Saturday, August 10, 2013


This is a poem/story I wrote while in the silence of the Badlands. 
The amazing photography is compliments of Brie Elliot. 

Once upon a time I built a castle
On the shore of a great blue sea.
I built it with shovel and pail and a little salt water
And I adorned it with the choicest seaweed and shells.

I was so pleased, that I showed it to You. 
"Isn't it grand?" I asked. "Almost as tall as me!"
And aren't the shells lovely? And do you like 
My swirly-curly carvings and the candy striped towers? 

You smiled and nodded with patience and grace,
"It is quite lovely. But I want to show you something. 
Follow me westward, further up and deeper in
To see what I have in my innermost heart."

And so we traveled west together. 
And You taught me your songs and told me your tales, 
And pointed out details I never would have seen
And just when I thought I knew everything about You...

You brought me here and showed me your castles
Like mine, they were made of sand, but far more grand. 
They were grounded deep and firm on solid rock
And they rose so high above me I could barely see the tops. 

And so many! To the far horizon and beyond
They collided and tumbled over each other
Mounds, buttes, towers, buttresses, and spires
All vying for space and glory. 

"I have made all of this," You said to me, 
"And I want to share it with you. 
Will you leave your sandcastle behind
And come live here among mine?"

For a curiously prideful reason, I resisted. 
Yours were far more magnificent and wild than mine
But I'd rather have what I designed, created, and controlled. 
My sandcastle was small, but it was my very own. 

I wasn't willing to give it up - at least, not yet
So I asked to return to the seashore
And You patiently traveled with me to the east, 
And stood back, letting me approach my castle alone. 

The tide had begun to pull the ramparts into mud
And the lacy seaweed had begun to wilt
The candy-striped spirals were dry and crumbling
And I regretted clinging so tightly to this lump of sand. 

I grabbed my tools and tried to replicate Your handiwork.
I dug deeper foundations and tried to pile higher towers,
I thickened the walls and tried to fortify them,
But everything I tried, failed and fell short. 

That's when You invited me again to Your innermost heart
To admire and climb and dwell in Your sandcastles
This time I said yes and we returned together
And You gave me a precious gift.

"All of my castles I share with You," You said. 
"But here is one I made especially for you.
It has the choicest seashells and seaweed
And swirly-curly carvings and candy-striped towers."

It was true - before me was a castle I had dreamed of,
Complete with every precious detail, but better. 
It was taller and mightier and more firmly grounded
The walls were solid, and the colors majestic.

You took the things most loved and cherished in my hopes
And mixed them with Your strength, beauty and glory
You designed a plan that is the delight of both of our hearts,
And gave me a dream that is now hidden in Yours.

~ "Sandcastles"

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