Catfish Cantos V: The Garden where Stories End

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In the beginning was
the story. Y’all see de railroad track
down ‘ere?
That’s where John Henry with his
mighty hammer
challenged the machine.

In the delta, where
the gators grow so mean,
sweet waters meet
like flautists
in a strawberry field.

Sir? If you must smoke,
kindly leave the plot. (Idiot!)

A steam engine this is, a-steam-a-steam
engine this is, a-steam a-steam a-steam a-steam
Choo choooo!
Quick, more fuel, steam-a steam-a,
don’t be cruel, steam-a steam-a,
ra-ta-ta ta-ta-ta
ra-ta-ta ta-ta-ta,
Hi ho, speed, my silver jewel!

So, was there any feedback on this
peace ad you took out? Well,
what did you expect
from life?

Hey, buster, what’s up?
You’re jumping like
a catfish on a pole.
Oh, it’s a dance, I see.
You’re an artist.
Great! No, art is great. I have
a niece that can
juggle with four oranges.

Faster, faster, silver steam,
dream on faster, dream on, dream!
Ra-ta ta-ta ra-ta-tar,
Let it ring from bar to bar!

In the garden where all stories end
cowers the unseen one,
the untouched. He has
many names. He
is there. He knows
his way around.

Listen, this
PTSD lotion they gave you,
is it any use?
It comes with a massage, right?
No, I’m just asking.

All this violence, I cannot …
It’s hard sometimes, you know.
Of course we had to do it,
sure. That’s
common sense.

In the garden
where his story ends,
nothing depends
upon a silver wheel

the apple tree.

Anis Hamadeh is a German artist with a MA in Islamic Studies. His writings include Palestine/Israel/Germany. He is the author of Understanding Islam: A Practical Handbook (2013 in German). Anis, who is also a songwriter, does live appearances, studio productions, etc. Read other articles by Anis, or visit Anis's website.