Stairs of sand, p.1
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Stairs of Sand


  Stairs of Sand

  and

  Other Poems

  by Daniel Hargrove

  Copyright 2017 Daniel Hargrove

  Cover art copyright 2017 Daniel Hargrove

  This book is published for anyone's enjoyment. Authors retain the copyright to their work. Users may read, copy and distribute the work in any medium or format for non-commercial purposes, provided the authors and the journal are appropriately credited. The users are not allowed to remix, transform or build upon the published material.

  Table of Contents

  01 Stairs of Sand

  02 Home in the Sea

  03 Box

  04 High and Bright

  05 The Animal of Night

  06 Chimes

  07 Merely an Obstacle

  08 The Stain

  09 The Prime Years

  10 Hope Burns

  11 Phone Call

  12 Trial and Error

  13 Not as a Stone

  14 Before the Dust Settles

  15 No Key is Found

  16 Chin Drops

  17 Film Strip

  18 Tried and True

  19 In the Midst

  20 Whispered to the Wind

  21 As Some May See

  22 In the Wing of a Breeze

  Stairs of Sand

  My shadow burning, knotted, entwined

  strikes an anvil with a dusty ring;

  such is the song of swallows, up high

  clamoring for a marriage of ivy.

  The spider's silk of one mirage, two,

  captures a fly of sun-baked sand

  slipping through the fingers of rain,

  a red devil snared in a mirror's silver.

  Yet I dig a well, striking water thrice

  inviting the brand to drink, and quench

  its thirst, the cry of an infant, blue,

  wrapped and taped, sold to the clock.

  Spare us the joker, slick as green moss,

  a card in the hat, feathered and ribboned

  the candlelight groans its last appeal

  to the needle's eye, on the button, yet.

  Home in the Sea

  A delicate seashell, washed ashore,

  not chipped, nor scratched, a pretty pink;

  this is the dress my lover wore.

  The sound of the sea in a quiet roar,

  sweeping curves, like a graceful mink;

  a delicate seashell, washed ashore.

  Later a pearl, a mollusk, before,

  making a home in the salty drink...

  this is the dress my lover wore.

  Lost to me, another and more,

  someone found the missing link,

  a delicate seashell, washed ashore.

  To every home there is a door,

  lock held fast by a maiden's wink...

  this is the dress my lover wore.

  The setting sun seen from the shore,

  into the water, to swim or sink;

  a delicate seashell, washed ashore...

  this is the dress my lover wore.

  Box

  A future unemcumbered

  by the crushing hand of fate

  is what we all deserve and need

  but a puppet with no strings

  crumples to the floor

  with no time

  for reflection

  hack my way through the jungle

  or ride the go-round

  as if I had my sight

  I need the help of an angel

  who knows my story

  like her own

  who does not exist

  I think

  because need is a

  mouthful of sand

  the bosses, with their megaphones

  will fix it all, you'll see

  as if I had a moment

  to myself

  High and Bright

  Torn between

  the ordinary and the exceptional

  the ordinary seems elevated

  the exceptional

  seems too high

  but the ordinary

  seems too practical

  while the exceptional seems magical

  I don't believe in magic

  the ordinary seems larger than life

  and the exceptional seems narrow

  the ordinary seems caught

  and the exceptional seems

  like the jailor

  the ordinary seems quiet

  while the exceptional seems loud

  the ordinary seems exceptional

  and the exceptional seems ordinary

  The Animal of Night

  The sands of time, ribbons through the presents of age,

  each grain a salty reminder of growing older,

  slip groaning through the hourglass, chiming midnight,

  and the tail of a possum grips the tree limb desperately

  as if her fall would last more than one eternity...

  it is still day, though the moon climbs a cerulean tide,

  and I beckon the landlocked siren in a show of blushing,

  my tired lust ringing in my barnacled ears...

  the men of midnight have me cornered, teeth bared,

  as if I could throw a clown a metric mile...

  the child's taste of clover honey brings back a ringing dawn

  down the drainpipe, spilling in the trifling mud,

  when what was asked was not what was answered...

  the singing burn of the undertow sucks me away, far away

  as the sound of a distant train becoming more distant

  for the very last time, at the end of an inchworm's foot...

  the nighttime deep inside stirs and wakes, toast and eggs,

  believing as it does that the world may stop short

  and forever daytime there, forever my starry ocean;

  and I am a child on the mirror slide of the playground once more...

  Chimes

  I dare a look at the calendar

  and another year has passed

  yet I am still

  standing still

  my heart as yet unclaimed

  my pockets still empty

  my dreams as yet

  still poignant with possibilities

  another day has passed

  and no one saw it

  and no one asked it

  for a different sun

  one not so bright

  one flickering brightly

  at the end of the candle

  another hour passed

  no one's kiss untasted

  but mine, and hers

  nowhere to be found

  another minute passed

  and the second hand

  dove off the clock

  and into the

  damp spring grasses

  Merely an Obstacle

  Across the ropes and over the walls

  the spring is over, turned to seed

  down the lane, a journey calls

  The car, it misses, sputters, stalls

  a stranger stops, the day's good deed

  across the ropes and over the walls

  The flower, yellow, envy of dolls

  the garden, I see, is turned to weed

  down the lane, a journey calls

  A gun, it misses, the enemy falls

  despite the crown, the princess fleed

  across the ropes and over the walls

  She married well, the jester palls

  and joking, high on honey mead

  down the lane, a journey calls

  Echoing through, along the halls

  the laughter of the prisoner freed

  across the rope and over the walls

  while down the lane, a journey calls

  The Stain

  It wouldn't come out

  cold nor

  hot water

  Even turp

  ugly and brown

  like a bruise

  she tried

  and tried

  but his shirt sleeve

  was ruined

  He could wear it

  for work in the yard

  she guessed

  but his job

  at the circus

  in the second ring

  with the lions

  was not a place

  he could wear it

  he'll get over it

  she figured

  The Prime Years

  Thirteen candles, brightly lit...

  a birthday song we all can sing;

  straight ahead and never quit.

  At that age we're young and fit,

  beginning, then the joyful spring,

  thirteen candles brightly lit.

  The cat, she scratched, the dog, he bit,

  and we all know the bee can sting...

  straight ahead and never quit.

  Cake and ice cream, come and sit...

  birds of summer, on the wing;

  thirteen candles, brightly lit.

  Use your mind and bring your wit,

  lights will shine and bells will ring...

  straight ahead and never quit.

  Eat the peach but leave the pit,

  taste the honey bees will bring...

  thirteen candles, brightly lit;

  straight ahead and never quit.

  Hope Burns

  The hope of sanity comes from behind,

  seems a mirage on the sparkling sand;

  can we believe the world is kind?

  The big money cats are in a bind;

  millions of dollars from hand to hand.

  The hope of sanity comes from behind.

  The favorites in front, their pockets lined

  by growling dogs who own the land...

  can we believe the world is kind?

  It's almost twelve, a clock to wind,

  the tick and tock, the minute hand,

  the hope of sanity comes from behind.

  Among the kings a game we find,

  the billionaires strike up the band...

  can we believe the world is kind?

  The clown is trumped by an agile mind

  and nature takes her final stand...

  the hope of sanity comes from behind;

  can we believe the world is kind?

  Phone Call

  Hey, (insert name here), how's it going?

  Oh, I'm good, how are you?

  I'm doing good.

  Good to hear. What're you up to?

  Not a whole lot just working.

  Ah, ok.

  Yeah, I need to get back to it. Things have been busy.

  Alright, bro, give me a call if you get free.

  I'll do that. Talk to ya later.

  Ok. Be safe!

  You too man, take care.

  Ok. Bye.

  Bye.

  Trial and Error

  While waiting on a welcome smile

  I met a woman, made a bet,

  still needing welcome all the while.

  I walked a tightrope, ran a mile,

  although I haven't been there yet

  while waiting on a welcome smile.

  They turned their backs as is the style...

  perhaps they know my mind is set;

  still needing welcome all the while.

  The t.v. says, "Don't touch that dial!"

  and are we really all in debt?...

  while waiting on a welcome smile.

  The beauty that the worst defile;

  the fading sun, I've often met,

  still needing welcome all the while.

  I'm weeding through the rank and file,

  but when it rains, we all get wet,

  while waiting on a welcome smile;

  still needing welcome all the while.

  Not as a Stone

  My cat as yet has not gazed at the stars,

  the pattern in the sky that never dies,

  and just as prisoners kept behind steel bars

  I have not seen a flame lit in her eyes

  A child who for the first time sees a rose

  sees magic that the wise man cannot see.

  A flower learns the vision as it grows

  undisturbed except by rain and bee.

  Imperfect as a witness I have been

  yet round I go to see the same again.

  I've yet to find the true of spirit here

  and yet perhaps in dreams that I hold dear

  I'll find the simple truth, so long unknown

  my friend, a heart, who knows she's not alone.

  Before the Dust Settles

  ..and when the dragon rears its ugly head

  the man she loves has turned to dusty bones

  his love, his whispers, reverent, are dead

  tongue-tied, puzzled, quiet as the stones

  The turn of key has left her heart unlocked

  the press of coupling sets her eyes aflame

  the wine of kisses, in the barrels, stocked

  but all the suitors left are all the same

  So still as yet remains her bright appeal

  for every vow not kept there is a cost

  for every vision gained, another lost

  For her there's precious little time to steal

  though promises are made, to have, to hold

  the letters gray, and still we're growing old

  March 5th, 2016

  No Key is Found

  They sold their souls to turn a trick

  the bottle like a sleeping bear

  the cruelty built in like a brick

  Elites anointing, oiled and slick

  the chosen, who avoid their stare

  they sold their souls to turn a trick

  A hundred clocks, as one, they tick

  and to this passing time, they swear

  the cruelty built in like a brick

  Beneath their feet the fires lick

  above their heads, the smoggy air

  they sold their souls to turn a trick

  The keystone guarded, locks to pick

  the arch, the eye of every prayer

  the cruelty built in like a brick

  Mother, father, come here quick

  the cat escaped, no time to spare

  they sold their souls to turn a trick

  the cruelty built in like a brick

  Chin Drops

  The gassy goats of the easy life

  Saturday sinnin' the big wigs

  a fly in the 'tain't'ment

  we are happy to ride the oily bends

  in the liver of cellphones

  oft forgotten, often bossed

  a magic slick of the crest

  of the meat of the gainful drum

  and down the well, well, well

  of the stiff upper kipper

  precambrian chants

  echoed down the haws

  of the pill pickles in a line

  exchanging love boats

  for a sack of dice

  June 12th, 2017

  Film Strip

  I take a green gander

  at the red media

  and its black mind control

  Its little white lies

  turn me purple with rage

  as I blue my top

  A hot little number

  as cool as a cucumber

  warms to the prospect

  though my cold feet

  bring an icy response

  from the fiery matador

  I feel light headed

  groping in the shadows

  forming dark conclusions

  in the dusky glow

  of the flickering candle

  in the gray, shuttered room

  Tried and True

  The wicked old man

  he climbed the rope

  he ate the sun

  the twisted old rope

  and down the well

  drank from the bucket

  and swallowed a frog

  with a bent leg

  squeezed shut his eyes

  covered his ears

  and popped his corn

  the scarecrow flapped

  the crow stood still

  the shot rang twice

  a trick was turned

  he rolled the dice

  a book was burned

  and no one was the wiser

  In the Midst

  Love is a warm place in the storm

  In spite of my fear, despite the lies,

  to the cause of love forever sworn

  With the grace of a swan, in perfect form

  they see the sparkle in her eyes...

  love is a warm place in the storm

  Between the two, it seems, they're torn

  rock-a-bye baby eases her cries...

  to the cause of love, forever sworn

  Little boy blue has lost his horn

  yet to his sheep, he finds his ties

  love is a warm place in the storm

  As after night there comes the morn

  he always fails, who never tries...

  to the cause of love forever sworn

  At the bugles call I tried to warn

  the soldier, yet the sleeping rise...

  love is a warm place in the storm,

  to the cause of love, forever sworn

  Whispered to the Wind

  Like a shadow disappears at night;

  alike a cat that slips on out the door...

  and like a candle fades when comes the light,

  so leave the hesitations that we wore.

  Encountered by the wind, a sparrow's wing

  is as the dragonfly, the skies to soar;

  in dive of otter, wilderness to sing,

  still yet, my letter reaches distant shore.

  Discovered in the spring, the call of rose

  is to the hummingbird, a honey's scent;

  the snow is gone, the summer came and went.

  If we should find a secret no one knows

  and if my secrets time will never mend

  then I should throw my secrets to the wind.

 
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