The Old Man on the Shore

The old man on the shore
 
I met a man by the shore
who said he knew more --
more than anyone who was able
 
To tell the strange tale
of the sand and the shale
and he laid it all out on the table
 
He didn’t look much older than me
but it was easy to see
that looks could be very deceiving
 
For he knew this very rock
when it glowed bright-red hot
He carefully related that evening
 
The rock, he explained
was washed down in the rain
from mountains that no longer existed
 
He winked as he spoke
and then started to smoke
an old pipe he concealed in his pocket
 
The ghosts of the past
didn’t think they would last
so they threw themselves into volcanos
 
Now that they’re weathered and bare
they don’t really care
if most mortals can’t really see them

But they’re here in plain sight
laid out, day and night
on the slippery shore of the ocean
 
Where they’ll be buried once more
on the vast ocean floor
sedimentary in thousands of layers
 
As he re-lit his pipe 
I asked if he’d like
to teach me more about this old fable
 
But he made a sharp sound
then disappeared in the ground
and I was left with a puzzling formation
 
It looked like a bone
formed out of sandstone
which gave me a chilling sensation
 
Now when I step on a rock
I can recall his strange talk
and I listen with anticipation.

---- Fred Brown, BSP

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domino QQ

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