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Poetry: Humming Along by Allan Lake

Humming Along

by Allan Lake

Only teenagers work at Cafe Hummingbird, 
like same music: slow disco beat with paralysed 
vocalist trying to decide how to end what remains 
of a damaged life because fragile heart and spine 
broke and now life’s a black, female dog that 
should be put down. This song like last song, 
forever and ever unless you pull a gun. 
But I’m Australian and pack a pen 
which frightens nobody. 

I try to peruse newspaper, sip espresso, 
watch silent movie glide past window but 
‘music’ piddles on perception. Bad news. 
A determined virus is out to kill a certain 
rogue species that’s burdened by debt, 
CO2, attitude. After stabbing myself 
with teaspoon – not very hard – 
and paying for bitter beverage, 
I execute an exit and reset mind
by humming Aquas De Marco, 
an old bossa tune about the beauty 
of the ordinary. That’s the antidote,
in case you ever urgently need one. 
If you’re human, you will need one.

About the author

Originally from Saskatchewan, Allan Lake has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton Island, Ibiza, Tasmania & Melbourne. Poetry Collection: Sand in the Sole (Xlibris, 2014). Lake won Lost Tower Publications (UK) Comp 2017 & Melbourne Spoken Word Poetry Fest/The Dan 2018. Poetry Chapbook (Ginninderra Press, 2020): My Photos of Sicily.

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Created in 2014, Flashes is a privately owned literary website. We publish short stories, non-fiction, flash fiction and poetry. Our goal is to give talented writers a platform to showcase their creativity, with an emphasis on original voice, innovative style and challenging plots.

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