What is a 'Poetry House'?
Poetry House is the empty space where attention resides
Poetry House is the moment of insight
Poetry House is the luminosity of spirit
Poetry House is the house of being
What makes a sacred place?
When I think of my efforts to create a sacred building I am reminded of a photograph of a shirtless workman with large rough hands holding his bare infant. Those rough hands, that tender body; it is surprising yet profoundly beautiful that such hands can hold with such tenderness.
It is love, not practice, that makes this work. The posts of the poetry house are hewn and larger than they need to be. Like large hands, they hold the interior space with great tenderness. May we hold each other with the same strength and tenderness.
Can the Poetry House find a beautiful site?
A contractor/builder friend who had apprenticed in Japan revealed to me that, someday, he would like to build a small temple. My instantaneous response was: “Wow! You can do that? Well I want to design and build a temple too.” Two decades later I gave myself a commission to do just that. And I have been the best client I ever had.
While I gave myself permission to build a small sacred building I did not have a building site. Undeterred I adopted the mantra, “If you build it they will come!”
I assumed that a beautiful building could eventually find a beautiful site. I therefore designed a building that could be taken apart and reassembled. The Poetry House could be a precious building in a small cloistered garden or a unique writer’s hermitage amid an abundant natural landscape. Time will tell.