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The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

Jars of Sand

She collects sand,
deserts and beaches,
wherever the earth has not covered itself,
where it refuses to congeal
but lies waiting,
for footprints,
for the rhythms of the wind and sea.
And I help her,
collecting her samples,
never sure if these dry amanuenses
will write a message for her,
put some of their secrets in a jar,
show her the countless changes
the world makes
on one tiny portion of itself.

To be put on a shelf,
and when she glances their way,
a thousand creatures of light and dark,
dry and wet,
cold and fire,
come to her like ghostly arms,
and leaving their touch,
ask to be returned.
To scatter and become other utterances,
flourish in the world of dune, rock,
and barrenness.
Does she sense something in all this sand?
Does she know the place and time of eternity
captured for a moment in a jar?

I will collect a jar of soul,
and name it with my name,
and tell her,
place this by the dust
that formed my eyes and hands,
that listened to the walls of the universe,
and followed rainbows to the very end.
And place your sand on a morning table,
the Cascades, Miami,
places as far as Ontario,
and with tea,
let’s listen to their tales,
and release them one by one,
telling the world where they’ve been.

Published inIndex of all Poems