Saturday, October 10, 2015

Dennis Camire: "Encounter with Roofer"

When he drops his hammer for a noon sandwich
He’s like a Buddha atop a grand stuppa
As bare feet set over the eaves while he reads
Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Peace is Every Step.”

And thinking his earlier noise bad karma
For making my morning writing an uphill rhyme
I sherpa into the sacred space of his lunch break
And discover he’s read the whole of Kornfield

And, like me, practices that walking meditation
Where he imagines the soles of his feet
Massaging the vertebrae of mother earth’s
Tectonic plates. Now, sharing cool aid

And khoans, we’re like Tu fu and Li Po high
Atop some remote mountain peak shading
A river below eroding time and stone.
Later that afternoon, in the silence

Which announces the end of his work day,
I’ll climb a second time with the gift of a Hahn line
Decreeing “rainwater is the master bodhisattva.”
He’ll reply “those who say they know, don’t know;

Those who say they don’t know, know.”
And though we won’t exchange emails
To meet for a tea ceremony
Or to play our Tibetan bowls

As I help him throw the remaining shingles
Into the backed up truck below
Then gladly tie down the sliding ladder,
I know the leak of a future sadness has been sealed

"Encounter with Roofer" by Dennis Camire. © Dennis Camire. Presented here by poet submission. This poem was first published in Cardinal Flower, an online journal celebrating rural living in New England.

Art credit: Untitled image by unknown photographer.

1 comment :

  1. I resonate with the holiness of everyday lives captured in this poem. Thank you, Dennis.


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