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Grains of Sand
By Robert Caldwell


Grains of Sand

The hourglass turns over once more
And starts flowing in a gentle cascade.
The falling sand becomes a beach.

The sun on the horizon,
Trying to decide whether to set or to rise on;
The turning over has confused it.

I fell with the sand
And rose to find the word
Totally different and grand.

I walked along the beach that day,
To try and adjust my thoughts
So astray.

As I walked, staring into the surf,
A bird flew down onto the sand
Next to myself.

"Hi stranger!" shouted this bird.
"Come here and listen to my tail,
the likes of which you've never heard."

"But, oh," said I,
"my tale is one of woe
and surely better than yours."

"You don't have a tail to sound,"
pleaded the bird,
turning his head around.

"Oh yes, indeed, I have a tale;
a most curious one and great,"
and at that, I started to narrate.

"The days of storm were finally through,
so I decided to take a walk.
I was a fool.

"I left my cabin to stroll along the beach,
but I forgot my umbrella
and decided that it, I would need.

"As I walked back to get it,
I thought, 'How monotonous life is.
Can't it have more variety in it?'

"I never made it back to the cabin,
as you well see,
because a mighty wave broke over me.

"That's how the world became so confused.
I found myself in a reality of an hour glass
That's been well used.

"Everyday its sand runs down,
Then it turns over,
Creating new ground.

"One day I'm in a desert;
The next in a bay.
Everything is different when I wake up each day."

The gull yawned
And asked if I was quite through.
I didn't noticed that he looked so bored and said it was true.

"Now!" he exclaimed,
"You shall hear my tail.
It is different than any other tail."

So I sat down beside the gull
And made ready to hear his tale.
He paused for a few moments and then begun.

His eyes focused on the surf
As he suddenly began to shake
His tail, roughly chopping the air.

Swish-swish, swish-swoosh, swish-swish, swish-swoosh,
The loose feathers cut the air
While the surf crashed wistfully.

I was puzzled when he got through
Wondering what I should do.
"Well," said the bird, "What do you think?"

I did not want to upset the bird,
So I said, "You are right, mister,
I never have heard anything like it before."

At the day's end, the hourglass
Flipped over on its stand
And poured forth grains of sand.


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