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The Lathe of Heaven (A Short Poem)

Updated on January 19, 2017
Jodah profile image

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.

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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

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

© 2016 John Hansen

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    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 16 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Cheers, Linda

    • Linda Robinson60 profile image

      Linda Robinson 16 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
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      John Hansen 16 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Linda Robinson60 profile image

      Linda Robinson 16 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
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      John Hansen 17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Larry, you comments are always appreciated.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 17 months ago from Oklahoma

      Beautifully written.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 18 months ago from Central Florida

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 18 months ago from Dubai

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 18 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
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 18 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

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      Surabhi Kaura 18 months ago

      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
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 18 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

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

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 18 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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 18 months ago from Texas

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

      Blessings and Hugs.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 18 months ago from Stillwater, OK

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Eric Flynn profile image

      Eric Wayne Flynn 18 months ago from Providence, Rhode Island

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

      EWF

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 18 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
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 18 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
      Author

      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      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

      Ann Carr 18 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
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Flourish. Thanks for reading.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 18 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!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 18 months ago from USA

      Nicely written poem, John.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 18 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
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Demas.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Susie Jane profile image

      Susie Jane 18 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.

    • annasmom profile image

      annasmom 18 months ago

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

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 18 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Your comment reply helps to clarify your intent. Thanks.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 18 months ago from Pacific Northwest

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

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 18 months ago from Washington State, USA

      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
      Author

      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 18 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
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Manatita bro, much appreciated.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      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
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      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
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 18 months ago from london

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

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 18 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.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 18 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.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 18 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.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 18 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.

    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 18 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.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 18 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. :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 18 months ago from Southern Illinois

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 18 months ago from LOS ANGELES

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 18 months ago

      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
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Swalia, that is so true.

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      Shaloo Walia 18 months ago

      The creator never makes a mistake, for sure!

      Beautiful poem.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 18 months ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 18 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.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

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