Short Verse – “The Cold Man”

I found this in an old notebook. It’s at least 12 years old, if not older:

The Cold Man

At the bottom of the sea, he sits

Bubbles rising; crystal prints of amorphous spheres

Disappearing into the black above.


Who knows? He hasn’t swam that far.



Maybe yes. Maybe no.

He might break Surface today.

Join the crowd; don The Suit.

Sit for a meeting; drink some coffee.

He’d be back by noon, of course.

He never lasted that long above.

Just like his father.

His father.

He who dared to swim below, into the abyss;

To discover.

Who knows what he found

Down there in the deep?

Maybe I’ll go down tomorrow, the son thinks.


The chance to solve the mystery intrigues him.

He ponders it a while,

Then leaves his sandy perch

and follows the bubbles to the surface,

His long tail tracing ripples in the dark.


While I’m a supporter of National Pride and I think it’s a sentiment that is often ignorantly cast aside in favor of popular (or at least more vocal) opinion, I still have little interest in the Winter Olympics. On display are disciplined athletes performing at a higher level than most could ever hope to achieve, yet I’m still kind of peeved that it postpones the small handful of television shows I watch by several weeks. Shame on you, over-achievers, for not making it easy to indulge bad habits.

This got me thinking about the various cultures surrounding “things”. Many people have a “thing”, be it football, stamp collecting, painting, etc. Each of these things is a world unto itself, wherein there are heroes, villains, outcasts…stories. Worlds within worlds; branches leading to smaller branches, all growing from the never-ending tree trunk of life. What may look superficial at first glance is actually a culture steeped in tradition, often dating back hundreds of years. With the Winter Olympics, there isn’t just one sport to hold your attention. You could learn everything there was to know about bobsledding and yet know nothing about the history of the snowboard. There are endless worlds within our own, and they are each being explored by someone out there.

This, in turn, got me thinking about books. Every book is a world waiting to be explored. Think how many libraries are bursting with texts, each one a universe unto itself. It boggles my mind, and it throws so many layers of depth beneath an existence which is already satisfyingly deep. Enriching. That’s the word I’m looking for, I think.

So you winter athletes keep doing your thing, and you football players keep doing your thing, and you writers keep doing YOUR thing. Someone out there lives in your world. Who knows how many countless others will stumble in?