20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


Eyes turn to stare
At the new fish on the street

Dirty brown, ragged, dusty, filthy.
A pure-bred,
A perfect addition to their collection
In the tank.

Joining the ranks of four others,
A school, lined up in neat row.
Body after body after body after body after body
Resting on their tails – fish have no legs.

More eyes stare.

Their mouths open and close – but no one hears.
Fish make no noise.

Their eyes plead as yet another cent drops, more, more, they cry! – but
Fish have no choice.

Their scales flinch as a stray coin hits them – but no one cares.
Fish have no voice.

The water engulfs them,
Hundred pairs of huge eyes are magnified
Inspecting the fish.

A fish bubbles – his final one –
The reverie breaks, the other fish scatter,
And the people walk away to their lunches in fancy restaurants
Fish and chips, nicely buttered.

You murderer!

You are a murderer.
Your hands,
Your body, are
Stained with blood
And its rusty copper metallic scent.
Exotic, you say.

Look in your closet,
The evidence is there.
A skeleton.
Declaring your malicious cruelty

You proclaim your elegance,
You say you’re “high-class”
How apt, to live miles away while others do your
Dirty work
To satiate your craving wants.

Your body may rise to the top but your heart remains
Deep deep down, buried under layers of fossils and excrement.
Corrupted. Filthy.

You are a life sucking creature.

You imagine the desperate squealings and
pained moanings,
Yet they are music,
A mere tinkling in the air, another lively piece
By Chopin or Mozart.
The cacophony a harmonious orchestra,
The occasional loud scream a compelling climax

You imagine the blood splattering on the ground
As the knife slices the fur
Yet your dilated pupils register it as art
Another addition to your private collection
of Van Gogh or Picasso.
Abstract splotches on the canvas, perhaps
Depicting the meaning of life.

You imagine a half-dead,”useless” animal
Just a quivering mass of red meat
Yet your mouth senses
The tantalising taste and texture
Of the rabbit meat you had at the ball last night
Succulent, juicy, tender,
Dripping with honey and spices – sweet cinnamon

Your selfish desires strip
Lower creatures of their
Shed their fuzzy coverings for a coat of blood.

Beneath the innocent, pure white, luxurious fur
Lies a dead animal.
It’s death sentence written since birth –
Guilty, of being itself.

Another family without a father, or a mother, or a child.
Another soul gone
Another life lost –

One that


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