The Old Man in the Coffee Shop

About 20 years ago, in a college town, I happened upon a small coffee shop. As I slowly sipped a Red Eye, I pondered my young existence. I noticed an old man glancing at me over his glasses. I suppose he noticed I looked somewhat dejected so he asked if I would join him. We talked for an hour or so about life in general and my spiritual struggles at the time. He told me of his son, whom he didn’t speak with much anymore and I told him of my doubts about humanity. The old man offered some advice and empathized with my spiritual peril. He told me that I would understand more as I age. Before he left he smiled and gave me a folded piece of paper. I didn’t know what to make of it, so I waited until he was gone before I unfolded it. What he left me were several bits of writing he had done. I read his poems and placed the parchment into a box with my own writing materials.

Today I was going through that box which contained old songs lyrics I had written and I stumbled across this piece of paper again. After re-reading his poems with an aged mind I’ve decided that the old man should be heard by a larger audience. The following is a collection of poems written by Glen Uhrmacher…the old man in the coffee shop.


Did I waste those precious moments…

that seemed would never end?

Did I live my life too ridged…

would a kinder person bend?

Am I a fool to ask this now;

when I should have thought before?

That you pass this way but once…

Then silently close the door.


I am your mind, and I can be…

anything you ask of me.

I can lift you up to the heights of heaven…

or drop you to the depths of hell.

I can make you laugh, make you cry…

make you sick, or make you well.

So when you think I shall listen.

For this you should know!

I can be your friend…

or I can be your foe.

The Reply

If somehow I was given the strength

to break this mortal bond

and had within my person

the power to go beyond

to sweep the stars from out my way

and with giant strides those heavens trod

still I would return to say

you were wrong my friend, there is a God…

Written by Matthew – 2015

with credit to Glen Uhrmacher

© 2015 This Mortal Flesh


13 thoughts on “The Old Man in the Coffee Shop

  1. Pingback: The Old Man in the Coffee Shop | This Mortal Flesh

  2. Pingback: The Cape | This Mortal Flesh

  3. Wonderful post, and great truth! We live to pas the torch. There is nothing more precious than words of wisdom we say in Albania. And this is proof. Keep your light burning Matthew. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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