A carpenter apprentice

When you build your home,
carpenter apprenticed, from
its walls to roof, from
the carpets to its paint
carefully selected
(you might think),

and afterwards you invite
some friends for barbecue, and
you’re sitting on your porch
clinging to a lukewarm bottle
silenced from what’s done.

There is a hollow formed inside
an emptiness (a craving)
much like the poet’s empty
notebook begs for ink…
and you wonder (looking at the stars)
if you’ve built your house or if
it is the house creating you.

A fisherman's shack by Jacek Yerka

A fisherman’s shack by Jacek Yerka

27 responses to “A carpenter apprentice

  1. Does the way we represent ourselves differ from who we are? Our houses define the way we want to see ourselves I think, then when we look again maybe we wonder,,I’m rambling,,enjoyed your poem,,

  2. A house can be like wordless statements about the owner – not just the structure, but even the layout and colour of the interior. Some great thoughts.

  3. “Much like the poet’s empty notebook begs for ink” – love that simile! And you do ask a powerful question about what is creating what

  4. Intriguing and a bit disturbing…the silence, the hollow craving. Our surroundings so “carefully selected”, we may think….hmmm

  5. This is such an unusual contemplation or vantage point from which to look at life. I love Yerka’s work.

  6. I love what this poem says about the relationship between builder and creation. And I believe that the relationship is rather symbiotic: there are two builders and two creations at the end.

  7. Such layers of meaning here. In dream symbolism the house is most often considered to be the self. And then there is that emptiness, that always wanting more that is part of who we are. I love this.

    • When you find a metaphor that works for you I think it’s one way to use it throughout the whole poem… and maybe use those last line to expand the purpose… that was at least my thought writing this poem

  8. this is such a fascinating concept that i’ve never really thought about – a house shaping you instead of the other way around. in poetry it seems so natural, with the words often mastering us instead of us forcing the words to do our bidding, but your poem shows how well this concept of flipping creator and creation translates to building a house into a home.

  9. Creativity needs an outlet, whether it’s in ink or home improvement. I can understand the urge to keep building and refining.

  10. Amen Bjorn! This “I” writing is how the house welcomes other into its space. Absolulely love the image. Reminds me of St. Brendan celebrating Easter mass on the back of Jacobius the whale.

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