Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

non-sequitur moment

by John R. Shaw

I don’t speak Gaelic,
and I’ve never been to Venice, either,
she said — between bites of her sandwich — 
not looking at anyone in particular.

And I thought:

It must take a long time to get there by rowboat.
The ocean is only half-filled with water,
though there is plenty of time,
plenty of it.
plenty…

It is only 8 miles across the straits of Gibraltar
where the big rock is.
(Well, there is probably more than one),
and they keep getting reshaped and worn by water.

Maybe water can reshape me
or move me out to the sea.

Stones don’t move themselves;
they just get reshaped by water.
Running water.
Falling down.
Breaking it apart.
Lots of water falling down and crashing into crags and crevices.

That’s why rocks crash into the sea.

The ocean is half-full of rocks, I said.

And she nodded with fluid regality
 — between bites of her sandwich — 
like a queen or princess.


First published in Soundzine, February, 2011


John R Shaw was born and raised in the South but lives in the Midwest, because he enjoys the changing seasons. He posts poetry and various things at tapsandratamacues.com. His poetry has been published in The Front Porch Review and the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. He has self-published one chapter book, Accidental Songs, available on Amazon.