Sunday, April 10, 2011


As a child I became enthralled with masonry

and entered reverently great halls of stone

and marveled at structures made of block.

How was it made, this wonderful building?

Who were these people so skilled with mortar?

What had become of this lost art?

The cathedrals of Europe showed me this art.

I was lucky to see this bold masonry

and contemplate the skilled slingers of mortar.

How did they figure and know that a stone

could be cut such a way to construct this building?

All this amazement at stacks of block.

As I grew older the wonder of block

seemed to vanish with the lost art.

Daily surrounded by boring new building,

concrete blocks stacked in straight-walled masonry.

Gone from my sight were wonders of stone,

just boring-ass buildings, institutional mortar.

Gone from my mind were wonders of mortar,

gone too was thought of carved block;

when I looked on the ground an occasional stone.

Painting and drawing replaced my lost art.

Carpentry, plumbing, drywall and masonry

all seemed the same dreary task used in building.

As an adult I threw pots, and was soon building

giant architectural vases: assembly without mortar.

A house out of clay was my goal, without masonry,

still far removed from thought of block.

Twisted, turning and long was this art

for I would return to the skill of built stone.

How could it be done, to build wonders with stone?

Using modern methods and materials for building

to reclaim this lost and once lofty art?

To assemble a vaulted roof with mortar?

When all that was left was rectangular block:

a mass-produced world didn’t want good masonry.

I thought of art, casting concrete as stone,

realized masonry was still a key to good building.

Alas I found mortar, and secrets of triangular block.

1 comment:

  1. HUZZAH!!!!!!!! A sestina! with movement! and resolutution!!!