As usual,
it was one tank that drew the crowd
down in the museum’s aquarium.
It was not the tank with pike
gawping threateningly,
their teeth barred
in anticipation
and hope
of attracting an audience.
though there was a monstrous pike in it,
swimming with it’s mouth wide open.
But it’s mouth was open wide
in wonder,
in wonder at it’s strange environment.
it’s not often that a pike gets to swim
in a drawing room
furnished from times past.
It’s eyes bulged
with the strangeness of it all.
it was a crowd puller,
though still not enough
to satisfy such an audience,
the pike reflected,
as it considered the strangeness
of it’s very un-fishlike companion,
the young girl costume dressed
to match the drawing room,
standing there dreamlike
or maybe drugged,
steadying herself
with the chair.
Perhaps earlier she was seated,
when the water was lower.
but now she has to stand.
The water is already
up to her waist
and rising slowly.
The audience gets larger,
their eyes bulging fishlike
as they gawp at the spectacle.
They call it entertainment.
So it goes.


Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. Her poem “A Rose For Gaza” was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud ‘War Poetry for Today’ competition 2014. This and many other poems, have been widely published in anthologies and journals such as Vagabond Press, Apogee, Firewords, Indie Soleil, Light Journal and Snapdragon. 

Artist Sally Deskins is an artist and writer focusing on perspectives of women including her own. She’s been published internationally and exhibited nationally and has curated several exhibitions and books.