A Grain of Sand

Boy making a sandcastle on turtle-back

Used by Permission of Artist Sath

Children dig sandcastles,
atop the swimming World Turtle,
until the tide smoothes the canvas.
Worlds change, drift out of time,
afloat currents ever moving
from ancient times, like thoughts,
like words or art, like life itself.
We swim in rainbow-hued oceans with the
World Turtle and sift ideas like sand.
Each sparkling grain holds a child’s song,
a collision of stars, a galaxy of possibility.
The oldest tree was born in prehistory.
Its innermost ring is the world’s oldest writing.
Its roots entwine eternity, holding it fast,
watching us blink in and out like candles.
Although we shed our light briefly,
we are part of the world’s ebb and flow,
and all things that come after
will find our sand, our songs, our stars
still living, infinite and immortal.

Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: I reference William Blake’s famous quatrain:

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand 
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour.”
(Auguries of Innocence)

Resa Swork is devoting a month to kids at her site, Graffiti Lux and Murals. Her post, SOM-RIU, inspired this poem. Thanks to urban artist Sath, Aproscom Fundació and the Joan Mesquida Special Education Center, a school for people with intellectual disabilities located in Manacor (Mallorca). They are crowd funding a project to bring Sath from Thailand to teach students how to express themselves in murals and to make their environment a beautiful, living work of art. Elsewhere, Sath’s art frames the streets with vibrant humor and irreverence. The crowd funding project has less than a month remaining and has not quite gotten halfway to its goal of € 5.500.

Update: Sath‘s site is up and running. Apparently server trouble blocked access temporarily. I hope you can visit him.

Poetry Friday Badge

This post is my contribution to Poetry Friday, hosted thanks to Elizabeth Steinglass, a wonderful poet.

For the grammatically conscious in the crowd (or anal – I happen to be anal about grammar), I chose the verb tense spelling for “smoothes” without thinking it over, but then after reading and rereading so many times, it looked wrong. I looked it up, and apparently there’s quite a controversy. I attached the link to the word if grammar disputes are your cup of tea, but the short answer is that that spelling is in ascendency.

Have a magical weekend! Warmly, Brenda

Heaven in a Wild Flower


This cold, blustery day, I dream
into being another spring day.
This one is mountain-flavored,
nearer to heaven than the sea,
far away from here, far from me.
A mountain meadow blooms
as far as my eye can see:
pink heads nod their approval,
as if they like what they see.
I’m atilt, upright on this slope,
keeping my feet, holding out hope.
Pollen coats my skin in gold dust
and I run as lightly as a wind gust.
I lift my arms to the sky,
I’m not a gazelle, but I can fly!
l reach the dim of the tree line,
and each leaf sings harmony with me.
Part of me dwells there, in that perfect hour
when spring is eternal: sweet, soft air and
cool breezes. Infinite beauty. Birds sing,
deer graze and rabbits nod to the grass.
The scent of wildflowers is heaven.
Heaven is in our memories.

Note: The title is from a quatrain that has been niggling at the corners of my attention all week. I decided to embrace it, celebrate it. This is the first of two posts about it. Do you know it already? It’s this one:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.” 

William Blake, Auguries of Innocence