This column is dedicated to one of the highest art forms in the sphere of human communication—Poetry. Nothing is nobler than the expression of human emotion. All poetry is perfect, no matter what the format or the background of the poet. A voice is a voice. With poetry, you get more than words. You get rhythm, you get sound, you get silence, you get mood—you get emotion. What more can you ask? This column is also dedicated to all the people who have ever lived, those here now, and those yet to come. God bless the poets among you. They carry the soul of the world.

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To Sew A Button

Patience is a virtue, as the saying goes. On occasion, we may lose our virtue. The agony of sewing six buttons inside the waistband of a pair of pants can be excruciating unless you get your mind straight. Some of us are better at it than others. Mastery is to be admired for even the smallest task.

To sew a button is to take
The measure of a focused mind,

A test of steadiness and coordination of the hand,
Who can thread the needle on the first try every time?

Who can push the needle through the button’s hole and find the second hole blindly on the return trip without feeling the frustration of a blunted effort?
Who does not have an unwelcomed snag?
When is the button sewn on enough?

Why must my finger tip find the needle’s point along the way?

How does my button-sewing skill compare to that of the average button-sewing amateur in the world?

I would like to know.

I suspect the clarity of mind and strength of patience
Reached by Zen masters engaged in the lifelong pursuit of peace and harmony
Is matched only by the dedicated wearer of suspenders who has sewn six buttons onto his trousers in an afternoon.

Current and past articles from the Poetry is Perfect: More than Words column: