Playing in the Sand

Rolling sand dunes of Long Beach Island, NJ


I wrote a poem titled “Playing in the Sand” when I was in high school. It was published in my high school literary magazine in 1988. This poem has remained one of my favorites over the years. I think of it every time I go to the beach. I thought the poem might have been lost to time, but my wife found my high school literary magazines today while organizing the closet in our office. I’m posting it today so that I might not lose it again. I hope you enjoy the poem, and think about the the little things in life that are so important.

Playing in the Sand

Can one ever know the beauty of a simple grain of sand?
Tossed about in carelessness and sifted by someone’s hand.
They’re washed up on our beaches and sent back with the tide;
The looking glass of society reflecting the thoughts we hide.
Always felt but never seen like something left behind;
For the individual nobody cares, still the grains don’t seem to mind.
They’re the crystals of the beaches yet treated like so much dirt;
We just shake them off our towels and brush them off our shirts.
The kings of our children’s boxes but to us so many pawns;
We should ask ourselves this question, Would we miss them were they gone?

Reflections upon the Sands of Time

Thirty two years have passed since I wrote this poem. To this day, it still evokes positive emotions in me when I go to the beach. I feel at peace and recall all of the fun times I had as a child when I walk in the sand. My kids are now teenagers and I recall all of the fun times we had visiting the Jersey Shore each year. My kids would bury me up to my neck in the sand when they were younger. I always feel relaxed and at peace when I am one with the grains of sand.

Long Beach Island, NJ



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Donald Raab

Donald Raab

Java Champion. Creator of the Eclipse Collections OSS Java library ( Inspired by Smalltalk. Opinions are my own.