The Wandering of Cans

      by Author / Daniel Hargrove

The Wandering of Cans
br /> The Wandering of Cans

by Daniel Hargrove

Copyright 2017 Daniel Hargrove

Cover art copyright 2017 Daniel Hargrove


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01 The Wandering of Cans
02 On My Way to the Park
03 The Choices of Hawks
04 When the Bus Doesn’t Run
05 A Short Drive Away
06 The Rhythm of Nine
07 The Locks of Vision
08 Losing in Louisiana
09 Not His Evening
10 The Dreams of a Hare
11 The Mazes of Concrete
The Wandering of Cans
A bum on the street
walks from litter can
to litter can
collecting beer and soda cans
which he puts in his grocery cart
filled with many bags
it is hard to push
and he goes miles every evening
the recycle place
is quite a distance

A long beard
and unkempt, knotted hair
which hasn't seen a haircut in years
he is thinking about past loves
and his years spent
working for a living and getting by
with no regrets
but nobody want a bum

He is a caring man
and understands very well
why when he might
ask for change from a stranger
they might simply refuse
what is confusing to him
is that when the stars shine at night
their glare reaches eyes
that are not tangled in mysteries
and instead are caught in candies

On My Way to the Park

The cops stopped me
I had seen them by the park
and went the other way
and they saw me

I had walked nine miles that night
and was unsteady on my feet
and they thought I was drunk
I explained that to them
and they gave me a sobriety test

I passed the test
and they laughed about it a bit
but would not give me a ride
though I was five miles from home
I knew that

So on my way I went
I was very tired
but I kept on walking
I did not sleep on the streets
that night

I was not lost
because I had studied the map
beforehand, and
knew my way home
I did not visit the graveyard that night

The Choices of Hawks

The narrative of mankind
is lost in a tangle of eyes
and bricks and gas stations
and the laughter of the saints
ring around the rosies

The trick of dreaming the sun
is not the same
as the sleep of mules
with a carrot on a stick
sometime tomorrow

The whimsy of song
is high and keening
while the locks on the treasures
are broken and metal
a time of tired roses

Blindness is not a lock
nor ignorance a key
looking through my tired eyes
is an old dog of tricks
that I cannot do myself

The candle is a spark
and love is not a fire
lost in a hopeless wanderer
sleeping next to the fence
by a garden of plump tomatoes

When the Bus Doesn't Run

The song and dance
may go on forever
but stories of the night
try harder to understand
the bars, the trysts, the night shift
nobody sees the mysteries
that are living in common Joe
the graffiti on trains
that couldn't be there
except under a moon too high
to reach
back in history
the dance of candles
might have not been known
to the serf, mostly a slave
but the candle he knew
the buses don't run
past 11 in this town
and I don't have money for a cab
so maybe I will walk
and look at the doors
on the businesses
all shuttered and locked
while somewhere else
a woman
is desperately seeking a home
we will never meet
but I see her story
in the long stretches of sidewalks
that don't know the footsteps
of the many men and women
now getting ready for work

A Short Drive Away

The hustling and bustling
city of the daytime
slows down after midnight
a more peaceful pain
than a bulldozer ever knew

They are tearing down the store
to build a new mall
down the street
there is a 24 hour Walmart
at 6th and Wilcott

The Waffle House
holds many a denizen
of the the long night
of trucks and travelers
and wanderers and hitchhikers

She ordered pancakes
but they brought her waffles
she and the waitress
laughed about it
and she asked for maple syrup

The were out of maple syrup
but the waffles were ok
and the tang of the orange juice
was a little tangier
and the eggs weren't too runny

The Rhythm of Nine

The jazz bars are dancing
the trumpets and pianos
and people are high
on the music
we are having a good time
here

The clarinet makes a run
up the scale with a a few flats
and a few sharps
beautiful music
for a drink and conversation

There are photos on the wall

In walks a blind man
with his white cane
and a German shepherd
his constant companion and friend
and he grooves on the music

He has a seat at the table
and a waiter approaches
he orders a Shiner
the piano rolls through the bar
and the big bass thumps

The Locks of Vision

A time of tired eyes
set on gentlemen
lost in a sea of yesteryears
she is looking for a trick
so she can eat
and feed her baby
only one year
old

he is a confused
and confusing man
only looking for one thing
and does not own a cat
his wife does not know
and he drives around
looking for one or the other

She works hard for a living
and so does he
they don't know each other
and never will
and they will meet
in the locked room
that a key never knew

The shine of red lights
knows no angels of course
but away and in another daytime
that may wander hopelessly
they will have what they want
for the moment
yet they know may stumble and fall

Losing in Louisiana

The dice roll haphazardly
and the slot machines are all cherries
a gamble plays roulette
a girl on each arm
he will win or he will lose
and he bets on red

Dammit, he lost
over and over
he is on a roll
of the wrong variety
and one of the girls
excuses herself

The other still wonders
is this my night?
as a chick might do
in these circumstances
if no one was the wiser

The band played on
the trumpets are hot
and the sax is cool
the drummer snares a cymbal
that rings through the room

And on and on he goes
black and red, 39, 27, 4
still losing, steadily slipping
chipping away at his chips
what are the chances of that?

Not His Evening

Slipping through the woods
the archer known as Robin
is seeking a deer

Making as little noise as possible
he slips past the thorns
not believing, nor thinking
that he might lose his way

He must hunt at night
because he is a wanted man
they will never find him
but that they may

A deer lifts his head
and twang goes the string
and he misses the mark
for once

Something made him shake
perhaps the spider
that landed on his shoulder
a moment before he shot

The poor will not go hungry
but unfortunate for the squirrels
that he bagged instead

The Dreams of a Hare

The birds are sleeping
and the tangle of branches
is lost in shadows
deep in the forest
a deer is lying
eyes closed
and dreaming of her mate

He is nowhere near right now
and the trees reach upwards
and the dance of squirrels
still reverberates the leaves
who can not sit still in the breeze

There is a little house
rickety and falling down
that a path leads to
that I wouldn't take at night
and the man inside
is still awake

The carpet of pine needles
is felt and not seen
and the tangle of briars
is too thick
this night

The Mazes of Concrete

Did you know that traffic never stops?
And that even at four in the morning
there is a car every hundred feet or so
on the freeways and highways
going somewhere
passing by the billboards and intersections
a criss-cross of crazy mysteries

Did you know
that each car and truck
has its own destination
and they will get there
almost all of the time

Did you know
that the sun rises
on this immense tangle of pavement
and everyone gets lost
sometimes in their lives

Do you understand
the kings of industry?
The why's and wherefores?
the do's and don'ts?
The red, yellow, and green?

I still wonder
what it all means
but I will never tell
what I do know
about the mean streets of home
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