A Hammer and a Nail

I’d rather be a hammer than a nail
Yes, I would, if I could, I surely would…
~Simon and Garfunkel from “El Condor Pasa”

If I had a hammer,
I’d hammer in the morning,
I’d hammer in the evening,
All over this land,
I’d hammer out danger,
I’d hammer out a warning,
I’d hammer out love between,
My brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.
~Lee Hays, Pete Seeger

Strangely enough~
it is the pointed and piercing nail,
rather than our blunt hammer,
that binds together,
forming the strength,
the safety,
the permanence
of corners, foundation,
walls and roof
until the battering winds
threaten to pull them apart.

Yet the nail is useless
without the hammer.

The hammer
pounds the nail in
where it is most needed
where it won’t be forgotten
where, if ever removed,
the hole it leaves behind
is a forever reminder
of what our hammers have wrought
and how we are forgiven.

abandoned schoolhouse near Rapalje, Montana

My Hands are Torn

fog1184

 

My hands are torn
by baling twine, not nails, and my side is pierced
by my ulcer, not a lance.
~Hayden Carruth from “Emergency Haying”

 

Miles of twine bind up
tons of hay inside our barn,
daily loosed free of grasses
to feed the hungry,
the strings saved to bind again
in myriad ways:

tightening a sagging fence
replacing a broken bucket handle
snugging a horse blanket belt.

It has become the duct tape of the barn
when duct tape isn’t enough;
a binding substitute made beautiful
by morning fog’s weeping.

hayjobdone

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne,
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
Our comforts, and our cares.

We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
~John Fawcett

boundtogether