The malleable sand obeys any master.
Even the smallest wave slides it.
The heavy breakers roll brown froth,
grinding it swiftly in their jaws.
The wind sifts it over the dunes.
The feet of bathers scuff and depress it.
In it is written the passage of birds,
triangles of hundreds of little feet.
It retains nothing long, a backward child.
If persons had this malleability
governments would move more easily
and die without the yeast of growth.
But bury it deeply layer by layer,
let it lie quiet a few thousand years,
it coheres, gathers strength,
becomes blue stone for houses,
walls to separate cows or people.
Out of this sand I press with my toe
some future man may carve a god.