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A Carpenter’s Tools

How many years ago
did the carpenter’s tools
become useless
to understand the world?

The hammer is as always
a tool of trauma and force;
the claw’s no better off
it leaves a hole behind,

and does wielding with care
make better the hammer?

We make metaphoric nails
and hammer to build up our lives,
but the carpenter now
is lacking
the tools and language of youth,
grown old the world is gray
and all the hammer’s truth
does not buy an atom
an escape from neutron
splitting the nucleus in two.

A hammer has no words to nail
to the fission of chain reacted
unstoppable hatred of men
who’d split the world to sink a boat.

If we turned it around,
the hammer turned to the claw,
what would it matter now?
A hammer can only build
or rebuild up the world
from the rubble of nukes.

Like the old white haired professor,
the square
is out of touch with the world;
things are no longer as simple
as the intersection of two
opposing and differing lines.
The square cannot stand up
to the truth, measured
in double helix gymnastics
performed sublime by the computer
and sculpture divine: expanding time
as seen through a new set of tools.

The old chalk line takes to the curves
and fails to be of any use,
when needing to mark straight the earth;
in the deflection of small bits
we loose to the ether the terms
agreed upon with the making of tools.

No amount of measuring will fix the tool,
and trying only delays the inevitable.

The Spoken Word Version of the Poem – A Carpenter’s Tools

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