This is the tale of Old Seth

an engineman on the Chesapeake

rode from Richmond to Ohio

and back two times a week


lately confined in a twilight home

in Wannesboro he dwelt

just keeping to himself most times

the card that destiny dealt.


The doctors reck'ned he'd lost his mind

just sat there looking out,

somedays his eyes would screw right up

other times he'd shout


but mostly he just cursed and spat

and very seldom smiled,

no one knew his reasoning

nor why he got so riled.


Apparently one restless night

he trashed his room and went

packed his clothes for the winter snows

at the time of a wolves' lament.


No trace of Seth was found for a while,

but on a frosty morning

a hunter was out at Shenandoah

just as the sun was dawning.


He lined his sights on a vulture venue

wheeling and circling round

where a tunnel went through a rocky pass

as they hovered near the ground.


The rifleman was curious

so he climbed a bit aways

then a timber trestle bridge came clear

in the morning's early haze.


With no particular press of time

he scrambled up the side

to where a trackbed stretched right out

in weeds and rust run wide.


There a lofty signal post

was bleaching in the air

and on the ground was a man propped up

facing Delaware.


The state police soon checked him out

Seth's face had nearly gone,

those vultures don't have no respect

for what they feast upon.


The engineman had finished up

just riding out his past

when his loco pressure went right up

no water in the glass.


The twilight home went into shock

but soon his room was taken,

'cause life and death go on I guess

and the dead you can't awaken.


No one knows what drove him there

his secrets unexposed,

and the old men die

new life passes on

to the young and unopposed.




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Sat 31st Dec 2016 16:55

Thanks Colin, I think you prompted me to put this on, and maybe it gets more grizzly with age. (which reminds me, i'm not getting any younger myself).

Cheers, David. I don't have any explanation for Seth's condition, but I think he hated being grounded and confined. Better the vultures than the grim reaper in the home, as you imply.

Glad you enjoyed this Jeff. I'll try anything. Maybe a Bailey's and a mince pie tonight!


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Sat 31st Dec 2016 04:19

Bravo! these stories. Best served in a bar with cold beer & warm friends....Jeff...

<Deleted User> (13762)

Fri 30th Dec 2016 19:32

Great to see Old Seth given an airing Ray. Enjoyed reading again. All the best, Colin.

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