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The Wandering of Cans


by Daniel Hargrove

Published by Daniel Hargrove at Smashwords


Copyright 2017 Daniel Hargrove


Cover art copyright 2017 Daniel Hargrove


Smashwords Edition, License Notes


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01 The Wandering of Cans

02 On My Way to the Park

03 The Choices of Hawks

04 When the Bus Doesn’t Run

05 A Short Drive Away

06 The Rhythm of Nine

07 The Locks of Vision

08 Losing in Louisiana

09 Not His Evening

10 The Dreams of a Hare

11 The Mazes of Concrete

The Wandering of Cans

A bum on the street

walks from litter can

to litter can

collecting beer and soda cans

which he puts in his grocery cart

filled with many bags

it is hard to push

and he goes miles every evening

the recycle place

is quite a distance


A long beard

and unkempt, knotted hair

which hasn't seen a haircut in years

he is thinking about past loves

and his years spent

working for a living and getting by

with no regrets

but nobody want a bum


He is a caring man

and understands very well

why when he might

ask for change from a stranger

they might simply refuse

what is confusing to him

is that when the stars shine at night

their glare reaches eyes

that are not tangled in mysteries

and instead are caught in candies


On My Way to the Park


The cops stopped me

I had seen them by the park

and went the other way

and they saw me


I had walked nine miles that night

and was unsteady on my feet

and they thought I was drunk

I explained that to them

and they gave me a sobriety test


I passed the test

and they laughed about it a bit

but would not give me a ride

though I was five miles from home

I knew that


So on my way I went

I was very tired

but I kept on walking

I did not sleep on the streets

that night


I was not lost

because I had studied the map

beforehand, and

knew my way home

I did not visit the graveyard that night


The Choices of Hawks


The narrative of mankind

is lost in a tangle of eyes

and bricks and gas stations

and the laughter of the saints

ring around the rosies


The trick of dreaming the sun

is not the same

as the sleep of mules

with a carrot on a stick

sometime tomorrow


The whimsy of song

is high and keening

while the locks on the treasures

are broken and metal

a time of tired roses


Blindness is not a lock

nor ignorance a key

looking through my tired eyes

is an old dog of tricks

that I cannot do myself


The candle is a spark

and love is not a fire

lost in a hopeless wanderer

sleeping next to the fence

by a garden of plump tomatoes


When the Bus Doesn't Run


The song and dance

may go on forever

but stories of the night

try harder to understand

the bars, the trysts, the night shift

nobody sees the mysteries

that are living in common Joe

the graffiti on trains

that couldn't be there

except under a moon too high

to reach

back in history

the dance of candles

might have not been known

to the serf, mostly a slave

but the candle he knew

the buses don't run

past 11 in this town

and I don't have money for a cab

so maybe I will walk

and look at the doors

on the businesses

all shuttered and locked

while somewhere else

a woman

is desperately seeking a home

we will never meet

but I see her story

in the long stretches of sidewalks

that don't know the footsteps

of the many men and women

now getting ready for work


A Short Drive Away


The hustling and bustling

city of the daytime

slows down after midnight

a more peaceful pain

than a bulldozer ever knew


They are tearing down the store

to build a new mall

down the street

there is a 24 hour Walmart

at 6th and Wilcott


The Waffle House

holds many a denizen

of the the long night

of trucks and travelers

and wanderers and hitchhikers


She ordered pancakes

but they brought her waffles

she and the waitress

laughed about it

and she asked for maple syrup


The were out of maple syrup

but the waffles were ok

and the tang of the orange juice

was a little tangier

and the eggs weren't too runny


The Rhythm of Nine


The jazz bars are dancing

the trumpets and pianos

and people are high

on the music

we are having a good time

here


The clarinet makes a run

up the scale with a a few flats

and a few sharps

beautiful music

for a drink and conversation


There are photos on the wall


In walks a blind man

with his white cane

and a German shepherd

his constant companion and friend

and he grooves on the music


He has a seat at the table

and a waiter approaches

he orders a Shiner

the piano rolls through the bar

and the big bass thumps


The Locks of Vision


A time of tired eyes

set on gentlemen

lost in a sea of yesteryears

she is looking for a trick

so she can eat

and feed her baby

only one year

old


he is a confused

and confusing man

only looking for one thing

and does not own a cat

his wife does not know

and he drives around

looking for one or the other


She works hard for a living

and so does he

they don't know each other

and never will

and they will meet

in the locked room

that a key never knew


The shine of red lights

knows no angels of course

but away and in another daytime

that may wander hopelessly

they will have what they want

for the moment

yet they know may stumble and fall


Losing in Louisiana


The dice roll haphazardly

and the slot machines are all cherries

a gamble plays roulette

a girl on each arm

he will win or he will lose

and he bets on red


Dammit, he lost

over and over

he is on a roll

of the wrong variety

and one of the girls

excuses herself


The other still wonders

is this my night?

as a chick might do

in these circumstances

if no one was the wiser


The band played on

the trumpets are hot

and the sax is cool

the drummer snares a cymbal

that rings through the room


And on and on he goes

black and red, 39, 27, 4

still losing, steadily slipping

chipping away at his chips

what are the chances of that?


Not His Evening


Slipping through the woods

the archer known as Robin

is seeking a deer


Making as little noise as possible

he slips past the thorns

not believing, nor thinking

that he might lose his way


He must hunt at night

because he is a wanted man

they will never find him

but that they may


A deer lifts his head

and twang goes the string

and he misses the mark

for once


Something made him shake

perhaps the spider

that landed on his shoulder

a moment before he shot


The poor will not go hungry

but unfortunate for the squirrels

that he bagged instead


The Dreams of a Hare


The birds are sleeping

and the tangle of branches

is lost in shadows

deep in the forest

a deer is lying

eyes closed

and dreaming of her mate


He is nowhere near right now

and the trees reach upwards

and the dance of squirrels

still reverberates the leaves

who can not sit still in the breeze


There is a little house

rickety and falling down

that a path leads to

that I wouldn't take at night

and the man inside

is still awake


The carpet of pine needles

is felt and not seen

and the tangle of briars

is too thick

this night


The Mazes of Concrete


Did you know that traffic never stops?

And that even at four in the morning

there is a car every hundred feet or so

on the freeways and highways

going somewhere

passing by the billboards and intersections

a criss-cross of crazy mysteries


Did you know

that each car and truck

has its own destination

and they will get there

almost all of the time


Did you know

that the sun rises

on this immense tangle of pavement

and everyone gets lost

sometimes in their lives


Do you understand

the kings of industry?

The why's and wherefores?

the do's and don'ts?

The red, yellow, and green?


I still wonder

what it all means

but I will never tell

what I do know

about the mean streets of home


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