‘I don’t know,’ I say to those who ask.
And I don’t. Know.
Why the spires, rifts, domes.
Why the channels, depressions, slopes.
Why spheres.
‘Maybe you should’, says my son, ‘build an actual…castle?’
But I know
what those are, and what they’re for.
So they stop to explore these abstralien sandscapes,
at the meaning of my creation, and my purpose.
No plan guides my tremorous fingers that
mold and shape and smooth the forms
that form without me.
Arches fall and towers crumble, collapse under
misplaced knees and thoughtless feet.
These places weren’t meant to be, let alone
last even through a day or night or hour.
They are self-serving, imposing haphazard order
on an idle chaos minding its own business.
God took six days, so they say, plus time to rest,
yet I spare only the morning
because I have other plans.
They, too, are as hasty in their admiration which
so fickley turns to mischievous destruction by
toddlered toes, unleashed paws, and cruelty.
Even seagulls are dismissive of my walls, perching with
prejudice until the structures crack to expose
my lack, and my depravity.
Six days seems equally rash, short-sighted and shrifted
given the scope of eternity, of all the hairs on all our heads.
So we blear and smear and have trod among
God’s almighty spires in ignorance and arrogance,
at His meaning, and His purpose.
Yet He had no other plans and
His fingers do not tremble, and
His walls were built counting on our cruelty to
crack them
and expose yet more layers of perfection.

One response to “Sandcastle”

  1. Today, castles of the medieval kind are commonly called “technologies” – and they were something of breakthrough technologies at the time. They lasted a hundreds of years, until new types of offensive and defensive technologies came along. To resist building a traditional castle and instead reaching for more temporary sandscapes is, in a way, a recognition of the limitations and even ultimate obsolescence of technology. – the work of hands of man.

    The poem is seeking something less obvious but more permanent. And it recognizes the limitations of man. Beautifully done.