Sunday, April 26, 2015

Seismic support

Masonry built in seismic zones 
must be carefully designed
especially if it's used in homes
the strain must be confined.

For if it's allowed to move sideways
(and catenary thrust will go lateral)
not if but when, on somber days
and falling walls can shatter all.

We've learned it before, and yet again
the danger of inadequate wall
thoughts and prayers do begin
for the people of Nepal.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Clerihew #3

Saint Patrick crossed the border
into Ireland with some mortar
With religion he brought grace in
and became the very first mason.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Block Not Taken

Two blocks replaced some rotting wood,
And sorry I could not lay them both
And be one mason, long I stood
And tamped down one as far as I could
To where it lay in the mortar bed;
Then took the other, as just as level,
And having perhaps the better aim,
Because it was glassy and wanted bevel;
Though as for that the grouting there
Had laid them really about the same,
And both that morning horizontally lay
In scaffold no step had trodden mud.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how lay course on the way,
I doubted if I should ever cut wood.
I shall be troweling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two blocks replaced rotting wood, and eye-
saw the one less mortared by,
And that this mud all the difference.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Good help

Really good help is hard to find
but if you're involved and astute
you'll find a real peace of mind
in Workforce Development Institute.

They're there to help, they really are
They'll look you up and make a visit
just laugh as your dog greets their car
and ask "but what kind of dog is it?"

Friendly is -of course- very nice
yet work costs money, it is true
appropriate help for a quoted price
helps make jobs, for me and you.

Earth Day

By digging clay
locally found
On Earth Day
from the ground

It really should
be consciously fired
with local wood
not alive, but expired

No fossil fuels
no gas or petrol
break the rules
go carbon neutral

Play your part
in this scene
make some art
make it green.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Striking joints
tucking points
mud anoints
the corner quoins.

Monday, April 20, 2015


A brick in the hand is worth two in the
Bush league masons don't stack
Up, up and away in my beautiful
Balloon frame construction is just a bunch of
Sticks, honey we live surrounded by
Rednecks make the best
Moonshine lights up my
Moonlit dome disdains All that man is,
All mere complexities,
The fury and the mire of human
Veins, so vain I bet you thought this poem's about you
you're so vain.