Sandcastle Kingdoms

I am often inspired by music to wonder and reflect and sometimes even to write. Ben Howard has provided the soundscape for many of my poems. His spirited musical style seems to resonate deeply with the tune of my own heart's longings. Here are the two songs, one by him and one by City and Colour, that, in addition to suffering a recent theft, set the mood for the beautiful hour or so that I spent writing this poem.

Ben HowardUnder the Same Sun

"I lie in your charms
Though it harms the best of me
And I lie on to my friends to them
No wonder why I wait for thee

And I hope like a child
Widow of the sea
I hold these arms around you
All's around me

Will you be there when the day's done
Will you be there
Under the same, under the same sun
Under the same, under the same sun

My yearn oughta turn these things
Turn these things around
I learned from you
Oh I made these plans, made this plans
With you around dear
With you around dear

Will you be there when the day's done
Will you be there
Under the same, under the same sun
Under the same, under the same sun

Will you be there when the day's done
Will you be there
Under the same, under the same sun
Under the same sun"

City and Colour, Sensible Heart

"I get so distracted 
By some peoples reactions 
That I don't see my own faults 
For what they are 
For what they are

At times so self destructive
With no intent or motive
But behind this emotion,
There lies a sensible heart
A sensible heart

See I'm no king
I wear no crown
But desperate times
Seem over now
But still I weaken somehow
It tears me apart 
It tears me apart

I hope to learn as time goes by
That I should trust what's deep inside
Burning bright, oh burning bright
My sensible heart 
My sensible heart
My sensible heart
My sensible heart"


Sandcastle Kingdom

Look around you, children;

Take a breath, a break,

Ye little-faiths.

What has been taken from you?

Look at all that cannot be lost.

Thieves and victims rejoice

And repent;

Your treasures have been spent,

Sold and molded,

Stolen, lost, and pawned,


But awake,



See the light of dawn;

Those were but banks of pennies

Too heavy for pockets,

Of worth so petty

We decry the foolishness

Of their making.

Your dreams of safekeeping

In the bullion of your fathers 

Are but pennies

Mistaken for castles,

Coins cast down,

Taken for a crown.

Your stranglehold

On this tender world

Is but petty penny-pinching

In a world of brilliant riches;

You're a master crafter

Of low-tide castles in the sand,


But awake,



Feel the softness where you stand.

Look about 

At that great big sea approaching.

You've mastered a mistaken task,

A way of wasting your will

On futile construction.

Press on you may,

But come each day,

The tide is rising.

Come ocean, come.

What's your plan for destruction?

Or do you quietly hope

To sink, in time,

So sweetly,

At peace beneath the waves

To rest your royal head

In a lost city in the sand?

Oh, will they call it grand?

Sandcastles make the surest graves,

But that's all off

In the great, bright yonder.

The future is and so you delay;

You're free to sleep and dream,

To invest again this day.

To mind the future, truly,

This then is the painful impossible;

Against such the war is waged,

But would you pay the price

Of one not so numbing moment?

Would you lay down your armor

For a brief parley

And hear what the time has to say?

Our ocean is roaring

And whooshing sweetly

She is great and vast,

Old and pure,

Stark and true,

And it is right here at your feet

Waiting to wash you over,

Certainly moving,

Fated to overcome it all.

Do you hear the roar?

Or smell the sour tinge?

You know you cannot fight

For nothing's ever conquered a rising tide,

No castle wall has been so strong,

No king has ever been the one.

No, it's not a fight you're in for.

You've been building a house to hide in,

An estate that faces East

Away from all that's haunting,

With a throne and kingly shadow

To abide in;

You're a builder of homes

For false living

And you're surviving, lifeless

In sinking sand,

But better to rise and fight

or even run

For hiding is merely dying

In acceptable style.

Your kingdom cannot help you.

It's only a place for daily death

And dead living

And soon, soon enough,

You may even think it wise

To lock yourself in,

And then,

Oh and only then,

Not even the sweetest sea foam can reach you;

No ocean alive could save you.

So woe to you

Who spends all of a life

To build a luxurious grave.


But awake,



Who would dare

To sail the awful seas

To suffer such a journey from afar,

To come and reach a hand of help

Into the hardened sand about you?

Who would dare

To come to find you?

And to wield a sword

Against your armor 

And your awful lofty walls?

Who would dare to win you

In a great and urgent war;

To leave all else to find you;

From across the sea,

To mind you;

To see you

And come fearfully near you;

To reveal you

And to lay an undeserved invitation

At your feet?

Will you step into, or onto

The water?

You may not make it

And the sea may swallow you whole,

But will you?

Will you awake,

Raised to a newfound option?

It's great news to find another way,

One that may indeed make do.

Will you believe it when it's offered

Or will you close the door,

Tighten your robe,

And back to bed and hiding?

It's an awful, scary option,

But can you see the passion paid

To make it?

Can you appreciate the treasure

At your doorstep,

Wet and weary,

Delivered for you?

When Peace comes near you,

Will you stand to have it?