Ship of Sand

Aug 31, 2020 | Poetry

Photo by Dallas Reedy on Unsplash

Ego can be hard work.

Like you, I built my castle at the shore,
Innocent of worldly wash and salt.
Parental splashes shaped turret and door.
Securing love demanded I’d no fault.


Community of selves inside the gate,
Some in favour, others disapproved.
The deepest keep, unwanted aspects’ fate.
Sentries’ footsteps pacing ramparts’ grooves.

Rigid walls erected by child king
Hold mirrored images of what should be.
Beyond the moat, reality’s the thing.
Insistent, lapping waves of boundless sea.


Encroaching spills gnaw at foundations’ shape.
As nature’s smoothing hand does level seek.
Sunlight sneaks through each crack’s widening gape.
The bearded king’s rebuilding makes him weak.


And still this ocean licks through night and day.
E’er disrespecting all that’s fixed and ruled.
The monarch’s labour can’t keep change away.
He suffers as Poseidon’s lashings pool.


What if the sovereign were to rest from graft
And let the parapets sink back to earth?
He’d see his sandy pile on handsome craft,
Which rides the waves as it has from his birth.


Sleepworking king maintains his forms of sand,
Dreaming life’s as solid as the land.


Embracing freedom from security,
He wakes to find he’s always been at sea.

I wake to find I’ve always been the sea.

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