i walked with a stranger

along the beach

he asked me if 

trees were living

i replied yes

he asked how i knew that

he asked if 

they breathed

i said yes

he asked, “how?”

i said through the veins in their leaves

he asked if 

they had lungs - where were their lungs?

he said nothing can breathe without lungs

i had to concede that 

i didn’t think that 

trees had lungs

he said that 

he knew that 

trees were alive

he said that 

sometimes you have to hear something that you don’t believe

he asked if 

i knew what an angler fish is

Photographic work by Richard Gosnold in Northern Ireland. Angler Fish.
Photographic work by Richard Gosnold in Northern Ireland. Angler Fish.
Photographic work by Richard Gosnold in Northern Ireland. Angler Fish.

i walked with a stranger

along the beach

he asked me if 

i knew the difference

between coniferous and deciduous trees 

i said that coniferous trees ate meat...

he looked perplexed
he asked me if

i knew how an angler fish caught its food
i said no 

he said he was going to tell me something

that i should not repeat to anyone else

because they would not believe me

Photographic work by Richard Gosnold in Northern Ireland. Angler Fish.
Photographic work by Richard Gosnold in Northern Ireland. Angler Fish.

i walked with a stranger

along the beach
a giant of a man
holding two large rocks
one in each hand
he said he knew me
he said i was Australian
i agreed
i felt intimidated
he said tree huggers know about trees
he said they can't tell anyone
they wouldn't be believed
he knows it too
other people have seen it also
he said trees are remarkable and
people just go and cut them down
he asked do i know what the most persecuted plant is?
i didn't
he told me, the stinging nettle
he said people just go and
hack them down
when all they do is
give a little sting

it's fucking outrageous, he said

sometimes you have to hear something that you don’t believe

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