Poet Builds a House

.
all that we are arises with our thoughts,
the Dhammapada says,
with our thoughts we make the world

…….thing one: tour the foundation,
…….scrape down it’s roughness
…….with the edge of a hammer head,
…….dis the mason who left behind a lumpy job,
…….who forgot what a trowel is for,
…….who was halfway home already when he bent into his forms
…….smoothing like a dilettante, fatigue calling the shots,
…….the day’s dregs, the ache in his legs

with our thoughts we make the world

…….two: eyeball the foundation top
…….to get a handle on what you’re up against
…….noting bulges humps and dips, or not—
…….with luck you’ve been left the work of a perfectionist
…….a Michelangelic cement mechanic
…….doing god’s work as he smoothed loose Portland
…….to a chalk line while in the background,
…….the symphonic smell of oil-soaked wood
…….played to a concrete vibrator’s percussive drill
…….driving trapped air from aggregate,
…….time and chemistry turning wet concrete to stone
…….upon which a carpenter will set a sill

all that we are arises through our thoughts

…….three: set sill straight to lines struck on the top of the wall
…….parallel and square and fix with bolts

the world is made with thought

…….four: make cycles to the lumber pile grabbing two at a time
…….whip to shoulder and carry over sun-baked soil raising dust
…….until the need for sweat and beams has been fulfilled
…….and the house is framed by god’s good must

all that we are by thought arises, says the Dhammapada.
we make the world with thoughts

…….thus a house, conceived and brought about
…….by hammer blows in the skull of a carpenter
…….driving nails through a sawyer’s vision of cut joists,
…….its walls and roof arranged in geometric imagination, arises

…….because, as the Dhammapada says,
…….the world is brought about by thought

with our thoughts the world arises

…….when you think about it (as the verse apprises
…….and Buddha taught)
…….our home —our world, is built by thought
.

by Jim Culleny
8/16/13

Dhammapada

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s