Sand Tunnels

As I dig and dig, the sand parts.

Somewhere along the way

I find a pretty rock

and further down, a shell.

Upon inspection

the shell is shiny and curved just right.

Once I’ve stored it safely in my pocket,

I keep digging

searching, perhaps,

for myself.

 

As time passes,

my hands cover in coarse brown sand,

undusted as the hole gets larger;

my perspective widens.

Hands thick with soot,

brow furrowed against the sunlight,

I see the other side.

 

I reach a moment of clarity,

one where looking down at my hands

reminds me of what I’ve done,

what I’ve put myself through

and brought myself out of—  

rising past the thorns

and out from the depths of holes.

 

When I sit on the edge,

inspecting each rock and shell—

collected, weighing down my pockets

clouding my surroundings—

I see what is really there;

beneath the shine,

the dull, bumpy colouring of a dented shell;

the odd shaping of a crystalline rock.

 

These symbolic items

and their romantic elements

shatter

with their imperfections.

A new, cracked image

shows them as they are—

flaws and all—

shining a light on the fuse between

beautiful edges and faulty cracks.

The overall shape and being

of a simple element

strengthens,

regardless of its initial perspective.

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Unconquered Lands

I am speck in time

connected by moments pinned on a board.

As I watch, the string hangs,

disentangled from the past.

In my mind time plays like a black and white movie,

a distant memory.

 

Waves of longing no longer crash into me

instead, sputtering up to where I stand at the shore

as a reminder.

A brief encounter with what was,

the ocean of experiences is now open for tourists

and I am its first and most frequent visitor;

reminiscing in its scenery, hesitant to dive into its depths.

 

The beach that is memory lane is never far.

Some days I make the drive

but others, I turn away and go home.

Choosing to look at all that’s in front of me,

I see myself as a whole;

a little bird stuck in a forest of trees,  

surrounded by endless unconquered lands.

 

I stopped longing for the water

when I flew home.

With a distant feeling of weightlessness and

something bittersweet,

my vacation goggles are off, stored safely in an old shoe box.

The chain breaks at last;

life renewed, larger oceans to be discovered.

Little White Shell

you bend down at the shore and it’s there, glimmering as water passes over it, foamed and vicious, crashing onto the sand. the white curve draws you down to it, spotted just as it glides with the water, bumping against your shin.   

you reach blindly as another wave crashes and almost lose your balance as the white swoops under while you seek it. lifting it out and cupping it in your hands as the sun glimmers and wet, mud-like sand falls out. you rinse it underwater again and it is no longer bare and white. instead it’s creamy and a little green as the sun passes over it, rays cooling your skin in a delightful contrast to the cold water at your feet.

you stand there bathing under the sun, like a cat on a porch, blinking at its brightness, a sigh escaping your lips as clouds pass over, and you wonder to what lengths this small item has passed to end up in you hand, or how much longer for it to become a bit of sand.

you think it was probably lived in, but you’re not sure by what. it’s too sturdy to be crushed by a sea carcass or a foot. it has a hole in it, whether from the waves or from a small creature, you’re unsure.

 

you take it back to your beach towel, stumbling and distraught for a moment, where’s my towel again? wrinkling your nose as your weighty feet crush into the sand, you walk with clumps of warm sand sticking like glue to your toes. the walk is slow, each step a mission as your hips jar and your heels work while you seek out a path that won’t fling sand into other people’s eyes.

the pearl coloured treasure clasped in your left hand as you walk, you finally get to your towel, dropping to your knees onto it, making sure not to get too much extra sand on your safe island of cotton. you dry your back first, and the sun still blinding you even though you aren’t facing it. the creamy colour stands out even as your vision fogs and your eyes water in attempt to see through the brightness of the sun.

 

when your back is dry you turn over, using the object as a sun block even as you continue to stare at it, twisting it around and around, playing with its shadows. this is the good thing about the sea. despite the sand and the obnoxious sun, this creamy green gift is a collectible. its as useful as jar of sand, but that’s the thing, it’s not sand. a smaller one might become a part of a necklace, or a bigger one might be a paperweight or shelf decoration. but this one is creamy and has had a full life under water. now it can have a full life as you twirl it in your fingers, guaranteed not to become like the stuff that sticks to your toes.