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Mark Toney Oct 2019
Picture a man’s solitary stroll on a sandy seaside,
Early time of day, just a short time after low tide,
Water almost calm, gentle waves lapping the shore,
Early morning sun brilliantly blazing the horizon.
Feel the wonderful breeze…smell the salty ocean air…  
See, hear the jaegers, gulls and terns flying without a care.

The soothing sounds of the wind, water and gulls
Are suddenly intruded upon by the sad cries of a small child.  
"What's wrong?" the man kindly asks, as he kneels next to her.
"Someone knocked down my sandcastle," is her reply, tears flowing.
"Don't worry little one, I'll help you build another."
To the little girl's delight, the man smooths away the sand,
In preparation for a newer, bigger, better sandcastle.

Soon his concentration is broken by frantic cries for help.  
Looking out over the water, he sees a tiny figure,
Desperately clinging to one of the buoys marking the deep-water.
Running to the water’s edge, he clearly sees another little girl,
Close in age to the first, whose swimming has carried her too far,  
And now she perilously clings to the buoy, unable to swim back.

The man returns to the first girl
And continues to build the sandcastle.
"The girl in the water is safe for now", he assures himself.
"As long as I can hear her cries for help,
I know her head is above water.
Besides, this other little girl's problem came first.
As soon as I am done with her sandcastle,
I will most certainly rescue the other one..."

And so, the man does build the sandcastle,
One more magnificent than the first.  
All the while he builds, he continues to hear
The desperate cries from the second little girl.  
By sandcastle’s finish, her cries have become weaker, less frequent.
"Are you happy now?" he asks the first little girl.
"Oh yes," she cries, "thank you sir...."
As she joyfully dances around her new sandcastle.

With that, the man springs into action,
Just as she slips off the buoy and goes under.  
He reaches her in record time with all the strength he can muster,
Expertly positioning her on her back with her face above water.
Wasting no time or effort he makes his way back to shore,
As more and more people gather to cheer on the savior.  
He gives CPR - after several coughs, water clears lungs, a life is not lost.
As if on cue, the rescue team arrives, transporting her to hospital.
Extremely grateful parents and the city honor him as a hero.

So what say you?  Is such a man deserving of honor?
How would the parents react If they knew the rest of the story?
Especially since he was the lifeguard assigned to beach patrol!

Now, friends, after considering all of this fuss,
The question bears asking, what about us?
Are we making sure of more important things,
Or are we busy building castles in the sand?
5/23/2018 - Poetry form: Narrative - Copyright © Mark Toney | Year Posted 2018
Terry Collett Mar 2018
You show her
how to make
sandcastles
on the beach.

The tides
like playful children
rush up the sands
and back again
with a soft shush.

She looks intently
as you dig
the soft sand
and fill the small
plastic bucket.

The little *****
in your adult hand
seems smaller still
as you start to fill.

She seems eager
to take her turn to fill
and pat the top.

You watch
as she pats it
extra hard,
then kneels back
to watch.

You, like some craftsman
of years before,
upturn the bucket
and let it stand.

She stares and sits
on her haunches excitedly.

You lift the bucket
like a magician
performing
a magic trick,
hoping the sand will stay
and not fall away.

You lift the bucket off
and the first tower stands
in the damp sands.

How pleased she seems:
claps her small hands,
bounces up and down,
and lights up her eyes,
beneath the summer sun
and cloudless skies.
© 3 minutes ago, Terry Collett
Phantasmagoria Jun 2016
a stabbing shiver corrodes my limbs
goosebumps lick my heart
a fat cramp strokes my lips
and terror waves my mind
freezingly hot blood
flushes twisted nerves
sweet foul shudder makes
all memories awake
blurry visions of happiness
worm into cutting blade
hissing a haunting realization:
that it is too late.
naivety suggests
a joyful brand new start
but the naked present screams
that you grew apart
Sukanya Rajan Jun 2015
There was a void.
Then there was light.
There was his voice.
His touch which made me quiver.
His fragrance that lingered
Like the dew every morning
Like the dreams that kept coming back
Like the waves that washed away sandcastles
Like the wind which bent the daffodils on the sidewalk
Like a phone that kept ringing.
Like the letters left unanswered.
The birthdays that kept coming.
His voice rang in my head.
Like a beautiful symphony that would be the end of me if it stopped.

A thousand pictures lying on the floor
Do I even recognize us anymore?

Like seasons that come one after the next
Like the unassuming traffic i see through the window of a hotel
In an unknown town
On an unknown date
The calendar has failed me

I need to stop tasting you on my tongue
Like a pill I can't swallow
Like a high I can't get
Like a breakfast in a picturesque town, left unfinished
Like words of a foreign language I can't seem to pronounce correctly.

Every time I close my eyes, I think I forget.
And then there is a void.
AD Mullin Sep 2014
Built on the Berkley model
Paid for with mothers essential oils
...a bitumen

And a flower blooms from Medicine Rock
Like a ballerina

As the Old Man weeps joyfully
Listening to Arcade Fire : 7 kettles
Sonali Sethi Sep 2014
She stands on the sandy beach
Her hands shake; she’s afraid
She steels herself with a breath
And into the ocean she starts to wade

Her brother jumps in, dauntlessly
“The sharks will get you!” he jokes
She ignores him, she knows the truth.
Sharks don’t attack unprovoked

She stares at the endless blue
Who knows what really lies beneath?
She walks with slow, hesitant steps
Into the ocean till she’s in waist deep

A brush against her leg, she jumps,
Shrieks and falls under,
A giant wave hits the beach,
She sits up and looks in wonder

On the ocean floor, a starfish sleeps
Its fins moves, she’s fascinated
A crab goes by with its sideways gait,
By the busy shore, she’s captivated

Tiny coloured gems shine on the beach
As if just waiting to be discovered
Shells of all shapes and sizes,
Waiting to be kept and treasured.

A small wave splashes her gently,
Sand and salt water everywhere,
Nothing to be scared of; she decides
She’s found her perfect spot right there.

No need to go any further
Into the ocean; into the unknown
Her friends make sandcastles nearby,
And she sits there happily, on her own.
A little girl's first visit to the ocean. :)

— The End —