Skip to content

The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

Finding Eternity

I wrestle with the recreation of my house.
Its dripping faucets, un-puttied panes,
floors with the skin of old faces,
liver spots, lines, gouges.
But it is my house.
Its cracked cement,
its unpolished bronze,
its stone steps mottled with lichen.
It is myself,
and my comrade in arms.
It reeks of love and arguments,
pathless days, boring plainness,
and times when love scattered its bricks,
raised the rafters,
moved like a new creation into the street,
and down routes where the street
lost itself in a golden web.

Love ruled it,
and tapestries of sheer happiness and children
echoed timelessly into its wood,
a patina of silver ghosts,
interior happiness that would come over me,
or anyone with a wide heart.
Someone said, this is a happy house,
and I knew it like a canon,
the spirits that moved here,
the celebrations, memorials,
breakfasts in the sun,
a carpet of flowers on the porch.

So I wrestle with its recreation,
its repair,
and discover how changeless I am,
how impossible to change.
How I go from door to lintel to rafter,
always the same,
and wonder if I am dead.
If I am severed from the sky.
If the sky itself is too low,
too small an emptiness.
And I know,
when I put my hand to the wall,
that I am discovered.
That the house is eternal.
I am eternal.
That we can be a storm,
a shadow,
dissolve into dust and cover pyramids
with our sand.

That I and the house smile at each other,
daring a move,
a step toward the end of time’s oblivion,
and it is impossible.
Our roots grow in the laughter
and sadness of ourselves.
We keep a happy watch by the street,
this is where Ted lives,
in his house,
looking at his garden,
listening to his family come and go.
He doesn’t change.
He has found his eternity.

Published inIndex of all Poems