Monday Poem

Spirit Level

I've been a carpenter most of my life
and so have had occasion to use
what used to be called a spirit-level
but which today we call a level
–ditching spirit for the sake of efficiency
baby-with-bathwater-like as we
so often do, way past what's necessary

but the hole heaps up

this level is used to set things straight
to the plane of the horizon as with a beam
or plumb as with a stud to make sure
structure's right by spirit

you breathe deep and easy and hold the level
so the spirit bubble floats in the small arc of a glass flask
dead center which if placed upon a joist would say,
this floor is level

being on the level
good way to be

by Jim Culleny
Feb 7, 2010

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