Strange fish

The sea spits out strange fish ashore, the sun is not 

shimmering today

They said the sun shimmers on the vast sandy 

beaches of the south like crowds of dancing brides.

They said  the sun-rays make the sand seem like tiny tiny

speckles of shades of gold and diamonds. 

They said the water is a see-through blue mirror, the

heavens and all that is hidden in the sea become one.

They said i would breathe in the fresh air and its secrets will be

revealed. 

They said it’s the freshest of air, without

dust from bombs, fire, bullets or falling buildings. 

 

A body lies on a cold cold metal tabletop mutilated, a being 

reduced to pieces of flesh in bell jars, a scientific case study on freakiness

A woman reduced to nothingness, all humanity is lost. 

The ancestral spirits have travelled borders, rivers, vast lands

and seas to come and see for themselves. They sigh «abomination»

The calls of crows are heard everywhere

 

They said my brother and I would run, play, and run, dance,

jump, laugh so hard that our little stomachs would ache that 

mummy would have to massage them. 

They said mummy would take long swims in bluest clear water that

would heal her sad face and heart. 

They said we’d board a ship, my brother and I  would play navigators

like the great Arab explorers Al-Dimashqi, Ahmad ibn Majid or 

Sulaiman Al Mahri.  

 

Bodies squashed together my brother and I are sitting on mummy’s

lap, daddy standing next to us.  The captain insists that all sit 

and avoid too much movement. it’s getting too hot, we have drifted

far far from the mainland. I am so thirsty. All I see around us is deep depth of 

dark.

The ship is rocking violently, my brother and I are so scared mummy, 

please mummy I am so scared. My brother and I hold mummy tight. 

Mummy clings tight to us too. People are shouting and screaming, 

mummy is whispering into our ears. 

 

don’t be scared my little boys mummy is here, all will be alright 

don’t be scared my little boys mummy is here, all will be alright   

don’t be scared my little boys mummy is here, all will be alright 

 

Everyone is fighting the strong currents mummy is trying hard to 

hold on to my brother and I and father is trying to save mother and 

us. Bodies everywhere, spirits still fighting to hang on to life…

I can’t find my brother, mummy and father. Where are you mummy,

I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe… my little lungs are filling up,

my little lungs are filling up. Where are you mummy, mummy I am scared..

 

I close my eyes tight and let my mind drift back home to a time before

the clouds eternally turned grey from falling bombs, 

to a time before the eternal smoke and burning of our house and school

to a time before the eternal dust dust from concrete falling buildings

 

my brother and I running running through the olive trees, giggling, playing

my brother and I running running through the olive trees, giggling, playing

 

The sea feels heavy, it spits out strange fish ashore

My little lifeless body lies here… a raven hovers over

His call so loud, the sky heavily hangs and grey.   

The sun is not shimmering today.  

     

© 2015 Anawana Haloba