Monday Poem

Built by Thought

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

………. one, tour the foundation
………. scraping down it’s roughness
………. with the edge of a hammer head
………. dissing 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 he’s up against
………. noting bulges humps and dips, or not—
………. with luck he’s been left the work of a perfectionist,
………. a Michelangelic cement mechanic
………. doing god’s work as he smoothed loose Portland
………. to a chalkline 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 the 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
………. snap 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 finished joists
………. its walls and roof arranged in architectural 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

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