Organic Architecture

I

When Jeffers had his house built at the Point,
He had it made to last, with local stuff—
Exotic sea-granite conveyed from the Sierra
Up the San Andreas and hauled by horse
From a nearby quarry he called the sea.

He even helped with the work, and then
he added on a tavern, and
Gemmed it with non-native things
Taken from temples, tombs and poets and kings
from all around the world.

A man needs a car, and a car needs a home,
So he made his car a house of stone
he wheeled from the sea.

A man needs a dog, and a dog needs a fence,
So he raised a wall of slow-cooked stones
he fetched up from the sea.

A man needs a wife, and a wife needs a tower,
So he built her a sea-stone turret, and he had it
lined with fine mahogany; décor’d
With Hindu heads, precious tiles, and sacred stones
Pinched from poets, walls, and temples and tombs
from all around the world.

And of the sea stones, the poet built poems
About his house, his cliffs, and his tower,

but not about the loot.

II

When Henry built his cabin in the woods,
He made it of native white pine that he felled himself,
plus some secondhand brick.

He moved in, raised some beans,
Watched the trains steam by,
Surveyed the pond, and after a couple years,
Collected his journals,
walked back to Concord.

© 2013–15 Kaweah