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Build Your House
Grace Hughes Chappell


Build your house next to a tall tree
build your house
along the axis of its afternoon shade
and the morning sun.
Build a porch
around your house a wide porch
of welcome
and distance to your door.
Build a porch to stand on where you’ll watch
light climbing the tree trunk and the moon
snagging itself in the branches.

© by Grace Hughes Chappell.
Used with the author’s permission.


Grace Hughes Chappell says, over the years, she’s been a mom, a daughter, and a sister, has taken care of ‘things’ (house repairs, car repairs, relationship repairs), worked as a private tutor, an English teacher, a travel agent, a receptionist, a telephone book delivery-person, a house cleaner, a reader to the visually impaired, a caterer, a snow-shoveler, and a writer. Her work is widely published and she is the author of ten mile creek almanac. For 50-some years, Grace and her husband, Don, have lived in northern California, in Mendocino County, and in San Francisco but, as of 2024, they have relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to be near family. Grace's advice for a good life is to be kind, enjoy your family and friends, don’t be a drag (laugh a lot, sing, dance, do anything
that involves music), read a lot, learn to cook a decent meal, watch sunsets and birds and dogs, find something to do for which you have some aptitude, then be willing to work hard at it!

Post New Comment:
Beautiful poem, it would be so nice to tailor make a house to these specs.
Posted 07/13/2012 10:31 AM
Great rhythm! Thanks.
Posted 07/11/2012 07:52 PM
Yes, I will build a house for myself and sit on a porch, like once I did. They were the finest days of my life, and now I am old enough to watch the moon snag itself; whereas before it my secrets with me. Thank you. A terse and wonderful poem.
Posted 07/11/2012 01:30 PM
Ah what a dream - and good advice! Lovely poem. Helen P.
Posted 07/11/2012 10:24 AM
wendy morton:
The moon snagging itself in the branches. Wonderful.
Posted 07/11/2012 08:35 AM
lovely porch and lovely poem!
Posted 07/11/2012 07:40 AM
Very nice! I live in the South and I have a deck with an awning that serves as my porch. It is a great place to watch sunrises and occassional moonrises in my magnolia tree.
Posted 07/11/2012 07:02 AM

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