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"Stairs of Sand" and Other Poems







Stairs of Sand


Other Poems

by Daniel Hargrove

Published by Daniel Hargrove at Shakespir


Copyright 2017 Daniel Hargrove


Cover art copyright 2017 Daniel Hargrove


Shakespir Edition, License Notes


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…





I dare a look at the calendar

and another year has passed

yet I am still

standing still

my heart as yet unclaimed

my pockets still empty

my dreams as yet

still poignant with possibilities

another day has passed

and no one saw it

and no one asked it

for a different sun

one not so bright

one flickering brightly

at the end of the candle

another hour passed

no one’s kiss untasted

but mine, and hers

nowhere to be found

another minute passed

and the second hand

dove off the clock

and into the

damp spring grasses



Merely an Obstacle


Across the ropes and over the walls

the spring is over, turned to seed

down the lane, a journey calls


The car, it misses, sputters, stalls

a stranger stops, the day’s good deed

across the ropes and over the walls


The flower, yellow, envy of dolls

the garden, I see, is turned to weed

down the lane, a journey calls


A gun, it misses, the enemy falls

despite the crown, the princess fleed

across the ropes and over the walls


She married well, the jester palls

and joking, high on honey mead

down the lane, a journey calls


Echoing through, along the halls

the laughter of the prisoner freed

across the rope and over the walls

while down the lane, a journey calls



The Stain


It wouldn’t come out

cold nor

hot water

Even turp

ugly and brown

like a bruise

she tried

and tried

but his shirt sleeve

was ruined

He could wear it

for work in the yard

she guessed

but his job

at the circus

in the second ring

with the lions

was not a place

he could wear it

he’ll get over it

she figured



The Prime Years


Thirteen candles, brightly lit…

a birthday song we all can sing;

straight ahead and never quit.


At that age we’re young and fit,

beginning, then the joyful spring,

thirteen candles brightly lit.


The cat, she scratched, the dog, he bit,

and we all know the bee can sting…

straight ahead and never quit.


Cake and ice cream, come and sit…

birds of summer, on the wing;

thirteen candles, brightly lit.


Use your mind and bring your wit,

lights will shine and bells will ring…

straight ahead and never quit.


Eat the peach but leave the pit,

taste the honey bees will bring…

thirteen candles, brightly lit;

straight ahead and never quit.



Hope Burns


The hope of sanity comes from behind,

seems a mirage on the sparkling sand;

can we believe the world is kind?


The big money cats are in a bind;

millions of dollars from hand to hand.

The hope of sanity comes from behind.


The favorites in front, their pockets lined

by growling dogs who own the land…

can we believe the world is kind?


It’s almost twelve, a clock to wind,

the tick and tock, the minute hand,

the hope of sanity comes from behind.


Among the kings a game we find,

the billionaires strike up the band…

can we believe the world is kind?


The clown is trumped by an agile mind

and nature takes her final stand…

the hope of sanity comes from behind;

can we believe the world is kind?



Phone Call


Hey, (insert name here), how’s it going?

Oh, I’m good, how are you?

I’m doing good.

Good to hear. What’re you up to?

Not a whole lot just working.

Ah, ok.

Yeah, I need to get back to it. Things have been busy.

Alright, bro, give me a call if you get free.

I’ll do that. Talk to ya later.

Ok. Be safe!

You too man, take care.

Ok. Bye.




Trial and Error


While waiting on a welcome smile

I met a woman, made a bet,

still needing welcome all the while.


I walked a tightrope, ran a mile,

although I haven’t been there yet

while waiting on a welcome smile.


They turned their backs as is the style…

perhaps they know my mind is set;

still needing welcome all the while.


The t.v. says, “Don’t touch that dial!”

and are we really all in debt?…

while waiting on a welcome smile.


The beauty that the worst defile;

the fading sun, I’ve often met,

still needing welcome all the while.


I’m weeding through the rank and file,

but when it rains, we all get wet,

while waiting on a welcome smile;

still needing welcome all the while.



Not as a Stone


My cat as yet has not gazed at the stars,

the pattern in the sky that never dies,

and just as prisoners kept behind steel bars

I have not seen a flame lit in her eyes

A child who for the first time sees a rose

sees magic that the wise man cannot see.

A flower learns the vision as it grows

undisturbed except by rain and bee.

Imperfect as a witness I have been

yet round I go to see the same again.

I’ve yet to find the true of spirit here

and yet perhaps in dreams that I hold dear

I’ll find the simple truth, so long unknown

my friend, a heart, who knows she’s not alone.



Before the Dust Settles


..and when the dragon rears its ugly head

the man she loves has turned to dusty bones

his love, his whispers, reverent, are dead

tongue-tied, puzzled, quiet as the stones

The turn of key has left her heart unlocked

the press of coupling sets her eyes aflame

the wine of kisses, in the barrels, stocked

but all the suitors left are all the same

So still as yet remains her bright appeal

for every vow not kept there is a cost

for every vision gained, another lost

For her there’s precious little time to steal

though promises are made, to have, to hold

the letters gray, and still we’re growing old


March 5th, 2016



No Key is Found


They sold their souls to turn a trick

the bottle like a sleeping bear

the cruelty built in like a brick


Elites anointing, oiled and slick

the chosen, who avoid their stare

they sold their souls to turn a trick


A hundred clocks, as one, they tick

and to this passing time, they swear

the cruelty built in like a brick


Beneath their feet the fires lick

above their heads, the smoggy air

they sold their souls to turn a trick


The keystone guarded, locks to pick

the arch, the eye of every prayer

the cruelty built in like a brick


Mother, father, come here quick

the cat escaped, no time to spare

they sold their souls to turn a trick

the cruelty built in like a brick



Chin Drops


The gassy goats of the easy life

Saturday sinnin’ the big wigs

a fly in the ‘tain’t‘ment

we are happy to ride the oily bends

in the liver of cellphones

oft forgotten, often bossed

a magic slick of the crest

of the meat of the gainful drum

and down the well, well, well

of the stiff upper kipper

precambrian chants

echoed down the haws

of the pill pickles in a line

exchanging love boats

for a sack of dice


June 12th, 2017



Film Strip


I take a green gander

at the red media

and its black mind control

Its little white lies

turn me purple with rage

as I blue my top


A hot little number

as cool as a cucumber

warms to the prospect

though my cold feet

bring an icy response

from the fiery matador


I feel light headed

groping in the shadows

forming dark conclusions

in the dusky glow

of the flickering candle

in the gray, shuttered room



Tried and True


The wicked old man

he climbed the rope

he ate the sun

the twisted old rope

and down the well

drank from the bucket

and swallowed a frog

with a bent leg

squeezed shut his eyes

covered his ears

and popped his corn

the scarecrow flapped

the crow stood still

the shot rang twice

a trick was turned

he rolled the dice

a book was burned

and no one was the wiser



In the Midst


Love is a warm place in the storm

In spite of my fear, despite the lies,

to the cause of love forever sworn


With the grace of a swan, in perfect form

they see the sparkle in her eyes…

love is a warm place in the storm


Between the two, it seems, they’re torn

rock-a-bye baby eases her cries…

to the cause of love, forever sworn


Little boy blue has lost his horn

yet to his sheep, he finds his ties

love is a warm place in the storm


As after night there comes the morn

he always fails, who never tries…

to the cause of love forever sworn


At the bugles call I tried to warn

the soldier, yet the sleeping rise…

love is a warm place in the storm,

to the cause of love, forever sworn



Whispered to the Wind


Like a shadow disappears at night;

alike a cat that slips on out the door…

and like a candle fades when comes the light,

so leave the hesitations that we wore.

Encountered by the wind, a sparrow’s wing

is as the dragonfly, the skies to soar;

in dive of otter, wilderness to sing,

still yet, my letter reaches distant shore.

Discovered in the spring, the call of rose

is to the hummingbird, a honey’s scent;

the snow is gone, the summer came and went.

If we should find a secret no one knows

and if my secrets time will never mend

then I should throw my secrets to the wind.


March 3rd, 2016



As Some May See


Sky so blue with clouds of white

while past the tangled branches, high

we see the sun with second sight.


Above the hillsides, green and bright,

where swallows play and breezes sigh;

sky so blue with clouds of white


Although inside, the dark of night

a shining glint may catch our eye…

we see the sun with second sight


We may not know wherefore this light

but rays of yellow deftly tie

sky so blue with clouds of white


The spring unlocks the winter’s bite

and flowers bloom with colors, sly

we see the sun with second sight


I wish I may, I wish I might

have the wish I wish tonight;

sky so blue with clouds of white…

we see the sun with second sight.



In the Wing of a Breeze


In the flash of a moment

I see the shadow of something

I believe to be real

though hard to imagine it’s so

it escapes me over and over again

it is so hard to tell

what is true from what is false

when the slipknot of desires

comes apart

in her gentle fingers

The spark of the shade

kindles a cool breeze

that whistles just as I do

when I can just barely remember

what had gone so well

in mostly forgotten, still recalled

moments of clarity

where the mists were untied

like the sash on a robe

to a moth’s embrace


I hope you enjoyed this, my labor of love, which in its own way, always occupies my thoughts as I consider what to write. If you enjoyed it, send me an email! I would love to hear your input! My email address is [email protected]

"Stairs of Sand" and Other Poems

This is my first book of poems for several years, and, as promised, is current work from 2016-2017. It has been a labor of love, and I hope to engage and entertain you and evoke a range of emotions that make us consider love in all its beauty. It is a short work, shorter than my previous books (only 22 poems) but I wanted to publish something sooner than later, and inspiration is not always so easy to find. I hope you enjoy it!

  • ISBN: 9781370218547
  • Author: Daniel Hargrove
  • Published: 2017-06-19 18:35:11
  • Words: 2679