“Pleasure,” “The Toys on the Floor” and “Within the Walls”

“Pleasure,” “The Toys on the Floor” and “Within the Walls”


The block finds pleasure,

all that it needs,

as it is slipped into

the place conceived for it,

that spot where it truly fits:

snug, smooth, clean

without jiggle or sway.

To build such happiness for wood

is what the carpenter does or should.

But for the man,

to plan and measure for himself

an insertion with a click, a rest, an absolute to it

is to be both architect and material at once,

a feat not easy to arrive at.

And so we say, "pleasure," rarely;

sigh with relief, not often.

Not seeing that ours is not

the permanence of studs and joints

but just that of trying —

the place where that is done,

the only place we fit.

And that is the meaning of our pleasure:

the meaning is the trying.

The Toys on the Floor

Rain water falls

on the cement Buddha,

beats and blackens it

with moss and furry growth in patches.

Bird shit too, collects,

white streaks

on its head, its shoulders.

Leaves from jeering trees



streak it red.

Frost holds hands with it

breaking its appendages.

The wind hurls its demands,

its anger at not being answered.

Time scuffs and rubs

and wears it old,

patinas it with its own postulates.

Still, the core of it remains,

the core unchanged.

Still, the look,

the expression unmoved,

the stare beyond




the toys on the floor.

Within the Walls

When the bees in the wall

whisper-their-wings and purr,

It feels as though some great internal organ

were directing everything

from somewhere within.

And I stop,

in the otherwise silent house,

and I listen.

Beneath the ice the fish dart,

long as commandments,

fast as impulses.

And I find that I believe.

From under the ground,

where I plant my feet,

the earth furrows,

and for an instant

I see the teeth,

the mole below

that I didn’t expect or know.

And I feel the bite of doubt.

Yet, when I turn my head away

the steel of thought cuts deep,

shimmering and glinting.

The honey pours and the wings purr.

And I feel myself let go.

About the Author

Erich von Hungen

Erich von Hungen is a writer from San Francisco, California. Currently he is involved with his YouTube poetry channel called PoetryForce. For a collection of short stories, he was the runner-up for The Joseph Henry Jackson Award. His writing has appeared in The Colorado Quarterly, Cathexis Northwest Press and The Esthetic Apostle.

Read more work by Erich von Hungen.