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dark castles
Trappist-1    One hand will wash the other
Austin, Texas   

Poems

It was a hot summer night
Still nearly ninety, I'd say
When out back of Giovannis
The Bluesman sat down to play
He pulled up his crate
Took a sip from his flask
"This here's my med-cin"
"In case someone happens to ask"

He started a story
That we'd never heard
We're the folks of the street
And we followed each word
It's a tale of James Withers
A man in need of a hand
But to us on the street
He was the Sand Castle Man

The bluesman strummed gently
He didn't want the words to be lost
For this was a story
That had a hell of a cost
You see, James the sand man
Lost a life to the sea
His grandson, young James
Drowned and died ...only three

Each day James went down
With his grandson in tow
They'd make castles together
They'd make some fast and some slow
One day the pair
were out at the end of the pier
when a rogue wave hit hard
And took what James held most dear

His grandson was swept out
Lost at sea ....never found
They searched for three weeks
But the poor boy was drowned
James kept a vigil
Every day on the beach
He'd look out on the water
His heart out of reach

He kept making sand castles
As he did with young James
With shells and old driftwood
And he gave each castle names
He'd have non-existent armies
Fight non existent wars
In his hard packed sand castles
He carved windows and doors

There was nonexistent dragons
In pools by the sea
Guarding nonexistent princesses
Who no one could see
There were turrets and moats
And each day he'd build one
To be lost to the tide
As the days work was done

Each day a new castle
Each day a new war
But , nobody knew
What he was building them for
The tide would come in
And would sweep it away
All that hard work
Gone at the end of the day

But, next morning he'd show up
Build one more for the tide
With armies nonexistent
To flow away for a ride
People would watch him
Make the castles of sand
With imaginary soldiers
In imaginary lands

The bluesman sang soft
Took a sip once again
From the flask on his hip
It's just med-cin
The crowd didn't stir
We were like moths to the flame
As we heard the bluesman
finish his tale about James

I asked him one morning
If he ever would end
Building castles of sand
He said, Bluesman, my friend
I know that each castle
Will be washed out to see
And I hope that my grandson
Gets a message from me

I make each sand castle
Like we both used to do
I come back every day
And start another anew
It helps with the closure
I send my soul to the sea
And I hope that my grandson
Knows their for him made by me

He finished and thanked us
And we went on our way
All of us changed some
From what the bluesman did play
Next time I'm out wandering
And see the castles of sand
I'll know what he's building
Now...that I understand
Midnight Beech Nov 2015
I found a strand of hair in the sand
from yesterday or maybe the day before
or before that, it's hard to remember anymore
the days suffocated by the rememberance of the waves
ourselves buried in the sand

Oh, the endless grains of sand!
of this chilly lonely Mexican beach
it's hard to un-remember what we built
what has now whithered in the autumn gusts
the castles have crumbled

we built them from sand, from scratch, from hand
added sweat-salt-water to strengthen the palaces
placed them near the shore or else it was no fun
let waves ride the moats and brush against the walls
prayed the castles would last the night

as we danced through the smokey fog
bathed in crimson candlelight
and sang until our harmony
resonated with the crash of the waves
and the constant being of the beach

we slept to remember and woke to forget
buried our regrets in the sand
and washed our hands in the water
and then ran to our castles
and prayed they had lasted the night

and sometimes they had, and sometimes they crashed
but now I see it didn't matter in the end
because none of them lasted forever
and no one remembered anything anyway
and beaches are only for vacations

though I am not a man who forgets ecstasy
or sees any need in leaving the beach
or likes the way the leaves look during autumn
or wonders what else there is but the sun
or needs to love the way most people love

so I lie on this beach, alone, sand to my knees
watching the waves graze over castle graves
finding seventy degrees to be too cold
carving my name in the shore
and watching the ocean erase what I've made

as I wrap this blondish strand around my finger
and try to remember who you might have been
and who you might be now
and if I met you in the sand
and if we will ever meet again

though, surely, we will not
because of course I am not still in the sand
a man needs to feed his family doesn't he?
as he wonders if he'll ever come back
or if the castle walls will last

it's too easy to daydream these days
office walls cloud ambition
and coffee cups burn my tongue
and early mornings swallow all my beliefs
they don't let me sleep, but I still dream

of a time when only waves tell time
as they curl in and out, but stay in the same place
so that we never age and only dance
make castles of sand with our fragile hands
watch them last, watch them crash

burn our memories in bonfire pits
but know that since time does not exist
each moment can be lived just like the sand
endless and amorphous and warm
and our harmonies will match the sound of the waves

and love everything but need only the sun
and sleep to dream and wake to love
and pray the castles last the night
but care not if they do
because there will always be another day

as I bang my claws into the walls
of this ******* cubicle, my head
aching from all this ******* coffee
my chest in a butterfly knot
my skull in a maze

it's hard to breathe here
the air isn't as fresh
and my lungs don't want to much
and my heart doesn't want to pump
my blood, which has gone stale now too

as I clench my fists, squeeze out my rage
knowing this is it
un-remembering the waves
praying the castle walls will last the night
but knowing my place

because beaches are only for vacations
and after all, it was only sand
and after all, these are only hands
and after all, I am only man
and after all, I am only sand