The Lathe of Heaven (a short poem)

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The Le Guins Keep Coming

This is my 8th hub this year based on the titles of books by science fiction/fantasy author Ursula Le Guin. I am surprised I have been able to come up with ideas for each of these so far but it is an interesting challenge I have set myself.

This time the inspiration took the form of a poem. It is also one of the shortest pieces of poetry I have written. I intended to make it longer and although I tried my muse wouldn't provide me with any further verses. I therefore took that as a sign that this poem says everything it needs to.

Besides, sometimes less is more.

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The Lathe of Heaven

by John Hansen © 2016


The Lathe of Heaven's turning,

The chisels cut and trim,

The Master Craftsman shows his skill.

There's no such thing as sin.

† ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ †

He sculpts the wood with steady hands

To carve the perfect shapes,

Modelled in His image,

He never makes mistakes.

† ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ †

But sometimes raw materials

Contain a warp or flaw

That causes imperfection

And breaks the Craftsman's law.

The Trailer for 1980 Film starring James Cann and Lisa Bonnet

More by this Author


Comments 76 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

I nice way to start my day. You sure did good.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

I really do have to read me some Guin, on your recommendation. Going to the library today...wish me luck...and thanks for reminding me.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for being quick off the mark and first to read this Eric. Glad it wa a good start to your day. Have a great one.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I hope you find some Le Guin books at the library Bill. Good luck, and thanks.


swalia profile image

swalia 7 months ago

The creator never makes a mistake, for sure!

Beautiful poem.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Swalia, that is so true.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 7 months ago from Arkansas

Oh, John, all I can say is, "why didn't I think of this." What a wonderful way to explain the metaphysical; it's perfect. Beautiful writing, my friend down under. I have got to get back to reading LeGuin.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

What a great comment MizB. I am glad I managed to explain effectively and in so few words. It seems I am reintroducing quite a few people to Ursula Le Guin too.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 7 months ago from LOS ANGELES

I'm not into science/fiction fantasy, but I liked your poem. Blessings my friend.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Dana. Le Guin's book and the movie are science fiction, but my poem isn't :) thank you for reading.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

This is beautiful John. You are correct, sometimes shorter is exactly right. I loved this.


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 7 months ago from Florida

The poem is simply wonderful. It was short and so very sweet, but with great meaning. You are an awesome writer/poet. I love when you write poems. Hope to visit again soon. Oh, and the videos were also good. I want to watch that movie now. :)


ValKaras profile image

ValKaras 7 months ago from Canada

Hi John, I am a proof that the Craftsman makes mistakes, but it's a joy of life to take a responsibility for it and keep reshaping it.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 7 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

Hi Jodah. Your muse was right on. I really like your poem. It is short compared to your others, but reads well and is strong in concept.

I watched the videos and now really want to read the book. Thanks for sharing this.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 7 months ago from Northern California, USA

This is actually really beautiful. It kind of makes me think of how we (people) are made by the Creator.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 7 months ago from The Beautiful South

I read you as there are sometimes flaws in the material and the Craftsman works with that, never a flaw in the Craftsman. Am sure I am reading you right and a very deep message beautifully done.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 7 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hi John - the metre on this is so well crafted that it pushes the work up in to the 'excellent' category.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 7 months ago from london

Yes, here succinct is good, beautiful, superb! Great Jazz!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Ruby, glad to hear you loved this poem. Have a great day.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Missy, thanks for the generous comment. I think I will be writing mostly poetry this year. Yeah I agree about the movie trailer. I want to see the movie too.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

True words Val. I am not perfect either but I also take responsibility for that.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Phyllis, thanks for confirming it was right to keep this poem so short. Go grab the book. I need to do the same.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Marlene. That was the thought I wanted to convey?


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Jackie, that is exactly the message I wanted to get across. Thank you for reading and the kind comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Wow! Mike, "excellent" from you is a great compliment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Manatita bro, much appreciated.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 7 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

If, as your poem succinctly states: "There's no such thing as sin." How is that consistent with your last line: "And breaks the Craftsman's law." Frankly, the idea that there is no such thing as sin is a campaign slogan from Lucifer.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Perspicacious, there was no sin before God created man or before Eve ate the fruit. I refer to the beginning as He was in the process of creating...all that changed by the end. He gave man free will and sin followed. I don't think it is contradictory at all. But thanks for your opinion.


Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 7 months ago

I read The Tombs of Atuan to my daughters when they were teens/preteens. It was part of our bedtime ritual every evening, along with Madeline L'Engel. (When they were younger it was, of course, stories such as the writings of Laura Ingles Wilder, E.B. White, and the Chronicles of Narnia).

Your poem is amazing--raw and compelling. In just a few brief lines you have conveyed so very much. I have not read any of the other books by Ms. Le Guin, and recognize that I need to add them to my list. You've given me the push to do so.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Carb Diva, thank you for that amazing comment. The Tombs of Atuan is actually on my to do list as well. Glad I inspired you to catch up on more by Ursula Le Guin.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 7 months ago from Pacific Northwest

Im with billybuck, I need to read this author. Great poem John.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 7 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

Your comment reply helps to clarify your intent. Thanks.


annasmom profile image

annasmom 7 months ago

I liked the poem. I have never gotten into true sci-fi...my real life is hard enough to understand...lol!


Susie Jane profile image

Susie Jane 7 months ago from London

I've never read any of Ursula K. Le Guin's books. I think I should though, I love that genre. .......(Sometimes less is more.) Exactly. I think you're a very talented poet John and this poem says it all. .....(The Master Craftsman shows his skill.) EXCELLENT.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Lori and your kid comment. Yes, check out Ursula Le Guin's books.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Demas.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Sci-fi doesn't appeal to everyone annasmom. Glad you liked the poem though.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Suspect Jane, she has been writing for a long time and won many sci-fi/fantasy awards e.g. Nebula, so you should check out her books. Thank you for your generous words about the poem.


DDE profile image

DDE 7 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

You share greatly a beautiful poem. Always something to ponder on from your work. Your creative mind works wonderfully.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I'm always trying to come up with something new Devika. Thank you for appreciating this poem.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

Nicely written poem, John.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 7 months ago from New Delhi, India

You said it rightly, 'Sometimes less is more'.

You have effectively and beautifully expressed some deep thoughts in this short poem. The Creator never makes mistakes. Its the free will that is the cause of all the sins.

Thank you for sharing this beautiful work!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Flourish. Thanks for reading.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Chitrangada, your opinion and comment is valuable, and acknowledges the message of the poem. I am surprised but pleased with the response to this hub. Thank you.


annart profile image

annart 7 months ago from SW England

This poem certainly does say it all - I don't have a problem with it being the shortest and I agree totally with your reason. Shame hubpages don't have the same opinion regarding poetry.

I'm not a huge sci-fi fan but I will keep an eye out for this author and give it a go, on your recommendation!

Ann


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Ann. I am a little worried about what may happen with any poetry and short fiction hubs when the new sites are launched. HP staff said those would not get priority or be in the first 15 new sites.


annart profile image

annart 7 months ago from SW England

Oh I didn't realise that! I'm not good at reading all the bumph about different sites; can't be bothered but I suppose I should.

If it changes drastically, I won't bother with HP at all, except for practising general writing.

Ann


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Ann, the first new site has already been launched. It's called TatRing for tattooing and body piercing. The next will be PetPerfect I think, all about pets. The latest HP blog pot should be about it.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 7 months ago from Shelton

Jodah, this is simply a slice of poetry your readers will take to their hearts ...love it bro :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for that positive comment Frank. It does seem well received. I appreciate the thumbs up. Cheers.


Eric Flynn profile image

Eric Flynn 7 months ago from Providence, Rhode Island

We are so very fragile and unique; great works we are. Well done Jodah.

EWF


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

We certainly are Eric, each of those. I appreciate your comment.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 7 months ago from Stillwater, OK

This was very well done. I can appreciate it, too, as I am a woodworker.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 7 months ago

How Beautiful John, I love this poem. My hubby is a carpenter so I can appreciate the poem even more.

Blessings and Hugs.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Deb. Yes woodworkers would have a real appreciation for this I guess.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Glad you could appreciate this Shyron. It must be great having a carpenter in the family. Blessings and hugs back.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 7 months ago from southern USA

Oh, John, this is lovely! Your poetry shines here. Yes, God does not make mistakes, and there is certainly beauty in our flaws. It is the imperfections that make the art truly beautiful to me.

I am taking this day to catch up on all the wonderful writings I have missed.

Peace and blessings


Genna East profile image

Genna East 7 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Oh, John, this is beautiful poetry...I loved the ending stanza. I enjoyed the Mark Turner video as well.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Great comment Theresa. I am grateful the message came across clearly in so few words. Have a great weekend.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Genna, I always appreciate your wonderful comments. Glad you liked that video as well.


Surabhi Kaura profile image

Surabhi Kaura 7 months ago from Toronto, Canada

So my Sweet and Loving, Jodah. I hope I am not too late (smile).

I've been toying with words to write a poem for you and I would do it soon.

Back to the hub, I loved this poem, especially the very last stanza. I haven’t read much science fiction books/novels though, but this one appears to be nice. Perhaps I’ll grab a copy of it on my way back to the library next Thursday. An excellent piece! Love you… always :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

You are never too late Surabhi. I know how busy you have been.

I would be honoured if you ever have the time to write a poem for me, but you have already dedicated a wonderful hub to me for which I was grateful.

I would like to write poems or dedicate hubs to my friends on Hub Pages but then I would feel guilty for those I missed, so apart from Nellianna (who is the reason I am still here) I have resisted that. I should however at least write one for anyone who write's one for me. I hope you can find a copy of the Lathe of Heaven. O hope you have a great Valentine's Day. Love you back.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 7 months ago from The Caribbean

Good poetry and I like the message. This is so clean and crafty!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you MsDora. I really appreciate your comment and glad you liked this poem.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 7 months ago from England

Hi John, love the poem! and I had to watch the video to see the clip of the film, how did I miss this one? thought I had seen all the sci-fi back then and now! lol!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Glad you liked this poem Nell. I am the same, I had never seen or heard of this movie either and I am a true sci-fi fan, so I need to watch it. Thanks for reading.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 7 months ago from Dubai

Beautiful poem, every time the Craftsman's Law is broken something new is born! Great write.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Vellur, your comment is oh so true and greatly appreciated.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 7 months ago from Central Florida

Pretty intense poem, John. I agree; in this case less is more - or just right.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 7 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Shauna. Glad I got my message across in few words.


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 6 months ago from Oklahoma

Beautifully written.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 6 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Larry, you comments are always appreciated.


Linda Robinson60 profile image

Linda Robinson60 5 months ago from Cicero, New York

Good morning Jodah wow what an uplifting tremendous poem. You really touched on some incredible feelings. Just wonder, really enjoyed reading it. Take care. Linda


Jodah profile image

Jodah 5 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading and leaving a generous comment, Linda. Much appreciated. Have a good week.


Linda Robinson60 profile image

Linda Robinson60 5 months ago from Cicero, New York

meant to write just wonderful, sorry, and you are so welcome. Anxious to read all your new works. :) You are definitely a very talented writer.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 5 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Cheers, Linda

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