Long ago, I once knew a man.
He came to me in a dream,
waking and with eyes closed.
This was not an ordinary man.
Certainly, he had the usual features of a man in sand:
See, this man was buried up to his chin.
And still he wore a fancy grin.
He had big lips, bright eyes and a little nose,
But no one knew if he wore pantyhose.
Now it is true and please don't laugh,
that the man in sand had a thick moustache.
Sadly, though, and it is not fair.
But the man in sand, he had no hair.
Oh, the man whose head was in the sand,
smiled to folks across the land.
He liked to talk and loved to greet.
But, dang he swore he talked to feet.
There it was just next to the sea
that the man in sand felt totally free.
So on it went that the man in sand who liked to greet,
talked and smiled and winked at feet.
Until one day, strolled a Joe,
across the beach and stubbed his toe.
Joe bent down and yelled aloud,
but the man in sand was very proud.
His eye felt bruised and don't you know
that all he did was smile at Joe.
"Now I am tall and sweet as pie,
and sure am sorry about your eye."
Replied the man,
"I must confess that I've felt blue,
smiling at feet and soles of shoes."
The man in sand was full of grace,
he said, "I'd like to smile upon your face."
Joe obliged and smiled some,
the man was sure he'd found a chum.
They talked and played and chewed the fat,
they shared their stories and that was that.
They'd looked and learned and gotten to know,
and it was time for Joe to go.
The man in sand now wore no smile,
which hadn't happened in quite a while.
Joe grinned and said, "I'll see you soon."
The man in sand just eyed the moon.
It was it and so it go.
The sun, he rose, the moon did glow.
Time dragged by for the man in sand,
and what had changed? His head got tanned.
For many moons the man prayed would
Joe come back and stay for good.
With much excitement, relief and joy,
the man saw Joe, who called, "Ahoy!"
Across the beach, from face to head,
Joe spoke, "Wow! Your head is red!"
The man in sand said to that, "It's part of the curse of having no hair."
Joe replied, "Well, my friend, looky here: I've brought you something you can wear."
From under his arm emerged a thing.
It was not a bat or ball or ring.
It wasn't a guitar, a shirt or shoes.
It was long and black and somewhat rouge.
The man in sand intrigued so much,
lost track of time, locale and such.
What it was he could not tell,
it had no flavor, taste nor smell.
The man looked up, above the ground.
He saw that Joe was not around.
The man in sand, confused and sad
smiled not, well, maybe just a tad.
Still, he had a gift, a mystery form,
long and black and simply worn.
Some feet came by and kicked it up
Within it seemed to be some kind of cup.
The cup it spun around and sped
toward the man's sunburnt red head.
Landing firm and clasping tight,
The man in sand, he felt quite right.
Upon his dome
was not a phone,
or glass or tome
No bird or plant
or dog or cat.
Upon his head there was no bat,
upon his head there sat a hat.
The hat was sleek with special shape
The man in sand had mouth agape.
A new smile he'd never felt before
came from his head and up to the fore.
This hat was neat, no, cool, so fun,
and kept him shaded from the sun.
When word did spread across the land
the man in sand felt quite grand.
The man in the sand began to meet
the smiling faces of all the feet.
Folks swam seas, fans tread land
just to see the hat in sand.
The moon shone bright upon the night
one month had passed since hat fit tight.
The people tread across the land
but they grew bored of hat in sand
Soon enough no one stared,
it seemed to be that no longer cared.
The man in sand now under hat
cussed and fought, hissed and spat.
On it went, the man was mad
no one cared about what he had.
Just about to stop and snooze,
the man in sand felt something move.
A click, a clack, a krink and crack.
Gears were churning and burning too.
And all at once something grew.
Inside the head of the man in the sand
Sounded gongs of a marching band.
The man in sand was no longer blue.
The hat rose up and built floor two.
No longer rouge, but black and red
the hat sat tighter upon man's head.
Again they came, the feet with heels
Leaving their banana peels.
Again they left, uninterested and bored
And man searched hat, "what more is stored?"
The hat spoke back with grinding gears
The man in sand opened up his ears.
Noise kept on till hat broke free
And suddenly, there was floor three.
Floor three could laugh, floor three could talk.
Feet returned, and hat was greeting, "welcome back."
Amusing sight it was to them,
a hat which spoke, "ahem, ahem,"
"Focus here, and clear your lens,
take my photo, tell your friends."
A few came by but not too much
The hat could talk and laugh and such,
but so? So what, so could they!
The feet snapped photos and walked away.
No one remained upon the sand
except of course the hat and man.
The hat got hot and belched out loud,
"This," hat snapped, "will bring a crowd."
He plopped and plooped
and plimped and blooped.
To prove to folks he was alive,
out cropped floors four and five.
And even more
than five and four,
Just for kicks
out came six.
Tall and wide with arms and hands,
And games and rides and foreign lands,
The hat sat fast upon man's head
It even sang while baking bread.
Well now word spread like wildfire
that hat stood tall and was inspired.
So people flocked and people flew.
The hat's popularity grew and grew.
And man smiled big while hat talked tall
and kept his cool above it all.
Ring the bells and sound alarms!
Reporters reported the hat with arms.
The people gathered and walked in swarms.
Before too long, the hat grew charms.
Magazine covers, news spots and shows,
everyone talked about the hat that grows.
The beach was packed and hat felt good.
The man in sand had grown a hood.
No longer stuck below the brim,
it had been hat, all hat, no him.
The man in sand had popped on through
rising up to hat, floor two.
With so much interest, popularity soared
Eventually, though, people got bored.
The beaches emptied, the car's lots thinned.
The man in sand and hat still grinned.
The man rose up to higher heights,
And hat lit up with brighter lights.
After noise and smoke and gears,
the hat was more than it appears.
The man within was still alive,
peeking through floor six or five.
Hat had grown again to mammoth proportions
with so very many un-hat-like distortions.
A maze of dolls and funny toys,
the hat appealed to girls and boys
and moms and dads and grandpas alike
the hat could cook while you ride a bike.
Now with legs and feet of its own,
The hat and man were free to roam.
We don't need the beach crowds now
let's just go where we will go.
Up, up and away and off in the night
Went man and hat, oh my, what a sight.
And in their wake was a beach chock full
of trash and junk and the random seagull.
Now the legs of the hat were not very nimble
Gangly, long, and no thicker than a thimble.
The way it walked was very simple
and every step, it left a dimple.
Inside the hat, the man peered out,
steering the hat, or so he thought.
The man no longer was the man in sand
but new, improved with hat in hand,
so to speak or sneak and if this is Greek,
the hat and man invited all to have a peek.
The hat and man scuttered their load,
Across the sand and grass and road.
Out in the world so very, very vast
went hat-with-man-in-tow at last.
And on the horizon, you could see
A silhouette of the load so free.
Where would they go, what would they do?
Man had ideas and hat had a few.
And you could be sure that along the way,
the hat and man would enliven the day.
People gawked and stared and such.
To hat and man this wasn't much.
No big deal, just walk on by
it wasn't that the hat was shy.
More to do and more to be
Hat and man, they felt so free.
They could not stop for all the fans,
but sometimes did to shake some hands.
Sometimes someone would take note
and walk with hat in the same boat.
And hat and man they tried to greet
the faces, people hands and feet.
But hat and man they moved along
Looking for that perfect song.
Not quite sure how it would sound,
they knew they'd know when it was found.
As they walked, hat added floors
he needed room for shopping stores.
Aboard folks came to buy the stuff,
and hat and man would huff and puff.
It took a lot to move the crowd
which grew and got so very loud.
Hat ate lots to bear the weight.
Meanwhile, man was feeling great!
He now had friends who came and went
who browsed and stole and bought and spent.
No police were on the hat
If someone stole, well that was that.
The hat was now a carnival
with rides and games and mini-mall.
Days grew long, to months and years.
The man in hat now felt some fears.
What was it they came to do?
Before the hat had gone and grew?
Just where were they anyway?
And why did man not want to stay?
And who was there inside the hat?
A mouse, a bird, and man and cat.
Not just that but many more
and no one asked to have a tour.
But people came, they did not stop,
The hat was full, from brim to top.
Hat was tired but feeling great,
he was full of food he ate.
Walking first, then running fast
the hat and man traveled past
sights and sounds and what they'd done
had grown so large, it now weighed tons.
Upon the man it took its toll.
No, this was not a leisure stroll.
Each step it took, hat left a hole
and man knew that this was not the goal.
Puzzled sick, he needed help
And then one day began to yelp.
Within the hat he lost control, and lonely now among the crowd,
the man inside, he wanted out, and it was then he called aloud.
Please don't make this last so long
I only want to sing my song.
And through a door he saw afar
into the sky this one bright star.
Star was bright and shining down
upon the man who wore a frown,
and smiling said, "hello my friend,"
"I see you there, my help I lend."
And then it struck, the pain of fear.
The hat it slowed and broke a gear.
The man knew not what he had done.
And something said to run boy, run.
But he could not, no, he was trapped.
Then something bent and something snapped.
From hat came an awful sound.
Man looked up to find the ground.
Nowhere there was feet or floor
Man rattled 'round the shopping store.
Into the heights and to the lows
And where he was no one knows.
No where fast, with nothing fast
The hat calmed down the man at last.
And man relaxed but wondered why
he'd looked out and saw the sky.
And it was there up in the dark
a little like a golden spark!
The spark was bright and gentle too
Her light was just a calming blue.
She had a twinkle in her eye
And man was sure that she could fly.
He asked her in and showed her hat
He sent her out and that was that.
Puzzled now and somewhat sad,
man felt guilt that he was mad.
He knew not why or what or who
was causing him to feel so blue.
Convinced he'd missed something great
He tried to eat what's on his plate.
Please the guests of the hat
which didn't work right off the bat.
He told the hat to turn around.
The hat returned an awful sound.
Now man was crazy yes indeed,
he knew this was not feeling freed.
But in the hat the man was lost
He wanted out at any cost.
He begged and begged to the sky
Won't you let me up and fly?
Cuz if he could he knew he'd go
to somewhere nice and don't you know
he'd be himself without the hat
he didn't even question that.
So star came back and said ok,
fly away no need to stay.
Man was boy and flew quite high
free at last up in the sky!
He looked for star and found a light
and then awoke, his fists clenched tight.
Sadly back inside the walls,
trapped again inside hat's halls,
man asked sky, "How can I?"
leave this hat and why'm I here?"
and sky said, "man you broke a gear,
and by the way, you want to leave
I'll show you how and call you Steve.
And when you change your name you'll see
that you will soon be feeling free."
Man sat back and scratched his chin.
He could not think above the din.
The hat was loud but sometimes sweet,
and it was time for hat to eat.
Barely back to daily tasks,
the boy had donned again his masks.
The boy, the man in sand, or Steve,
he didn't care if he could leave.
Something clicked inside him then
and up into the hat he went.
Higher than he had ever been,
he brought his paper and a pen.
He knew he'd write of this someday
so he took notes of what he'd say.
He'd write it, say it, share it too.
He knew not when or with just who.
And up and up, it was no dream,
the man in hat was being Steve.
And for so long he lived alone
up inside the balding dome
of boy or man or Steve's old head,
no hat in there just a soft, warm bed
for Steve to sleep and write and write.
The sky outside, inside as well
Steve thought, my, how this is swell.
Something called and itched him though,
He knew not where or when he'd go
away from here, from where he was
but he knew it would make a buzz.
Without the hat, without the din,
a quiet boy named Steve begin.
Now on a journey he went to burn
away the past and then return.
Through the past he walked his feet
But never did he feel the heat.
Through the fire he strolled he strolled
burning paths of fire untold.
He did not know it made no sense
that he was always feeling tense.
He figured it was desert so
he decided again to get up and go.
Another place, another time
another life, another rhyme.
This time though, Steve wasn't kidding
he found some friends to help his bidding.
He looked around for those who seemed
to know the way of sky, Steve deemed.
He planned and planned to move away,
he only knew he could not stay.
The hat may follow or come along
if Steve did not just carry on.
Messes left and messes made
and Steve was headed for the shade.
Summer sun and beach and sand
And oh this seemed so mighty grand.
And everyone across the land
would cheer and clap their hands and stand.
Steve had notes and tales to tell
and many weren't all that swell.
What I mean is times were tough
new place, new place became too rough.
Settle down he told himself,
but Steve was put upon a shelf.
The sky, not ready for him yet
saved his star, and got him wet.
Almost drowned within the flow,
Steve again would choose to go.
Another place, another time,
another home, another rhyme.
Later on and lost again
Steve forgot about his pen.
Start again to write and write
the pages were an awful sight.
Scribble, scratch, tear and torn
the writing hand of Steve was born.
And in the night, the hat returned
and Steve was Steve, the hat had learned.
Years ago, he had a plan,
the man, the boy, the man in sand
the man in hat, and Steve the man
to tell a tale, like just he can.
With hat in hand and under arm
written notes and pen still warm.
And to the publisher, he did send
not knowing how all would end.
He had made so many wrongs
And tried to sing so many songs.
Hat in hand he walked the land
just looking for his piece of sand.
And to the sea he had a look
and under arm his printed book.
He smiled big as he read
The REAL deal was walking ahead
His woman's feet upon the sand
Isn't she so very grand.
The both of them there
with windblown beach hair.
Hers long and brown, his curly black.
He looked ahead and she looked back.
They smiled big with so much love,
The sun shown down from far above.
He thought to himself that's for sure
How lucky he'd been to have met her
Inside that big old crusty hat.
He had asked her and her cat
to come to shore
and have a tour
of their new home
His prayers there in front of him
And at the beach, the fun grew dim.
One more thing, the biggest need
the hat was still making him bleed.
Together they grabbed the hat fast
and tossed it in the sea at last.
And holding hands, they walked the shore
and found a spot to have a snore
they pitched a tent and under stars
they cuddled up and talked for hours.
And light as a feather
They slept and slept
And then they wept.
He found what was right
What a wonderful sight
the sea with one he loved.
He opened his eyes
and smiled at the dream.
Today is going to be a good day.