Sand and Water

of sand and water
I have written
sand I see
a glittering appeal
to water I listen
movements I feel

under weight
sand flows slowly
bears crown of mirage
in withering sun
a sparkling
enticing aura
piques thirst
like smirk to smile
a darkling light
willow wisp dreams
chasing sun beams

water I contain
unseeing and unseen
often squandered
it flows unnoticed
around me, below me
and through my veins
singing songs
I have tuned out
mellow and sustaining
water is drowned out
in neon barrage
parade of billboard psyche
water is cancelled noise
outside earbud insulation

sand castles parade
along a barren land
kachina doll advertisements
we dig for meaning
to hypnotic radio beats
ever seeking promise
never present
entering nested facades
a seeming rabbit hole
a glittering promise, sand
promise of being more
something more than human
something more than mortal
of more than this
more than now

water flows, absorbs, seeps
interpenetrates with all
it gives and spreads
carries nutrients
and carves out passage
over time through land
water is the way
and water is your story
that I don’t hear for all
my frenetic thoughts of sand
water is history, origin,
patient but undeniable,
all that I take for granted
in the chase for more,
water is what we share,
it connects my heart to yours

Photo by Dorota Semla on

Sand and Water are a theme that I’ve visited in the past. I generally see sand as representing superficial desires, pop culture, the junk food of the soul, while water is that which is more natural but less exciting.

The central thought comes from an image from cartoons I’d see as a child, where a character would be going through the desert and would hallucinate a glass of water, only to pour sand in their mouth when they try to drink it.

I thought I’d share another poem as well to clarify my meaning and thoughts on these themes as I see them. This is a poem I wrote during a time when I was at wits end, feeling stranded, and reflected on life and my surroundings.

I sit in this box
not knowing time as it is
where is the objective experience?
I see clouds out my window
clouds are eternal and ephemeral
clouds are deep as archetypes
in my memories of those times
when I had time to look at clouds
I think
when have I been alive
that I have been perceived
what is this 'ceive' that is so powerful?
desire is hysteria
a fear of missing out that's senseless
thirst under the clouds
fingers straining sand that
falls in sparkling ribbons
food for the eyes
eyes that are senseless
in the end, what do I want?
I am choking down sand
beneath plump silver clouds
supine in pools of water and even I
am water but I am choking on sand

Published by Miles of Mindfulness

My name is Mike Bragg. I'm a Denver-based cycling enthusiast and a big advocate of mindfulness. I enjoy the outdoors, and I use mindfulness practices to help myself be more present with my adventures. I like to read challenging material, and I have a keen interest in ancient history and natural sciences.

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