A MAN WHO TALKED TO FISH • by Teddy Kimathi

The Sun was setting far away in the ocean’s horizon, without me having a chance to enjoy a surfing moment. From morning until then, there was not a single wave to see or feel.

It was a man resting under a coconut tree who made me lighten up. Asked what was his secret in maintaining a glowing smile without the Sun and waves, his smile became broader.

“It is the fish! They talked to me. They told me sweet things…” he managed to say, his first words. At that moment, it was self-control that kept me from bursting out loud with laughter. Respecting other people’s opinions about their world was part of me.

It was after screening for any traits of ridicule on my face with his keen eyes, that he went on with his story.

The story’s plot involved a miserable man, who went to have a deep swim in the afternoon ocean, in search of shells and pearls to sell. When the assignment was almost complete on the ocean’s floor, a shoal of zebra fish came swiftly, only to halt a meter away from where he was. “A man from this ocean will bring you a chest of gold and precious stones, right on your doorstep,” one of the fish said to him.

Probably as a sign of concluding the story, the strange man lit a roll of weed, and lazily fixed it between his cracked lips.  It was at that moment, when his broad smile changed into wild laughter, that I left him to wait for the imaginary treasure man.

As I stared across the beach on the main road, a figure of a man appeared from the full-moon’s reflection on the ocean, carrying what appeared to be a chest!


Teddy Kimathi writes poetry, news-stories, quotes, and short stories. He has poems published in Leaves of Ink, Three Line Poetry (Issue #25), Shot Glass Journal (Issues #11 & #13), and Every Day Poets. His first poetry-book, Painting of Life in Poetry, was published by Lulu Press.


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