Sandcastles and mortality

I was a very lonely child,

Prone to sit and dream.

I sought out the calm and mild,

Emotions less extreme.

My family were volatile,

My brother rather mean.


I always loved the sea-side,

The water and the sand.

Collected shells, feathers, all beside

And held them in my hand.

I’d build a castle with some pride,

Thought out and carefully planned.


The castle was of Lindisfarne,

I found out later on.

Holy, historical, full of charm,

Echoes of days long gone.

I built a place where, free from harm,

I’d live peacefully on and on.


Then in would come the playful tide

And splash my castle down.

I would stand (I never cried)

But on my face a frown.

And as my loving build just died,

I’d join in and knock it down.


As I grew up, I turned my tools

To building family.

A home, some pets, yogic rules,

The plan was harmony.

It worked quite well, we bred no fools,

Then came some jeopardy.


Cancer came, just like the tide,

And washed over all we’d built.

No matter how the family tried,

The construction turned to silt.

The love, the fun, that we’d supplied,

Our relationships all wilt.

Impermanence is guaranteed,

As we tread this stony path.

Our expectations far exceed

Possibility, willingness, love.

Life’s too short, we have agreed,

Now there’s the aftermath.


Moments are all that matter;

Moments and memories.

Letting everyday chatter

Give way to ecstasies.

As all illusions shatter,

Thoughts turn to mortality.