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Gathering Sand

by James Shammas (Age: 52)
copyright 04-01-2006

Age Rating: 7 +

-- for Jorge Luis Borges

I planned a trip in respite of remembrances
But foresee a sparkle in the wit of sand
And in dust clouds that whisper your name;
Whose shores seem to strain under so few feet,
Where I had planned a vacation, a family trip
With two small kids, a dog and a wife,
The former who will scoop the grains of silver sand
As if they were infinite-- which in fact they are;
That all is just a sampling:
The whirling dust of dessicated snowflakes,
Sacred stone and whirling silver swords
Crusted over with your blood of Buenos Aires,
Perhaps no different than my Brooklyn Beach
Pulling at these time-worn soles. Perhaps
They'll come to know leisure and genealogy
Mixed with plain hard work, as I watch them
Rebuilding castles just washed away.
I will unearth an ancient sense of whimsy
Watching Chris and Livvy scoop it up
In closely cupped hands; I hope they'll wonder
Without too much concern and wasted care--
But with simple veneration and silent bliss--
At all that sifts through their nimble hands.

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        10-22-2006     Richard Reed Jr        

Ah! -to see the universe in a grain of sand -to see ourselves as grains of sand -to listen to the shifting of the sands and teach our children accordingly.

Beautiful imagery here my friend -most beautiful!

well-structured and well written. -best words in best order,


        05-12-2006     Regina Pate        

I have goose bumps and tears in my eyes, gently leading children down our path, and hope they stay on track, doing things to record a happy memory for a child to play back in their mind, teaching our sons and daughters what we know so we can continue to grow, I desperatly want that, I grave it like a junkie craves his next hit. And when I see it so vividly as you have shown me, even more so than I have seen most in real life, it makes me jelous, and happy, and sad, and inspired all at the same time, I hope you got to make that trip and I hope you won that race, but what I really want to know is the expression on their face. Great write, good job, thanks,


        04-17-2006     David Pekrul        

I had to read this a couple times to get the flavour of the piece - didn't understand it all, but with the comments Mary and Mike, it slowly came into focus.
I did find that by capitalizing the first word of each line, it kind of through me off. I was unconsciously trying to end each thought at the end of each line, when in fact they flowed into the next line.

        04-16-2006     Mary -BrytEyz- Ball        

The dust of dessicated snowflakes. (I LOVE THIS PHRASE)... And I know that desiccated (spelled with one "s" and two "c"s) means to thoroughly dry out. Does it have any other meaning spelled this way? Just wondering. I know that the next time I walk the beach, or play in the sand with my sons... I will deeply ponder what stories those grains of sand would tell if they could. What lives they've lived, what horrors or blessings they've witnessed... sigh. Makes one wonder, does it not? It does me!

        04-04-2006     Mike Macdonald        

This is really beautiful, and it choked me up a little even though I'm a simple man and probably don't grasp its entirety. You really outdid yourself with this one, I say. The flow is perfect and uninterrupted and I don't think you could make a better word choice for any of it. The impression it's giving me is this beach has some historical importance to you, be it recent or ancient, historical or topical. I definitely hope it touches others somehow. Here's five to get it on its way.

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