Nika McGuin

Silver Star - 3,125 Points (12/01/89 - present / Louisiana)

The Absence Of Sandcastles - Poem by Nika McGuin

Nobody ever explains how much
waking up from a dream hurts
dreams, building giant sandcastles
in our hearts; yet when we rise
there's no sand in sight, only high tide
and an empty aching inside

Yesterday I cried enough
to last me a couple of years
To a fly on these pink walls
it must have looked ridiculously
dramatic, I know, but it couldn't
be helped – I couldn't, be helped
I'd awakened to all raging torrents
and not even a granule of sand
with which to reminisce

No, I'd felt the sand receding for months
& I'd clung to clumps of it, kissed them goodbye
as I saw the rapids growing nearer by the minute
& told myself I'd be ready for them
but all the preparation in the world
can't soothe the pain of loss

Still I cried
repeated the most melancholic song
I know - probably about 16 times -
when I stopped it was not
because I couldn't cry anymore
instead it was because
my eyes were swollen nearly shut
my throat had become raspy and dry
my wet face looked worse for wear than ever
and my heart was simply limp & tired; from it
I'd poured out as much of the venomous pain
as was possible in one sitting
like black oil in gulf waters though,
it continued to rise to the surface

Yet somehow, it was a familiar pain
much like the pain an only child feels
when her cousin's sleep over
only to leave early the next morning
while shes asleep, oblivious
to her sadness and never
saying goodbye

Its several levels under
the sentiments of an only child
who loses an infant adopted brother
alone and sibling-less again

The brevity
and delicacy of
fleeting love and joy

The pang
of it's absence
on a cold spring morning

It's familiar
all too familiar

Topic(s) of this poem: loss


Comments about The Absence Of Sandcastles by Nika McGuin

  • Daniel Brick (3/21/2015 8:28:00 PM)


    I have a friend in poor health who is very depressed. His family asked me to intervene. Talking to him was going nowhere. In desperation, I asked, What would make you happy? He stared directly at me, I would meet a young woman and she will love me. WHAT! He 's over 70 years old and he still holds onto that tired old male fantasy.He must have seen my frustration but his response was to get mad at me. Impossible desires and frequent anger - until he gives up the impossible desires there will be no peace except exhaustion; until he eliminates his anger there will be no peace except exhaustion. Your poem took me to that place of exhaustion, and it is a scary place; I felt the draining away of hope as well as energy, two things we need to preserve regardless of our age. What do we do in such a crisis, when so much is at stake? How do you stop the pain?
    And the only answer is what Rilke put at the close of one of his sonnets on Apollo: YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 1 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags


Poem Submitted: Sunday, March 8, 2015

Poem Edited: Sunday, March 8, 2015


[Report Error]