Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Building Freedom

Frederick C. Robie Home, Chicago, IL
(Frank Lloyd Wright)

—Poetry by Timothy Sandefur, Phoenix, AZ
—Photos Courtesy of Public Domain


Earth will lift us to a higher plane.
No machine can ever build a hearth.
Two of us are never quite the same, yet
harmony calls out to human hearts.

No machine can ever build a hearth.
Freedom must be built with brick and stone,
yet harmony calls out.
To human hearts, dignity’s as vital as a home.

Freedom must be built.
With brick and stone and wood, we make a
space within to speak of dignity.
As vital as a home, temple, or city is the
truth we seek.

And would we make a space within to speak—
to express, not expose—as in a prayer in our
temples? cities?
The truth we seek’s a step beyond the post,
in the air.

To express, not expose—that’s our prayer.
To build the countenance of principle: to
step beyond the post, into air.
In the nature of materials

we find the countenance of principle bloom-
ing from the world’s hidden grain.
In the nature of materials, Earth will lift us
to a higher plane.
 Fallingwater, Mill Run, PA (Frank Lloyd Wright)


Ruby lights in the rearview mirror
Driving to see you. I realize they’re
The backs of reflectors that mark out
the lanes.

Behind me, one by one, they tick,
Forming a blood-colored smear on the black.
I imagine drunks driving the wrong way

Must see them in the instant before the crash,
And swerve in panic. They call them Cat’s
Eyes, merest flickers of caution, that blaze

To life, shockingly precise
In the void, then gone.  Ahead, my brights
Grope along a curve of grey

And yellow lines. In the black are trees
That fly toward me at such a speed,
A warning reflection would come too late;

Stars obscured by clouds overhead;
In retrospect, flecks of red
That flare up and fall away.
 Home & Studio of Frank Lloyd Wright, Oak Park, IL


It’s our crossings make us free;
make us who we’re bound to be.
That’s what’s wrong with destiny.

Chasms since eternity
concealing their mysteries.
That’s what’s wrong with humility.

Bright angels beckon from the rocks;
ancient forests patrolled by hawks.
That’s what’s wrong with timid talk.

Verdant channels and vermillion cliffs
marked by ancient petroglyphs.
That’s what’s wrong with but, what ifs.

Water patiently erodes
the sharpest surfaces of stones.
That’s why it’s wrong to be alone.

It cuts the mountains down in time.
These boundaries are shifting lines.
That’s why it’s wrong to stay inside.

The river carves the earth away
ten thousand steps every day.
That’s why we should not delay.

Take this path. You’ll see there
a thousand castles in the air.
That’s why we should not despair.

Winter snows will melt in spring,
bringing life to desert streams.
That’s what’s wrong with suffering

when the canyon’s darkest gloom
will yield to the sunlight soon.
Come with me.  We’ll make it through.


Today’s LittleNip:

An idea is salvation by imagination.

—Frank Lloyd Wright


Timothy Sandefur, who first visited the Kitchen in 9/2/12, is an attorney and author who used to live in Sacramento but now lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Don’t stay away so long next time, Timothy!


 Timothy Sandefur at Wingspread
(Frank Lloyd Wright's house for
the Johnson family in Racine, Wisconsin)

A reminder that
Women’s Wisdom Art
is offering workshops each
Weds. afternoon in October.
For info about this and other
upcoming poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
click on
in the links at the top of this page.

Photos in this column can be enlarged by
clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
in the top right corner to come back to Medusa.

Find previous four-or-so posts
by scrolling down under
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 typing the name into the little beige box
at the top left-hand side of today’s post;
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LittleSnake’s Glimmer of Hope
(A cookie from the Kitchen for today):

the geese are back!
slow-motion march
past my window
their seasonal