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     Stairs of Sand, p.1

       Daniel Hargrove
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Stairs of Sand

Stairs of Sand
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.


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...

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