This is the house that Jack built

At the end of a long drive
It stands apart from its neighbors
At home with its solitude
And its singularity
At one with the maple and fir
Yet a clear-cut human creation

The exterior is somewhat gruff
A double-wide garage
Stained cedar siding
And a modest morning-sun deck
The first rooms to greet
When passing the stolid dark door
Are the day-to-day, the ordinary
A study
A pantry
A guest room or two
Passage to the master’s wing
The intent is not to impress
But to serve, and serve well

Only after repeat visits may you discover
The heart of this home
At the end of the hall
The great room complex
With the long kitchen-hearth
Overlooking the den and formal dining
Through tall windows you gaze
At the broad and graceful wraparound deck
And the pastures beyond

Every detail of furnishing and decor
Rafter and siding
Sill and range
Bespeaks excellence
Neither gratuitous nor showy
But because the owner has known
Has lived with and can descry
The second-hand
The second-rate
The shopworn and shoddy
Where quality is wanting
What it means to go without
To lack and make do

This is a choice habitation
A domicile of deliberation

A man’s home is his castle, they say
A haven to all he protects
Warm to friends
Formidable to foes, or the wary

This was the house
That Jack built

But more than a house or a home
Or a castle
This was a mirror
This is the Jack that was
A mighty tower of a man

About Greg Wright

I have worn many hats as a writer and editor over the years. Unlike my scholarly and journalistic work from the "old days" at Hollywood Jesus, Past the Popcorn, or SeaTac Blog, the writing here is of a more overtly personal and spiritual nature. I hope it provokes you as much as it provokes me.
This entry was posted in Other, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Eulogy

  1. Greg Wright says:

    Jack Campbell passed last Saturday night. He was the man of my father’s generation who was the closest thing I had, besides my dad, to a father figure. As I thought this week of my first meetings with Jack the summer of 1981, it dawned on me that my impressions of Jack were intimately bound with my impressions of the house that he and Joanne built out in the Issaquah-Hobart valley. And rather than a narrative, this popped out. I sincerely hope it does Jack justice.

    I will only add that the first time I left his home, he said goodbye at the door and grasped my hand–or rather enveloped my hand with his. “I hope to see a lot more of you, young man.”

    He did. And he shall. I’ll see you in the endzone, Jack.

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