The wandering of cans, p.1
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       The Wandering of Cans, p.1

The Wandering of Cans
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The Wandering of Cans

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.

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


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


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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