The coffee shop conversation

Coffee shop conversation

A Poem by Coyote Poetry


Good coffee and a chess game is what life need to be. I miss the days of good conversation and chess games.


                                   Coffee shop conversation

Old man with a laptop asked me. Can you play chess or just a pretender?
I open the wood chess board. Set the white pieces on the board for my my new friend and I lay the black down for me. He smiled and sat down. He told me. “Chess is like life. A good players played safely and never test the game. Like life. Is it better to play the game like a robot than play the game of life and chess fearless and unafraid?

I looked the old man. His eyes were serious. I told him. “It is who you are playing. Some games can become personal. Some games are for pleasure.”

He smiled at me and told me. “Today we play for pleasure. I don’t care if I lose or win. Let’s see if we can extend the game and the conversation.”

The old man told me many tales. He had wrote many book on life, war and human emotion. He told me he fought in the Vietnam war and came home to gather his mind and his thoughts. He told me he had killed and regret the memory everyday. He was saved by love. Dear parent and an old love who stayed with him till last year. She left him. The cancer stole her.

I sat in silence. The chess game was very slow. I was trying to lose. He laughed at my desire to forfeit the game.  He told me. ‘”We need men like you. Not fearing defeat, not afraid to express the truth. My books are locked-up in the laptop. Dead-man words don’t teach the world nothing. Better to be a alive writer than a invisible writer using their words as a safety net.”

I asked him why didn’t he tried to publish his stories. This generation need to know the truth. Men who saw hell and back need to tell the people. War is shit.

He smiled and looked outside at the Monterey sun. He told me. Too late for me. My words will die with me. Blood and death need to be forgotten. I wrote down my brothers names who didn’t return home on a sheet of paper. I cried for them daily alone. I will join them soon. Old age is fair. Allowed us to find some sort of peace in the world of shit.”

I lost the game and I would play many games of chess with my writer friend. He edited my poetry and I got  published because of his desire to make the words perfect. He allowed me to read some of his stories. They were not filled with blood and misery. He tried to see the good in the wild and crazy world.

His last words to me were. “A wise man can find good in the darkest of days. When I left Vietnam and touched the United States soil. I knew I was alive and had a chance. I had to live for the friends left in the soil of Vietnam. Today I’m thankful for my family, missed wife and opportunity to see  the sunrise and the moon rise to light the night.”

I have become the Coffee house poet. They call me the insane Poet. I learn from the many good conversations and chess games. Life is fair. Sometime we must lose to win. We must know  many lovers and have family at your feet. Old man logic is the good way. One day. I will join my friend. Old soldiers save places for missed friends and we will play another game of chess.