pattern of hooves
And the ground is alive and fluid.

The air is thick with childhoods odor,
Maturity’s complexion held at bay
As thoughts pure and simple
Make fantastic again
What had become unremarkable.

In a hidden bit of forest
Only zebra could know
Pale mushrooms grow as artifacts
Of the seeds that we have sewn

Reminiscent paths of the things that might have been
With lacy tendrils weave intricate loops through the air
As striped bodies leap in holy communion
Writhing in glory to the nights ephemeral song.
Mateuš Conrad Sep 2018
. you're using all the right words: for all the wrong reasons... and let's face it: if women own the monopoly on reproductive avenues... then men hold the ego-key, to slot their presence, through a door, that curbs or gives allowances, to what is thought... *** was nether a transluçent enterprise... oh look... the Roma sigma pops up... dire straits: de profundis - money for nothing riff - boogie boogie... milkshakes from the 1950s 'n' all... you know what my biggest pet peeve is? the englih language imitating ancient Latin, i.e. not applying diacritical "punctuation" markers to close in on syllables and make the language atomic (i.e. H is hydrogen, He is helium)... **** me... the same Brits who lived in the 19th century, are not the same Brits living in the 21st century... no wonder the fertility rate is s ****** low.... try ******* an english bride... no thank you; i'd rather **** a female gorilla.

the milkman passes my house
at, circa, 3am...
see the van skid around the bend
up the hill...
            
i listen to music at volumes
equivalent to my father working
the construction site -
i'll be deaf by the time i'm 50...
     and guess what:
                  for the music i'm listening
to? it'll be worth it...

dittoing out:
   have the criticism of post-modernists
ever suffer?
doubt: doubt, is the modern
relief from existentialist
    negation...
  
why is doubt being attacked?
doubt is half than that outright
******* of denial
proposed by French existentialists...
doubt is good in that it's
tornado of emotions,
you want to imitate Christ on
Golgotha?
  you doubt, and achieve the pinnacle
of the passion...
you start negating?
     you're, nowhere...

    on your own...

came the noun-phobia of philosophers -
the tinkers and tailors
of a.. what seems to be:
a noun-phobia
  guaranteed with fog...
   and thing..

  the term
  "thing" presupposes
the supposition of tree...
     which subsequently serves
the proposition: let's hide in it!

      philosophy and its infamous
noun-phobia -
               thing...
           and it's nihil...
  its nothing...
      
                 a ******* cul de sac -
     epigram -
       of quasi morse encoding -
     braille to boot -
September is coming -
           van Morrison (moondance) -
hiding autumnal chill -
           pan-Europeanism:
proto-"africa": either in Hindustan -
or Siberia;

suppose a moon, suppose a shadow by
candlelight, some edgy urban solo -
as a bricklayer i could raise kids
and crux on a woman -
          chicken / doctoral itching with
a blunt nail are called scratchings -
       hand-writing:
             less digits in the digital
formatting - and more
calligraphy...
                      the rotten handwriting
of general practitioners...
     Hippocrates might have made an oath...
but in terms of a handwritten cipher?
no clue...
               the canvas of a monkey
onomatopoeia within the confines
of a custard of a lexicon...
   a mouth thus opens -
a month begins -
instead of a tongue ejected from
the ivory temple -
  a sludge crescendo of a quasi
                 cascade of sludge gluing the
whole theater into
a replica of a Russian drinking game...

....                 ⠞⠓
          ...     ⠑⠁⠑
     ...           ⠞⠑
    ............                  ⠞
...                      ⠥ ⠎
     : : :           -  ⠎          
   ........ : ....           ⠕?

100 wolves of the continent...
for, but 1, fox,
of the English isles...
   i'll settle for that ratio...
and then i'll bite to ensure
a signature!

  howl all you want...
but have you ever found seagulls
annoying up the river?
more annoying than magpies
or crows?
             the wolves can howl
all they want..
ever endear the ear
to hear a fox "laughing"?
   no?
  might as well listen to me.
i cradle that sound,
above the chariots
of a human newborn...
        i grieve!
   i am... sombre gsture...
    a past, a passing,
a future, a wicker man within:
torch...
   banquette of souls!

    let's interlude -

   touko "tom" laaksonen -
    how can people "do" sober
           when entertaining such
extravagances....
        is it empathy, or sympathy?
            in the name of the either,
with either being the sum
of what wll never be a sum
allowance,....
     to gain from...
                  why not
       ****-ease up the ****
    for a zeppelin-esque
                            bomb drop -
(minor the Nagasaki) -
                    and hand-piked ****
with the cusp of your hand -
         throne of thrones -
  flagship?
   "king of kings":
  like ****...
  the holy trinity of
       the no. 1, as the no. 2,
   and subsequently the no. 3:
**** (father),
       take a **** (son)...
            ******* (the holy ghosts)...
king of kings,
never sat on the throne
of thrones...
   i always hated "artists"...
    painters -
   plagiarists -
      cheque sketchers...
             plagiarists...
         ******* indentation
from holding a pen to add to having
exposure to a grammatical examination...
       quality cinema:
panorama take on a versus of
heavy editing...
                     and there was a time
frame to encompass dialogue...
      somehow it fits:
the verbal myopic -
            the entire pre-
& post- canvas of a blinking eye...
   always the question of the
pre-industrialißed sketch;
words predating metaphor
akin to  -
  words versus metaphor
in genesis -
   format? anecdotal.

      in writing:
            by one hand alone,
made into two...
        my, my...
  what a ****** self-portrait
"assumption"...
        a self-portrait...
a wish for color,
with nothing to show,
but the relief of encompassed bones;
that become a disembodied
skeleton - minus a purpose
of tendon attachments...

∟          "contra"    Δ          -
equilateral my ***...

            a few days spent within the confines
of a Promethean *****,
     there be, elemental insomnia
of an electric bespoke...
if Prometheus stole fire,
who, in in all for ****'s sake
stole the saber of Zeus,
the thunderbolt -
electricity, who?
who craved the insomnia?!
             this Frankenstein-esque
insomnia-zombification -
             white as is white:
with all the dermatological
copper take on broken shins...
         should ivory coco -
come between piglet *** copper
auburn in terms of autumn...
******...
             *******!

take your ****** *** elsewhere,
and then... start spelling
it with a missing G...
when citing Niger...
  you do the double dip of the NBA...
you count the second dip...
why do i love Batman as the best
superhero?
  not of his superhero powers,
he has none...
          his enemies are
the only interesting
counter-factoids of
having implemented an existence
for.
   there is no exacting of
a superhero,..
   but there is enough
to mind an antithesis...

          tylko wieśniak
by wydział film w tym,
          bo sie nie rusze -
    cegła, kamień -
       pień - mur -
           i by mówił - w tym
co zamarzło -
          to co ostygłe -
    w co z tym samym -
        meine filmisch -
      i skakaniem świec -
   od i na nagim cieniem -
   pytać nad pyche -
       tanz! tanz!
                 moje iskry słów...
   sto! i lat,
    o wielbłąd churem o
grzbiet da, i da,
       iskra; alfabetu!
    bogiem impromptu
o czym warty: -gień.


- suppose a moon, suppose a shadow,
by candlelight - within the confines of
mercury - that quickened silver -
some edgy urban solo -

      as a bricklayer or a cobbler  -
shoes that deviate from ushering
an echo -
          i could raise children and keep
a woman: only if she decided
upon not allowing me
a leash -
            what a saddening affair
of minds and freedom...
           chicken doctoral -
i don't know: vanity of the impossible
mortal gain...

    the monkey onomatopoeia
    within the confines of a custard
of  lexicon....

          that Victorian image proof
source of envisioned Braille in
the confines of a primate...
  
handwriting:
itches, scratches, chicken esque
clucking... which is what
handwriting looks like these days,
what, with the coding...
    semi plumber,
half the electrician...
  and certainly null when it comes
to calligraphic invigoration...

- homosexuality was always a contingency
escapade to release suppressed yearnings -
a sudden but a non-fulfillment questioning
celibacy...

               you can enforce curbing homosexuality,
but then there are two outlets...
the perversity: or the question...
of Ayn and Sophia...
                          
        greeks ****** the hebrews in the hole
without an outlet - zee heed: with a missing A...
      Ayn - Aleph -
                    twin Adam -
          perhaps a Siamese abomination...

mind you... the forbidden fruit?
sounds more like... the forbidden flesh...

thee burdensome walking
the already burdened earth: as the fruit,
somewhere between the flesh of man's last predator,
contained, on land, and his hidden desire
for revenge and introspection,
a denial of commonality and shared purpose -
thou shall not consume
that which also hunts you -
little or no concern with equal
     measure of forbidding, that which you pet...
the forbidden "fruit",
in between the flesh of a sabertooth tiger,
and Cain's fruit of famine and incompetence:
               cannibalism...

   and why would you think about
drinking a ms. amber with pepsi...
pepsi! to coca -
and not slide in a slice of lemon
while you're at it?
  terrible mistake...
       well... one way to get y'er vit amins...

        and why is it that all the best
movies these days are about homosexuals?
the dutch girl for starters...
   me, drinking, watching t.v.?
either **** good drama,
a western,
   or a movie about a *******
homosexual...
          did i mention that i think that
homosexuality is an auxiliary escapade plan?
natural, of course,
    but i'd hate to have to life
a doubled up life -
then again...
     perhaps i would...
           me? i have a new girlfriend -
Sophia - and her ****: Philip -
           so am i expected to make demands
for the child they might end up
called Ayn, or Aleph?
                - the Wahhabi hypocrisy
    concerning music, or rather, censoring it...
but... but i thought the adhan:
the call to prayer: was sung,
rather than abiding by the catholic
credo murmur?
     no?
                         my bad... you know better...
i'll send you a postcard from
the Galapagos Islands,
if i find the time, to find:
    that 4th dimensional concept doing
the trigonometric shoom! elsewhere -
on a tangen "bias": **** knows where -
like a comet - missing a tail -
shoom!                                       gone.

shrapnel:

            not enough thrills for a hard-on...
... images... drawings...
   apparently fine art is not enough
stimulation to ******* to for these Arabs...
****? .....   in general?
cartoons.... cartoons of women....
   ... because?
well... apparently the niqab...
  extends beyond the realm of...
  readily available attire...
            women on the street?
   pornographic "actresses"?
                       you see the cartoon?
it's all ******* ******...
                  oh don't get me wrong...
amy adams?
  buff as an exploding Hindenburg...
    the pale ginger - milchskin...
                - unrelated:
   how about i sneak a skunk into
        a coco chanel perfumery -
while advocating that people will still
call it a: scent just shy of roses and strawberries.

- people have heard of incels -
but have they heard of Vcels?
    huh?!
   yeah, yeah... voluntary celibacy -
i know what a ****** sounds and looks like -
and, to be honest?
   there's hardly any rhetorical ***
involved -
         a bit like jerking off...
              monkish chants -
Byzantine -
     the fear of man,
   when his own inability flourishes:
     in a woman...
                          
these acts have become well trodden...
so well trodden that i'm
authentically surprised that anyone
would still goosestep them into
their mundane plagiarism's existence...
    replica invigoration:
turns out...
    
   zeit ist nicht gerade, aber
kreisförmig
...

                              touko "tom" laaksonen...
i.e. tom of finland...
   question: you think a macron over
one of those As
                     would do the trick in terms
of spelling correction?

  touko "tom" laaksonen...
you seriously can only watch European cinema
while drinking...
    again... invigorating the english language:
one baby step at a time -
a simple grapheme -

    the vater's S Z interchangeability -
   synchronised contra synchronized -
    settled -
    synchronißed -
                       sometimes the slithering S
of a snake -
   otherwise the rigid totem with
a torso of a zebra...
                     hardly a major investment -
but when i see English having moved
from the Elizabethan Shaky Steward of
thou etc. -
       imitating ancient Latin -
    coordinating the Greenwich study of
dyslexia...
            Joyce...
              no diacritical application?
   hell...
                 might as well release a bull
into a China shop...
                 or a rottweiler into chicken shack...
still... why is there an orthographic aesthetic
in practice, hovering over I and J,
  when there's no difference, as suggested
in CAPiTAL letterIng?
                                       ah... i see...
the english "think" they can bypass the para-
frontier, and the orthographic frontier
and race down to the metaphysics...
        first?
   you explain why it's i and not ι,
  and why it's j and not ȷ.
Tex Dermott Oct 2015
As the tiny zebra grew, others saw and were amazed.*

More to Come…
Tex Dermott Oct 2015
The farmer collapsed graveyard dead upon seeing the tiny zebra.
  
*More to Come….
The Terry Tree Oct 2014
A master magician at hiding
While running and gallantly striding
Your message is strong, you gallop along
With spirit continually guiding

Independent you move with the group
Making headway you learn to recoup
Ready to bolt, to rebel and revolt
If your light should get caught in a loop

Your harmony steadies in trouble
A clean break away from all struggle
Lessons are taught, even when you're distraught
As you truly embrace them and juggle

When problems arise in the east skies
You remember the sun also dies
And though it falls down, it comes back around
To greet us the next day with bright eyes

Spirit Zebra be with us to find
Let our strength and our courage unwind
Into all of the holes, deep in our souls
That we carry throughout our lifetime

Teach us patience to love every side
So that we may enjoy how we ride
Some days we will glow, some days will be low
Love will teach us to rise not subside

To see everything, just as it is
To live the truth of this regardless
Return stronger yet, from any upset
With a chance for new growth and progress

You teach us to seek balance and truth
Till the end of our days from our youth
Standing confidently, strong as can be
Building skills that will calm us and soothe

With every step forward we've taken
Your wisdom unfolds and awakens
All of our needs, teach us how to succeed
Good or bad, we shall not be mistaken

We are shifting between light and dark
We are always igniting the spark
A few steps gone back, will put us on track
With pure faith we will soon disembark

tHE tERRY tREE

Photo | Google Images | Poetic Form | Gwawdodyn
Poetic Form | Gwawdodyn
Tex Dermott Oct 2015
In the henhouse, an egg hatched and a zebra emerged.

*More to Come….
I have decided the write a series where each part is only 10 words.
Tex Dermott Oct 2015
Only the chickens knew the zebra’s secret,  they kept silent.

*More to Come…
I asked my inner writer,
Is your prose poetic?
Or your poetry prosaic?
And my inner writer asked me,
Are you traditional with modern values?
Or are you modern with traditional values?
Are you an introvert who loves to express?
Or an extravert who loves silences?
Are you an optimist who sees the clouds?
Or a pessimist who sees rainbows?
Are you thoughtful with some light-hearted ways?
Or humourous with some sober ways?
And on and on and on and on
And on and on it went.
I'll never ask my inner writer
About writing
Again.
-Vijayalakshmi Harish
24.09.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
The original poem : http://allpoetry.com/poem/8538761-Zebra_Question-by-Shel_Silverstein
Brynn Champney Jun 2010
I live where a man rubbing
White shoe cream on his leather loafers has ulcers
From malnutrition and constant cassava.

Where a man’s sister loves his Fossil watch
And avocados, but gives
The whole fruit to her hate child.

The road is walked in the morning by
Rwandans, the jerry cans on their heads wetting their chests
With water from the spigot, half an hour away.

Nike shoes are unstitched, laces
Washed white daily and
The drinking water is gone by seven p.m.

I live where black people go thirsty keeping
Their sneakers white; throats dry each morning
While lacing their shoes.
Stephanie Lynn Sep 2015
i'm biracial
no i'm not an oreo
no i ain't your zebra
i ain't the best of both your worlds
i ain't mulatto either

i am white
and
i am black
living my life with a sense of inequality
my race always seems to follow me
no matter where i'm at

white people have jokes
black people have questions
my hair appeals to some of you
while the rest of you have suggestions

who said i needed you to tell me who to be?
who said i needed to explain who i really am underneath?

striving to be normal and thriving to be equal
i just so happen to be a white girl
that knows what it's like to be black
and that bothers a lot of people

my race may not define me but it is apart of who i am
so yes i get offended when you refuse to understand

that i am what i am
black and white
white and black
light brown complexion
***** curls front to back

a strong black woman resides inside and it's she you see
a white woman is there but will never be
but i never deny my lines culturally

because they are me
(C) Maxwell 2015
Fuji Bear Apr 2014
We are always trying to become equal
what makes it so special?
That is unique to human nature
to idealize and to hope
And yet,
life isn't fair.
And nature doesn't pretend otherwise
Neither should we.
The lion doesn't starve
to protect the endangered zebra.
No matter how much we fight nature,
We can’t control it.
betterdays Jun 2014
Gad Zooks,
the zedonk,
was mostly,
a happy little fellow.

but,
there did happen,
to be days,
when his,
incomplete
stripes,
got him down...
he was not horse,
not full zebra,
only part donkey.....

and that made him feel, shonky, wonky,
weird n'strange...
like an equine oddity.
not at all likin his ***-dity

when he felt like this,
he would run afar
and pray for god
to take,
his markings,
away.....

Granmama Zooks,
a zebra matriach
and of magnificent stripage,
found him this day
mumbling and crying away...

she then said to him,
in her best zebra neigh....
you are sad little zedonk,
to act this way....
you should think of yourself,
in a different mindset....
you have,
the best bits,
of zebra and donkey.
you just don't see it yet...

i've learnt in my time
you just have to work,
what your born with...
some times,
what you see,
as bad,
actually is,
a god given gift.

you, should be always
be proud of who you are
and what you will become...

people will travel,
for miles and miles,
to see your bars...
and will still be,
talking of you little gad..
as they leave, all smiles.

in their cars,
calling you,
either zedonk...or zonkey,
or zedonkedey  too.
telling each other,
you are,
both cute and bizarre..

so my little,
hotchpotch friend,
be proud of you...
for in the end,
you will,
stand out from
the crowd
just chill, little zook
                      ...and be zen.
a story for my son....
prey tracked
relentlessly pursued
mass of zebra
whacked
pulverized
to the ground
powerful jaws of lion
employed
in the gruesome ****
throat of prey
exposed
oozing scarlet ****

lion consumes
a bloating portion
for himself
deference shown to lion
an uninvited hyena
joins in
snarls and snappy retorts
go between the two
hyena knows
the borders
at nature's table
with
lion king

both delight
in the zebra's
ample flesh
and its sweet
warm entrails
they savor
every morsel

above in stark
glared filled skies
anticipating crows
circle
frenzy intense
hungering craw
needing
needing
squawking
to announce
arrival

descending in unison
blanketing the zebra's carcass
beaks tearing
the meager scraps
from the bones
welcome
sustenance

at natures
all too sparse table
each creature know its place
crow has a place reserved
scavenger on the rim
little Jul 2019
Press play:

Sensitivity has a dilution
A crutch of pollution
Pull up your sleeves
Sign here; it's nothing
Delighted by gumption
Anger to please
I'm spending and speaking

Skipping while speeding

A life that is mine
Plural me is fine
Zebra in the room
Taste of a perfume
Dandruff nearby
Unlatched or able
Benched and be tabled


Ignore the zoom
L T Winter Oct 2015
Excuse me--

Said a zebra wearing
Shadows-
And hooves cackling sin.

You misunderstood
Biometric dystopian
Canyons flashing

Swiftly beneath stripes
Crying for negative's-sake

'I have no smoke-thistling
Essence--'

Poisoning cerebellum creams.
Hal Loyd Denton Jan 2012
Story Book Land
The awful truth in this world at one point evil put upThis post open season on women and children nowCasey’s trail has provided a predators hand book onHow to avoid jail and punishmentStory Book Land
I would like to speak to the other side of the story in a hovel somewhere in southern Appalachia a young
Mother has left this falling down shack because of fever and delirium she left behind a toddler in this
Cold helpless situation but tonight when she drifts into trembling frigid sleep she feels herself being lifted
By powerful arms the body is huge but immediately she feels a great wave of warmth peace and love
Then she hears the laughter of children many of them as this divine personage sets her feet down she
Alights on this golden concourse then she sees what all the excitement is about this great figure glowing
In white linen is leading the children he walks or glides to her side just as she starts to take his hand she
Sees the nail print she knows who he is her mother sang of him and told her wonderful stories of how
One day they would go to be with him he held her hand firmly with a tenderness that was almost
Overwhelming they had gone a distance he released her hand and said now children go and play among
The wonders created for you and after awhile I will call you follow my vioce it will lead you to a hillside there spread out on the
Rich grasses my little lambs and I will tell you extraordinary wonderful stories so the children turned to
Look what was before them flowers so lush they bathed you in their fragrance their beauty filled you
With awe this was the only the beginning of splendor that knew no end they dashed through the flowers
It was hard to tell who laughed the hardest the flowers or the children then they came to the trees one
Of the older children asked Mr. Pine is it true that on ridges you can make the most beautiful tunes yes
Little one but here it is a little different what songs do you like wheels on the bus this little light of mine
She picked something all together different but he just rolled with it he did it with the finesse of a circus
Clown they all laughed he did many others to their delight then he said children you might like my
Neighbor Mr. Oak he has some delights you might delight in so they rushed to see what they would find
He seemed gruff and stern at first but then when he bowed down sweetly they noticed something funny
About the Spanish moss it was not that at all but a rainbow of flavors all cotton candy every one grabed all
They could get then just a short distance down the rode a sign said critter holler was it by Roberta’s
House ? well off they dashed they loved it immediately because all the animals were just babies young like
Them the mothers and fathers grazed up on the higher lush pastures I will go where he leads I will
Pasture where he feeds me, some of the children were old enough to remember that song a little child
From Florida was just timidly staring and from behind a fawn put his wet cold nose in her hand as it
hung down she squealed with delight a darker child born on the African savanna was drawn like a
magnet to a baby Zebra he played with its mane it playfully shook its head back and forth his smile even
made heaven brighter if that’s possible In life the boy was Maasai a great people his problem he dreamed of being a Maassai warrior
At to tender of an age the lion only knows one law that is **** to live the boys claw marks and bite marks
Vanished from his body as he left the fallen state of earth and traveled to the sacred holiness that is the
Total reality of heaven but as he looked on the baby Zebra he was all Maassai the wonders of his
Birthplace filled him to bursting the little Zebra was his touchstone all of heaven and a piece of earth
Coursed through his veins he will be forever defined on a grander scale so will Caylee for a brief time saw
Grass and palms now glory will endow her with privilege a crown immortal indestructible she wears it
Well it honors Gorge and Cindy her mother will be cleansed by terrible and secret fires best left to the
Purifier who never lets evil go unanswered.
someone saw a handsome man standing at a distance there
wasn’t a mouse with him but could it be Mr. Disney it was a great possibility all things are possible here
earths tears are gone forever and all you will ever know is the greatest peace and love the other side of
the story.
Tyler Froes Jul 2015
Late for everything,
Awkward by choice,
Zealous for nothing,
Yet always tired
LAZY

I really wish I wasn’t like this
But I don’t really have a say of any kind
Personally i think its because of depression
It’s like a crippling crutch for my mind
I try to work hard,
I really do
I know that it seems like i don’t
But you don’t know what I’m going through
Getting tired of being tired
Waiting for some inspiration to come my way
But if some never comes
Then, “Oh well” is all I can say

Lethargy is something I have
And it admittedly it’s getting pretty bad
Zebra, zebra, zebra
Yes, you just witnessed it first-hand
LAZY…
Tyler Froes - 31 May 2015
*Read the first letters of each line for the first and last stanzas*
Heather Valvano Feb 2015
Snap.  Snap.
Dramatic Bass Line.
This is not a poem about how poetry is good.
This is a poem about how the poet doesn't care about the reader.
The poet wants to prove how smart he is.
Green.   Carpet.  Zebra.
Dramatic Bass Line.
Snap.  Snap.
One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound
except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember
whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve
nights when I was six.

All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky
that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in
the snow and bring out whatever I can find. In goes my hand into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays
resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Mrs. Prothero and the firemen.

It was on the afternoon of the Christmas Eve, and I was in Mrs. Prothero's garden, waiting for cats, with her
son Jim. It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland,
though there were no reindeers. But there were cats. Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we
waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they
would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters, Jim and I, fur-capped and
moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their
eyes. The wise cats never appeared.

We were so still, Eskimo-footed arctic marksmen in the muffling silence of the eternal snows - eternal, ever
since Wednesday - that we never heard Mrs. Prothero's first cry from her igloo at the bottom of the garden. Or,
if we heard it at all, it was, to us, like the far-off challenge of our enemy and prey, the neighbor's polar
cat. But soon the voice grew louder.
"Fire!" cried Mrs. Prothero, and she beat the dinner-gong.

And we ran down the garden, with the snowballs in our arms, toward the house; and smoke, indeed, was pouring
out of the dining-room, and the gong was bombilating, and Mrs. Prothero was announcing ruin like a town crier
in Pompeii. This was better than all the cats in Wales standing on the wall in a row. We bounded into the
house, laden with snowballs, and stopped at the open door of the smoke-filled room.

Something was burning all right; perhaps it was Mr. Prothero, who always slept there after midday dinner with a
newspaper over his face. But he was standing in the middle of the room, saying, "A fine Christmas!" and
smacking at the smoke with a slipper.

"Call the fire brigade," cried Mrs. Prothero as she beat the gong.
"There won't be there," said Mr. Prothero, "it's Christmas."
There was no fire to be seen, only clouds of smoke and Mr. Prothero standing in the middle of them, waving his
slipper as though he were conducting.
"Do something," he said. And we threw all our snowballs into the smoke - I think we missed Mr. Prothero - and
ran out of the house to the telephone box.
"Let's call the police as well," Jim said. "And the ambulance." "And Ernie Jenkins, he likes fires."

But we only called the fire brigade, and soon the fire engine came and three tall men in helmets brought a hose
into the house and Mr. Prothero got out just in time before they turned it on. Nobody could have had a noisier
Christmas Eve. And when the firemen turned off the hose and were standing in the wet, smoky room, Jim's Aunt,
Miss. Prothero, came downstairs and peered in at them. Jim and I waited, very quietly, to hear what she would
say to them. She said the right thing, always. She looked at the three tall firemen in their shining helmets,
standing among the smoke and cinders and dissolving snowballs, and she said, "Would you like anything to read?"

Years and years ago, when I was a boy, when there were wolves in Wales, and birds the color of red-flannel
petticoats whisked past the harp-shaped hills, when we sang and wallowed all night and day in caves that smelt
like Sunday afternoons in damp front farmhouse parlors, and we chased, with the jawbones of deacons, the
English and the bears, before the motor car, before the wheel, before the duchess-faced horse, when we rode the
daft and happy hills *******, it snowed and it snowed. But here a small boy says: "It snowed last year, too. I
made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea."

"But that was not the same snow," I say. "Our snow was not only shaken from white wash buckets down the sky, it
came shawling out of the ground and swam and drifted out of the arms and hands and bodies of the trees; snow
grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss, minutely -ivied the walls and
settled on the postman, opening the gate, like a dumb, numb thunder-storm of white, torn Christmas cards."

"Were there postmen then, too?"
"With sprinkling eyes and wind-cherried noses, on spread, frozen feet they crunched up to the doors and
mittened on them manfully. But all that the children could hear was a ringing of bells."
"You mean that the postman went rat-a-tat-tat and the doors rang?"
"I mean that the bells the children could hear were inside them."
"I only hear thunder sometimes, never bells."
"There were church bells, too."
"Inside them?"
"No, no, no, in the bat-black, snow-white belfries, tugged by bishops and storks. And they rang their tidings
over the bandaged town, over the frozen foam of the powder and ice-cream hills, over the crackling sea. It
seemed that all the churches boomed for joy under my window; and the weathercocks crew for Christmas, on our
fence."

"Get back to the postmen"
"They were just ordinary postmen, found of walking and dogs and Christmas and the snow. They knocked on the
doors with blue knuckles ...."
"Ours has got a black knocker...."
"And then they stood on the white Welcome mat in the little, drifted porches and huffed and puffed, making
ghosts with their breath, and jogged from foot to foot like small boys wanting to go out."
"And then the presents?"
"And then the Presents, after the Christmas box. And the cold postman, with a rose on his button-nose, tingled
down the tea-tray-slithered run of the chilly glinting hill. He went in his ice-bound boots like a man on
fishmonger's slabs.
"He wagged his bag like a frozen camel's ****, dizzily turned the corner on one foot, and, by God, he was
gone."

"Get back to the Presents."
"There were the Useful Presents: engulfing mufflers of the old coach days, and mittens made for giant sloths;
zebra scarfs of a substance like silky gum that could be tug-o'-warred down to the galoshes; blinding tam-o'-
shanters like patchwork tea cozies and bunny-suited busbies and balaclavas for victims of head-shrinking
tribes; from aunts who always wore wool next to the skin there were mustached and rasping vests that made you
wonder why the aunts had any skin left at all; and once I had a little crocheted nose bag from an aunt now,
alas, no longer whinnying with us. And pictureless books in which small boys, though warned with quotations not
to, would skate on Farmer Giles' pond and did and drowned; and books that told me everything about the wasp,
except why."

"Go on the Useless Presents."
"Bags of moist and many-colored jelly babies and a folded flag and a false nose and a tram-conductor's cap and
a machine that punched tickets and rang a bell; never a catapult; once, by mistake that no one could explain, a
little hatchet; and a celluloid duck that made, when you pressed it, a most unducklike sound, a mewing moo that
an ambitious cat might make who wished to be a cow; and a painting book in which I could make the grass, the
trees, the sea and the animals any colour I pleased, and still the dazzling sky-blue sheep are grazing in the
red field under the rainbow-billed and pea-green birds. Hardboileds, toffee, fudge and allsorts, crunches,
cracknels, humbugs, glaciers, marzipan, and butterwelsh for the Welsh. And troops of bright tin soldiers who,
if they could not fight, could always run. And Snakes-and-Families and Happy Ladders. And Easy Hobbi-Games for
Little Engineers, complete with instructions. Oh, easy for Leonardo! And a whistle to make the dogs bark to
wake up the old man next door to make him beat on the wall with his stick to shake our picture off the wall.
And a packet of cigarettes: you put one in your mouth and you stood at the corner of the street and you waited
for hours, in vain, for an old lady to scold you for smoking a cigarette, and then with a smirk you ate it. And
then it was breakfast under the balloons."

"Were there Uncles like in our house?"
"There are always Uncles at Christmas. The same Uncles. And on Christmas morning, with dog-disturbing whistle
and sugar ****, I would scour the swatched town for the news of the little world, and find always a dead bird
by the Post Office or by the white deserted swings; perhaps a robin, all but one of his fires out. Men and
women wading or scooping back from chapel, with taproom noses and wind-bussed cheeks, all albinos, huddles
their stiff black jarring feathers against the irreligious snow. Mistletoe hung from the gas brackets in all
the front parlors; there was sherry and walnuts and bottled beer and crackers by the dessertspoons; and cats in
their fur-abouts watched the fires; and the high-heaped fire spat, all ready for the chestnuts and the mulling
pokers. Some few large men sat in the front parlors, without their collars, Uncles almost certainly, trying
their new cigars, holding them out judiciously at arms' length, returning them to their mouths, coughing, then
holding them out again as though waiting for the explosion; and some few small aunts, not wanted in the
kitchen, nor anywhere else for that matter, sat on the very edge of their chairs, poised and brittle, afraid to
break, like faded cups and saucers."

Not many those mornings trod the piling streets: an old man always, fawn-bowlered, yellow-gloved and, at this
time of year, with spats of snow, would take his constitutional to the white bowling green and back, as he
would take it wet or fire on Christmas Day or Doomsday; sometimes two hale young men, with big pipes blazing,
no overcoats and wind blown scarfs, would trudge, unspeaking, down to the forlorn sea, to work up an appetite,
to blow away the fumes, who knows, to walk into the waves until nothing of them was left but the two furling
smoke clouds of their inextinguishable briars. Then I would be slap-dashing home, the gravy smell of the
dinners of others, the bird smell, the brandy, the pudding and mince, coiling up to my nostrils, when out of a
snow-clogged side lane would come a boy the spit of myself, with a pink-tipped cigarette and the violet past of
a black eye, cocky as a bullfinch, leering all to himself.

I hated him on sight and sound, and would be about to put my dog whistle to my lips and blow him off the face
of Christmas when suddenly he, with a violet wink, put his whistle to his lips and blew so stridently, so high,
so exquisitely loud, that gobbling faces, their cheeks bulged with goose, would press against their tinsled
windows, the whole length of the white echoing street. For dinner we had turkey and blazing pudding, and after
dinner the Uncles sat in front of the fire, loosened all buttons, put their large moist hands over their watch
chains, groaned a little and slept. Mothers, aunts and sisters scuttled to and fro, bearing tureens. Auntie
Bessie, who had already been frightened, twice, by a clock-work mouse, whimpered at the sideboard and had some
elderberry wine. The dog was sick. Auntie Dosie had to have three aspirins, but Auntie Hannah, who liked port,
stood in the middle of the snowbound back yard, singing like a big-bosomed thrush. I would blow up balloons to
see how big they would blow up to; and, when they burst, which they all did, the Uncles jumped and rumbled. In
the rich and heavy afternoon, the Uncles breathing like dolphins and the snow descending, I would sit among
festoons and Chinese lanterns and nibble dates and try to make a model man-o'-war, following the Instructions
for Little Engineers, and produce what might be mistaken for a sea-going tramcar.

Or I would go out, my bright new boots squeaking, into the white world, on to the seaward hill, to call on Jim
and Dan and Jack and to pad through the still streets, leaving huge footprints on the hidden pavements.
"I bet people will think there's been hippos."
"What would you do if you saw a hippo coming down our street?"
"I'd go like this, bang! I'd throw him over the railings and roll him down the hill and then I'd tickle him
under the ear and he'd wag his tail."
"What would you do if you saw two hippos?"

Iron-flanked and bellowing he-hippos clanked and battered through the scudding snow toward us as we passed Mr.
Daniel's house.
"Let's post Mr. Daniel a snow-ball through his letter box."
"Let's write things in the snow."
"Let's write, 'Mr. Daniel looks like a spaniel' all over his lawn."
Or we walked on the white shore. "Can the fishes see it's snowing?"

The silent one-clouded heavens drifted on to the sea. Now we were snow-blind travelers lost on the north hills,
and vast dewlapped dogs, with flasks round their necks, ambled and shambled up to us, baying "Excelsior." We
returned home through the poor streets where only a few children fumbled with bare red fingers in the wheel-
rutted snow and cat-called after us, their voices fading away, as we trudged uphill, into the cries of the dock
birds and the hooting of ships out in the whirling bay. And then, at tea the recovered Uncles would be jolly;
and the ice cake loomed in the center of the table like a marble grave. Auntie Hannah laced her tea with ***,
because it was only once a year.

Bring out the tall tales now that we told by the fire as the gaslight bubbled like a diver. Ghosts whooed like
owls in the long nights when I dared not look over my shoulder; animals lurked in the cubbyhole under the
stairs and the gas meter ticked. And I remember that we went singing carols once, when there wasn't the shaving
of a moon to light the flying streets. At the end of a long road was a drive that led to a large house, and we
stumbled up the darkness of the drive that night, each one of us afraid, each one holding a stone in his hand
in case, and all of us too brave to say a word. The wind through the trees made noises as of old and unpleasant
and maybe webfooted men wheezing in caves. We reached the black bulk of the house. "What shall we give them?
Hark the Herald?"
"No," Jack said, "Good King Wencelas. I'll count three." One, two three, and we began to sing, our voices high
and seemingly distant in the snow-felted darkness round the house that was occupied by nobody we knew. We stood
close together, near the dark door. Good King Wencelas looked out On the Feast of Stephen ... And then a small,
dry voice, like the voice of someone who has not spoken for a long time, joined our singing: a small, dry,
eggshell voice from the other side of the door: a small dry voice through the keyhole. And when we stopped
running we were outside our house; the front room was lovely; balloons floated under the hot-water-bottle-
gulping gas; everything was good again and shone over the town.
"Perhaps it was a ghost," Jim said.
"Perhaps it was trolls," Dan said, who was always reading.
"Let's go in and see if there's any jelly left," Jack said. And we did that.

Always on Christmas night there was music. An uncle played the fiddle, a cousin sang "Cherry Ripe," and another
uncle sang "Drake's Drum." It was very warm in the little house. Auntie Hannah, who had got on to the parsnip
wine, sang a song about Bleeding Hearts and Death, and then another in which she said her heart was like a
Bird's Nest; and then everybody laughed again; and then I went to bed. Looking through my bedroom window, out
into the moonlight and the unending smoke-colored snow, I could see the lights in the windows of all the other
houses on our hill and hear the music rising from them up the long, steady falling night. I turned the gas
down, I got into bed. I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.
Luna Casablanca May 2014
I'm a Zebra look at me!
I'm white with black stripes
as you see.
Put your finger
in my
finger-puppet hole.
You can have
a puppet show!
But whatever you do,
don't break me.
I'm old and sensitive
as you see.
This poem I wrote in the fifth grade. We had a poetry unit and out task was to choose an old fashioned toy on the table and I saw the Zebra puppet and fell in love with it.
Helen Nov 2013
There it was just sitting
in the middle of the street
all black and white
waiting
for traveling feet

Herds of milling bipeds
traversed across it
as it stretched across
a sweltering pit of tar

While masses of
Auto.. mo.. biles
broke it’s back
wait
I think...
they call them...
Cars?

I just stood back

Watching

Waiting

Wondering


just contemplating

But still…
I was at a complete loss

I keep a vigil at the curb
waiting
for the zebra to come
and wondering…

*how do they know where to cross?
Alan Maguire Mar 2013
A is for Adam the Aardvark and his band the African Ants
B is for Broderick the bumble bee who thinks they are pants

C is for a cynical cat named Crusoe
While D is for Darwin the delightful deer
E is for Eric the elephant who always drinks my beer
F is for Fernando the Fox but in Spain he known as  Zorro
He lost his wife Matilda last week and is now brimming with sorrow
G is for Gerald and yes he is a Giraffe
He wore odd socks last Tuesday and made Heinrich the Hyena laugh
Imelda is an Iguana and she is quite immense, though she is really old but has unstoppable sense.
Jack the Jackal has a regular name but he is an assassin and has a pretty good aim
K is for Kimberly who happens to be a kangaroo but she doesn't live in the outback anymore because she lives in London Zoo

Laramie the Llama lives south of the United states , he loves hiking in the mountains but one thing he hates, is being mixed up with Arnie the Alpaca.

Monty the Moose loves drinking maple syrup and playing ice hockey,
yes he is a stereotype but I am his Jockey
Nero the Narwhal is the unicorn of the deep, he loves scaring sailors and loves to sleep
Olive the Orangutan is a neighbour of Kimberly the kangaroo
but they have a plan to escape from London Zoo.

Pug is a Pig , just a regular pig, but he wishes to be ferocious and really big
Quentin is a quail and buddies with Pug, he likes eating sunflower seeds but never a slug
Ramon the Rhinoceros also dwells in the Zoo and is part of the escape plan with The red ape and kangaroo , he'll actually be the one to bust them out,
but to get his attention you really must shout.

Sylvia slithers, Sylvia is sleek if you were a mouse and saw her, you'd go EEK!
Terence T. Tiger is terrified, because he was asked to escape from the Zoo,
yes with the Red ape , Rhino and Kangaroo.

Ulysses is a horse who super glued a horn to his fore-head , he wanted to be the last known Unicorn because he heard that they were all dead. Vincent is a Bat, just a Vampire Bat,
he doesn't really like blood but is enemies with Crusoe the Cat.

Warren the wolf has many female fans but spends half the day with Eric the Elephant drinking my cans .Xenops is not an alien , it's just a rain forest bird, I'll give you more info as soon as I've heard
Y is for Yul and I don't mean the bald actor , this Yul is a yak but does watch the X factor
Z is for a Zebra named Zak and yes he does know the Yul the Yak , they were introduced by a certain kangaroo, and now it's their job to visit London Zoo
Coop Lee Apr 2014
claude: battles tabletop.
reaches for maple syrup, into breakfast,
& breaks down puking.
the girlfriend/abortion situation.
the cash
& cream corn.
smells of deeper spring.
grandma & her bible.
to pray.
to eat lunch.
to television &
honey blunt the relief of a sunday night.

lily: into decay.
into dark days of her america.
detox: she breathes on vapor. sweet leaf.
sweats the heat & dead-dreams off. off on wavelengths &
resonance::: sound therapeutics,
at 528.111 hz,
enhanced dream frequency. she falls
into bliss. into
unopened codons & the rigor
of vibrational analog.
love cassette.

achilles: wheelchair-bound & boning
still. gripping ***.
the girl & couch.
the couch & modern warfare.
old warfare: harvest of limbs.
he crawls across the lawn to pick strawberries.
thumbs the dirt for entrance
to another world. smokes a jar
of roaches, as monument
to his second generation revival.
cool.

wallace: & the zebra jeep.
red rock monkeywrenched billboards & the ****** of flame upon milk factory.
chemical factory.
fertilizer bomb///return/
to town & grotto.
porch-light wood & breath of ****-rotation.
the babylon journeyman,
embroiled in plots against the order.
to simply disappear.
to portal away.
Don Brenner Oct 2010
Sunday:
Ant Pills
Bear Traps
Cobra Feet

Monday:
Dolphin Lungs
Eel Soup
Frog Limbs

Tuesday:
Gecko Suits
Horse Pie
Inchworm ***

Wednesday:
Jaguar Barbed
Koala Beer
Lynx Lynch

Thursday:
Monkey Chips
Narwhal Fashions
Otter Drugs

Friday:
Porcupine Rehab
Quail Map
Roadrunner Piano

Saturday:
Slug Party
Turkey Slop
Urchin See

Sunday:
Vulture Guns
Walrus Tongues
X No

Monday:
Yellowjacket Fever
Zebra Clowns
2010
Jamie L Cantore Jan 2017
Words Studied For This Writing:
------------------------------------
English: Zoup, please.
What it sounds like in German: Die Zoup bitte "Or" The Zoup? Bitter.
English: Uh, the night tea is great!
Pronounced in German sounds like: Eww. Is nachte. It's Gros "Or" Eww! Is nasty! It's gross!
English: Here.
Pronounced in German: Here.
English: Ha! I see an icky Sir's downin' Zoup.
German: Huh? - Ick- Taste. -Sie - An Icky herran down en Zoup
English:Yes.
German: Ja "Or" yeah
English: Skinny rides here. Skinny? Hmm.. horseback.
German: Dunne fahrten hier, Dunne. Hmm?  Holtzit back! Or.. Do not **** in here; do not! Hmm?  Holds it back!
English: Oh! I beg!
German: Oh! Ich bitte "Or" Oh! It's better!
English: Come back, Father.....
German: Comeback, Vatter "Or" Come back, Fatter
English: Nexxinline
German: Next in line.


Let's make a story with this .

First Act

-Enter Customer 2 in an American diner. She orders a
unique zebra-flavored soup called Zoup, created on American soil, but it's claimed to have had its origins in a restaurant located in Worms, Germany; as per usual proud fashion.

Customer 2 to Rude Waitress: "Zoup, please."

She sipped the complimentary drink placed before her as she awaited her order. Iced tea, ***** glass. It was reportedly their best tea, brewed by the Barista on the night-shift, whom did only speak in broken English and Spanish. Therefore, when the customer enjoyed her tea, she was glad it was nightfall and privy to the better drink and expressed her approval.

Customer 2 to Night-Shift Barista in simplified language:

"Uh, the night tea is great!"

The Barista nods politely.

Rude Waitress, apparently jealous because she makes the Day-shift tea, is curt to Customer 2:


"Here." she growled, slamming the Zoup on the table.

Things get quiet.

Just then, Customer 2 recognizes a crusty man who claims to have been knighted in a former life before joining a Native American tribe. She addresses him sardonically.

Customer 2 to Crusty Man

:
"Ha!" " I see an icky Sir's downin' Zoup!"

Crusty Man responds, unmoved:

"Yes."

Customer 2 cautioned him that he was being tracked by the infamous international assassin, Skinny.

Customer 2 to Crusty Man in mock Native American tongue:


"Skinny rides here ...

Crusty Man: "Skinny?"


Customer 2 (deepening voice)

"Mmm, horseback."

She makes gestures with her hands of a man riding a horse.
And follows it up with mimicking a successful hit on Crusty Mans life, complete with tongue hanging out of mouth.

The rude waitress then pleads to a deceased priest aloud to return to save them whilst making holy gestures frantically.

Rude Waitress to a deceased Holy Man:

"Oh!" "I beg." "Come back, Father...
Father Nexxinline?"

End First Act


This Final Act was created using the same exact words used in the English language, those in  quotations that is, as were in the First Act: but then translating them into German, the conversation then became a bit more humorous. The Background was filled in to fit the context of the meaning of the words sonic qualities, as certain German words sound similar to English words, though they generally have different meanings. The German word sounds brought a whole new meaning to the English words spoken, and with this contrast I finished the Final Act. Since most do not know how to pronounce certain words and dialects of German language, I took the sounds created within the language and converted them to English words of phonetic similarity. These words were not translated back to English, as that would put the conversation exactly where it began -I rather made them easier to perceive.

Background Final Act/. Skinny from First Act is now in a diner in Worms, Germany, (pronounced like Vorms with  a V.)

We begin with Skinny's response to being asked how is the Zoup by the German Waiter.

Skinny dryly to German Waiter: "The Zoup?" "Bitter."

He takes another spoonful into his mouth.

Skinny: "Ewww!"  "Is nasty!" "It's gross!"

Skinny to German Waiter in disgust: "Here!"

And he pushes the bowl of Zoup into the waiters face.


German Waiter to Skinny expressing consternation

: "Huh?"

Skinny commands him: "Taste!"

The waiter does so reluctantly and winces in clear disgust.

Skinny:

"See?" " Icky heron down in Zoup!"

German Waiter to Skinny knowing German Zoup  is flavored with heron, not zebra, and failing to see the point retorts

: "Yeah?"

Skinny then crude and vengeful 'expresses' a good one from his basest dwelling silently; but deadly with a grin. It was a most foul smell.

The waiter is exasperated with this crudeness and makes commands of his own.

German Waiter to Skinny

:
"Do not **** in here!" 'Do not!"" Hmm?"  "Holds it back!"

The odor horrid reached culmination with another waft of steam from Skinny and  resulted in the excommunication of Skinny.
Skinny yet found himself vindicated and agreed to leave the establishment as was demanded. As he exits in self satisfaction, our waiter tells him not to forget his Zoup and the prideful waiter Stolz mocks him in jest by spooning a mouthful into his jabbering jowls, as he does, he turns pale and ill and silenced, reassuring Skinny he had a reason to be disappointed.

The German Waiter refusing to admit defeat tells him:


"Oh, it's better!" Referring to his bias to the Zoup from Worms, which should be renamed Houp, but the words don't translate that way.

THEN Stolz realized his best customer, Skinny's hefty brother, Fatter, was running out the door in an attempt to escape the stench which lingered and but grew in force, and the waiter pleaded with him to return.

German Waiter to Skinny's brother:

"Come back, Fatter!" but Fatter kept running and giggling sophomorically.

The German Waiter to a diner full of people gasping for fresh air and no desire for Zoup at this moment said in defeatist sheepishness, gulping before asking wishfully... pouting, whispering:


"Next in line?"
there was a little zebra he was very sad
he had lost his stripes the only ones he had
while walking through the jungle with teardrops in his eye
spotted spy  a fairy who was nearby
she had watched him crying as tears rolled down his face
a zebra without stripes was completely out of place
fairy she had powers and spells that she could cast
she waved her magic wand the stripes were back at last
zebra he was happy his stripes were there once more
now he was complete again like he was before
an aging APE developed arthritis in his ankles

several BATS tasted the nectar from the plum trees

Jane's CAT played with the ball of wool

DINGOS were seen skulking around the camp site

there are two types of ELEPHANTS the Asian and African

FERRETS are sent down rabbit warrens to flush them out

Helen saw a GIRAFFE at the wildlife reserve

I wrote a poem titled Hilary The HIPPOPOTAMUS

Who has a pet IGUANA?

Some people say my uncle is a *******

Kangaroos have muscular tails

Obama rhymes with LLAMA

in parts of Canada moose roam on the loose

a NEWT likes being in a warm environment

some OCTOPI have black dye

baby PANDAS are cute and cuddly

in Australia we have a native bush QUAIL

RACCOONS live in rocky dens

a TAPIR has a very long nose

UAKARI monkeys hang out in the Amazon jungle

if you're looking for a VOLE you'll find him in a hole

WOMBATS move in a very slow manner

an XERUS is a mighty big species of squirrel

the Nepalese have domesticated YAKS

Doctor Dolittle has spoken to a ZEBRA
Shawn Devassy Nov 2012
My family is a bunch of animals.
My mother is a lioness,
strong, brave, and full of pride,
with claws sharp as knives,
for anyone that harms her cub she will strike.
my father is a hyena,
foolish, never serious, and a lazy scavenger,
that doesn't do anything but eat the crap that he creates.
My grand parents are elephants,
big and strong during the day,
blind and helpless during the night.
My aunts and uncles are the herd of gazelles,
they graze when they can,
but when the lioness comes they silence and run away with fear.
My dogs are the shade that comforts me from the burning sun of life.
The day has come when the lioness shall not roam the tall grasses of the Serengeti.
Without the lioness the gazelles are persistently grazing,
depleting the grass,
grazing and depleting until there was no grass left for me to hide in,
they rammed and bucked at me like I had no right to grieve.
I was a helpless cub on that day and I still am,
wondering when the lioness will show up to be my heroine again.
But as the gazelles buck and ram,
a kangaroo and a zebra rush in,
embrace me,
and take me in,
I now have a second family with:
a savage tiger,
Italian chipmunks,
boxing kangaroos,
kick-*** monkeys,
elderly turtles,
burly bears,
religious zebras,
and untimely rabbits.
My second family is diverse,
but they never do the worst just as my first.
This is a story that I usually don't tell,
but this my past life so I must tell, tell, tell...
This is what God raised me to be,
This for me and only me.
One day the light will show for me,
and me and the lioness will forever again be free,
to roam the plains in the skies above,
just like a dove.
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
We’d been to concert at the Town Hall. It was a Saturday night and still early for a Saturday Night Out. So many people on the streets. The girls barely dressed, the boys bouncing around in t-shirts. Older people threaded along the pavements walking purposefully, but ‘properly’ dressed, and now making their way, as we were, for the station.

I know He noticed her because He stopped, momentarily. We were holding hands. He loves to hold my hand. That evening I remember squeezing his hand firmly as if to say how pleased I was He was here and I was not walking to the station alone. I have done this, walking to the station alone, so often. It is good to have someone close at such times, someone to talk to about the performance, the music, what is going on around us. We walked right past them.

I noticed the man first and then the child. He was very tall, very dark, wearing a black leather jacket I think. He was not scruffy so much as untidy, dark and untidy, with curly hair that did not know a comb. He was busking. He sang an incomprehensible song in a language I didn’t recognize, playing an electric guitar plugged into a small amplifier by his feat. He turned from side to side as he sang as though looking for an audience. I remember his trainers and the soft guitar case open on the pavement with a smattering of coins. Then, this child.

Over the last two days I’ve examined the scene in my memory. I’ve sought to recall as much as I can about this little girl. She was not that little I think for her age, perhaps seven or eight. Stocky. Thick golden brown hair. A sensible skirt covering her knees, a fawn jumper with some sparkly decoration. Tights or long socks perhaps. Proper shoes. I keep examining my mind’s photo. What I recall most vividly was her large smiling eyes and her expression. This is my daddy, it said. He’s singing and I’m here looking after him. I’m his smiley girl here on the city street. It’s late. Other children back home would be in bed, but I’m here smiling at the people passing.

Yesterday we talked about this couple, the little girl mostly. He brought the subject up. He’d been thinking about her too. He’d been puzzling over the two of them. As a pair they seemed so physically different, hardly father and daughter. It was the (possible) daughter’s gaze, her twinkling eyes that had spoken to him - as they had spoken to me. This is my daddy, those eyes and that smiley face had said. And she was holding a bear.

Why did I not mention the bear until now? Of course, she was holding her bear. She had both arms around her bear. She was hugging her bear to herself. It was a mild evening for March – she wore no coat. He looked a good bear, not too old or small, not the kind of bear she’d been given in infancy, perhaps recently acquired but well-loved, well-hugged. A bear that seemed entirely right for her age, for her slightly old fashioned clothes. The sort of clothes I might have worn as a child. I think of a photo of me at that age dressed in a Cloth-Kits dress, with an Alice band, with glasses and lots of curly hair.  

He said ‘I’ve been wondering about the two of them. Did they have a home? Where would they go to when it became late?’ Was there a mother? Was she working somewhere on that Saturday night and the father had to take the girl. Was she wearing her best clothes? She looked OK. A glowing, healthy face, a face that reflected the bright, coloured lights of the city street.’

Suddenly, I realised there were tears in his eyes. I thought, He is imagining a story. He is imagining a story of this seven year old who should have been tucked up in bed with her bear, like my little boy with his blue blanket. He was imagining her life., her past in some Eastern European town, where she went to school, where she had friends and relatives, where she had been born and brought up, and been loved. And now the girl was here in this not so distant city. Perhaps illegally, without the papers, smuggled in as so many are. Her father, swarthy, even a tinge of the Roma perhaps, but she so different. It was the golden brown hair. Thick hair, a ribbon tied in it. A pink ribbon.

He had thought of his little girl, now fifteen, only when she was that age, seven. Oddly similar in some ways, the thick hair, the smiley face, a different but ever present bear, an infant’s bear, not a bear she’d take with her except in a bag. A bear not to be seen with at seven, but loved.

‘I’ll call her Katya,’ He said. The girl, not the bear.

And later He did. Every few days He would mention her – just in passing. ‘Do you think Katya’s  at school today?’ ‘I was in the city this afternoon, but I didn’t see Katya.’

He wrote about her and her father. A little story. I haven’t read it. He just told me He’d written it; He’d thought of following them in his imagination. He was a little embarrassed telling me this, and He didn’t offer to show me the story, which is unusual because when He mentions He’s written something He usually does. And so I wonder. I wonder how long this memory will stay with him and whether He will follow this couple (and her bear) into the future, create a story for them to live in.

Perhaps it will bring him the peace He does not have. The peace I try to give him when He is with me at home and we sit in my little house, at my table eating toast with Marmite after I’ve been out late whilst He’s sat on my settee and read – in peace at being in my home. I know He feels cast adrift from his family and He can’t be part of mine, yet a while. Perhaps it’s like being in another country. Perhaps He thinks, at least that busker had his child with him, his shining star, his ever-smiley girl.

Yet He is thinking of his smiley girl, smiley still at fifteen, still loving her dad despite what He’s done, despite the fact that she sees him so seldom. Despite the fact that He is only occasionally with her, and she knowing I, his lover, his young woman, his companion and friend, has captured his heart and thoughts.

I think of Katya too. I think of my older girl, so loved and circled about with love and admiration by her respective families and our friends. She is so special and so beautiful, as I was special at eleven, as I think I was beautiful at eleven, just on the brink of that transformation that will take her towards becoming a teenager – and the rest.  

We were lying in bed the Saturday morning before seeing Katya and I was telling him about my childhood. He’d asked me about zebra finches. Walking in his nearby park He had admired their bright red beaks in the park’s newly-restored aviary. I told him about a parrot in a park close to my childhood home, a parrot I passed as I went to school. I described for him my walk to school, meeting up with my friends, passing the parrot. I know how happy it made him to hear me talk about such things. He said so later, embracing me in the kitchen. ’I so love to hear you talk about your childhood.’ I could feel he was moved to say this. It was important. I realised then just how deeply he loved me. That it was important. That he imagined me as a child. That He wanted to know that part of me. He’s rarely asked about the stuff in between. Of my former lovers I’ve said a little. He has said a little about his past liaisons and affaires, but knows I am uncomfortable when he does. So we leave this. But childhood, That’s so different, because it is that precious, precious time of shelter and care: when we begin to discover who we are and who and what we love.

Where is Katya now? In a messy room she shares with her parents in a house shared with economic migrants, where she has a few belongings in three plastic bags. In one, her best clothes she wears to stand on the city street on a Saturday night with her daddy. In another a jumble of not so clean clothes she rotates each day. She has her sleeping bag, her bear, her warm coat and gloves. There’s a few magazines she’s found about the house. English is puzzling. She learnt a little at school back home, and from the TV of course, those American soaps. If she was here in my house I would stand her in the shower, wash her thick hair, put her clothes in the machine, sit her on my bed in my daughter’s clothes with some picture books, introduce her to my cats, we would bake some buns. I would give her a small gift of my love to take away with her and she would look on me with her smiley face, her sparkling eyes and let me hold her bear.

And later when I saw him I would tell him that Katya had been with me for a little, and tears would fall, mine and his, knowing that only in our dreams could we make this so.
Chris Voss Nov 2012
This one's for me
and I'm gonna watch it burn.
Watch it flicker and pop and crackle and spit.
Gonna take lessons on how to dance with the draft,
also hoping she doesn't ******* out.
I'll make poems out of smoke and shadows
and fading, lonesome, sepia-tone summer photographs.
I want to make dusty picture frames feel like well-loved tuxedos.
I'm gonna see if candlelight can be all the company I need to keep.
Gonna sweep this floor clean,
like it's not what we say, it's what we mean
between the lines of
one too-polished table setting:
one knife,
one spoon,
but two forks for wishful thinking.
I'm gonna eat my fill
and fill my cup again and again,
to the point that I begin to make conversation
with my reflection in the bathroom mirror.
I'll tell that *******, "My friend, you are drunk."
and he'll tell me, "Kid, look who's talking."
Then it'll be back to a glass
that treats its brim like a suggestion.
Gonna have whisky and black lager and champagne
'til my toes and thumbs tingle.
Thin blooded and numbed;
Steeled by my father's novocain.
Come morning, this house couldn't get more hollow.

In these hallowed halls where I wallow in the way that
I only seem to appreciate the preciousness of days
Once they've passed,
here's what I'm gonna do:
I'm gonna write questions on one side of the wooden window blinds,
and write punchlines to completely unrelated jokes on the other.
I don't know why. Maybe just to **** with people.

I'm gonna reminisce with full streets of ghosts
That glow like kerosene lamp posts
all the while, stomping my feet, just to prove that I can.
Gonna make toasts to the isolated;
to the quarantined and the misanthropes.
I'll boast that lovers are not unlike poachers,
but I'm not gonna mention that in every other under-cover dream
I seem to swoon like ivory elephant tusks.
I'm gonna gamble on Dusk
because I think it's got a little less honesty,
but a little more promise than its
attention-*******, good-for-nothing, go-getter big sister Dawn does.
That flirtations *****.
Gonna give Christian names to half drawn caricatures
of people who only ever existed when the lights died out
and the snow fell heavy.

I'm gonna let the levies break.
I'll go insane, just ******* lose it--
do the Boot-Scoot-'n'-Boogie in a onesie
with the hind flap flying free and the Greek Theatre masks of
Comedy and Tragedy painted on my *** cheeks,
(because no one should ever take their art too seriously)
And I'm even not gonna even care who sees,
partially because there's no one around to watch anyway,
but mostly because I want,
more than anything, to just be me.
Or at least I want to want that.
See, I read somewhere that,
"You should always be yourself…
unless you can be a unicorn,
then always be a unicorn."
And that really struck home for me because,
even though I've never really ached to be
the ******* love child of a Narwhal and Zebra
(In my imagination, unicorns are
striped and impecable swimmers)
I truly believe that Men will always dream of being Titans
and Titans will always dream of being Gods
and Gods want nothing more than to be Wind--
to twist with lit candle sticks
and teach the lonesome how to dance.

A one-step waltz tip-toed to distract.

But the fact is, I'm bound to take a few back steps.
I'm gonna think about her.
Gonna harbor hard feelings towards back bedroom dealings
that I have no right knowing about.
Gonna pray like a desperate atheist
that they keep their knees locked in a one night stand.
I might break down.
Only once, just long enough to regain my strength.
Then I'll tame the earthquakes in my hands, like I always do.
Gonna find what it takes to move on.
Not just regenerate, but to grow stronger than I ever was before.
So I'm gonna meticulously straighten these place settings:
One knife.
One spoon.
A healthy dose of wishful thinking.
Gonna try my hand again at dancing with the back draft;
I heard she's been aching for a duet,
and with all the life of candlelight
I'm gonna ignite the coal shafts beneath my eyes.
Gonna finally see me as the man I am,
not the titan I wish to be,
because I heard somewhere that,
"You should always be yourself…
Especially when all you've known
all you've ever shown
is some mythology."
So raise your glass because this one?
This one's for me.
Bergen Franklin May 2015
zebra geebra
striped like an amoeba
or maybe like a striped cloth
thrown over a horse
but you don't race zebras
or amoebas
just a horse
but if the horse
had a striped saddle
it'd be a zebra
but not an ameba
but amoebas did evolve into zebras
and horses
Oct 21, 2005

— The End —