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The House That Jack Built, a Poem

John is a long-time poet, short fiction, and article writer. He loves story-telling and also has a Certificate in Permaculture Design.

The House That Jack Built

The House That Jack Built

The House That Jack Built

It takes dedication to build a house,

To make it feel like a home,

And make it comfortable for your spouse,

Unless you live on your own.

But Jack always dreamed of a small farmhouse

With cattle, and crops he'd grown.

So, with bricks and mortar and lots of toil

He gave his time to his dream.

To realise his goal Jack remained loyal

His focus was clear it seemed.

His strict dedication, nothing could foil,

A house beside a clear stream.

Weeks hurried on and became months, then years,

Jack never strayed from his goal.

He'd get this house built through heartache and fears,

Even by selling his soul.

The last brick in place, he wiped away tears,

And raised a flag on a pole.

The welcome day came without a fanfare,

No whistles and bells were heard.

No one else he knew seemed to give a care,

A sad hard lesson he'd learned.

For Jack was alone, his joy was not shared,

His Love had flown like a bird.

To realise his dream Jack so hard fought

Was not important to all.

Love and attention is what his wife sought,

But he was blind to it all.

Our loved ones don't always have the same thoughts

Poor Jack was destined to fall.

Remember to ask your partner's advice

Before you make a life-choice.

To watch dreams collapse is not very nice,

So please don't ignore their voice.

Life is not simply a roll of the dice,

Why not agree and rejoice?


John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on March 03, 2019:

I appreciate your visit and comment on my poem Elijah. I am not sure if I had heard the Aretha Franklin song by the same name, but will have to check it out.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on March 03, 2019:

Reminds me of Aretha Franklin's song by the same name. I have never read "The House That Jack Built" to know, if that's a poem of the story no wonder the song said "remember the house", it was built for a lover who had flown the coop. Thanks for your rhyming version so well done, brother John.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on February 05, 2019:

Yes, Li-Jen it is funny how other writers here seem to often write about a common theme at the same time. Building dreams and seeing them come to fruition is what most of us want, but compromise is often required.

Li-Jen Hew on February 05, 2019:

Hey Jodah. Glad that you were able to share what it's like to realise dreams but the wife wanted love only. Building a house is a good metaphor for building dreams. It's interesting to see the wife's perspective in this one. Looks like the both of us share a common theme, cool! Hope you achieve your dreams too!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on February 03, 2019:

Haha so true Flourish, that's the moral of it. I'd rather buy than build any day of the week. Been there, done that.

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 03, 2019:

There’s a good moral here. Get buyin, find someone who already shares your interest, or be prepared to go it alone.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on February 01, 2019:

Yes, that's it DreamOn. Have a common goal and work together, that's what my wife and I did when we built a house. You share the good and bad then and reduce the burden on each other.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on February 01, 2019:

Thank you for reading Jo, I am glad you enjoyed the story even though it had a sad ending.

DREAM ON on February 01, 2019:

Your poem hit the nail right on the head. Happy wife happy life. If your goals begin to stray it is a good idea to meet half way. Then you both got part of what you wanted and more importantly you have each other. Then you can still work on the rest. Two sets of hands are better than one. They get the job done twice as fast.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on February 01, 2019:

A sad but lovely story.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 30, 2019:

Thanks again for reading another of my little endeavours in poetic story telling Shauna, it is always appreciated.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on January 30, 2019:

I guess if you have a huge (and costly) dream, you should be prepared to live it alone unless you consider others' needs and wants. Either that or find someone with similar goals.

Another great message that was fun to read, John!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 29, 2019:

Yes, Dana, you described it perfectly. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on January 29, 2019:

So true. Many times we are so blinded by our needs we don't see that it's our dream and no one but ours. Time goes by fast and with the blink of an eye it can all change or, even worse be gone.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 29, 2019:

That I should so true Venkat, communication is essential. Thanks for the kind comment.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on January 29, 2019:

A very appealing message is imparted through your nice poem. The video also is quite matching to it. It's true that one should do any task keeping engagement with his dear ones.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 28, 2019:

Hey Gabe, Glad you learned something from reading this. High Five!!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 28, 2019:

Thank you Rasma, glad you liked the poem and video.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on January 28, 2019:

Thank you Uncle John for your story I learned a lot from it.

Gabe Dierker

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on January 28, 2019:

Enjoyed this most creative. Great choice of video.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 28, 2019:

Thank you, Mary. Yes, how deflating it msust be to reach a long awaited goal only to have lost your spouse in the process. After all, most people’s wedding vows include “for better, or for worse.” Unfortunately some don’t take those words seriously.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 28, 2019:

Thank you John for this wonderful poem. It's pathetic to reach your goal and not share it with someone you want to share it with. I realized that once you have said yes to share a life with someone, you do share each other's dreams, too.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 28, 2019:

Yes, Rinita, the ideal situation is when the other partner supports the one who is passionate about their dream and stands by them no matter what. It was inspired by the song but it does happen. I once read “if you really want to test how strong a marriage is build a house together.” Thanks for reading.

Rinita Sen on January 28, 2019:

Well written, John, but I don't know, isn't it better when the partner understands that the dream is important to the other person, and stand by them, than asking for attention? Well, I suppose this one is one of your 'real world' poems. Brilliant style as usual.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 28, 2019:

Tapaswini, thank you very much for reading this poem. No one is really right or wrong in this situation but they needed to communicate and compromise.

Tapaswini Bashoo from Washington DC on January 28, 2019:

This is my first time reading, listening to your poems. Its a touch balance and some chose one road to the other, who is right is question.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 27, 2019:

You are welcome PoetikalyAnointed. Yes, unfortunately, it is a common scenario. Someone is so absorbed by their dream that they lose focus on everything and everyone else around them. Thanks for reading.

PoetikalyAnointed on January 27, 2019:

Thanks John for this reminder!

This is a major life-lessons for partners/spouses. You have to be on one-accord or this is likely to happen. There needs to be a healthy balance between achieving "your" dream versus your partner's/spouses needs/want.

We see this play out in movies/songs/TV shows all the time.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 26, 2019:

No, it wasn't Clive. It had a sad ending lol. Thanks for reading though.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 26, 2019:

Yes, Pamela, it is a two-way street. Both partners need to communicate and go out of their way to please the other. Then what can go wrong? Glad you enjoyed the song too.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 26, 2019:

Tell me about it, Alyssa. I built a house once and it was a very stressful time. I guarantee if I do anything renovations wise without asking my wife's opinion I will be starting all over again lol. Thanks for reading.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on January 26, 2019:

A Nice tale.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 26, 2019:

This seems to be a clear message to men to listen to their wives if they want to be happy. I am happy to say my husband treats me very well and even spoils me a bit. I work to make him happy as well, and things seem to work out that way. I also liked the music.

Alyssa from Ohio on January 26, 2019:

It's not easy to build a house, that's for sure! Renovations are also a fun challenge. haha! Communication is key for any successful relationship, but that's often easier said than done. It's easy to fixate on doing something with the best of intentions and easier still to get lost in it all, forgetting to check-in, get input, or simply ask what's needed. Another great poem with a life lesson for us all.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 26, 2019:

Hi Liz, I know Grand Designs very well. I used to enjoy watching it too. Thank you for the generous comment.

Liz Westwood from UK on January 26, 2019:

At first I was reminded of a popular building project series in the UK, called 'Grand Designs'. I like to see how the builders triumph in the end. But then there was a skillful twist in the tale of your poem and the tone changed completely. This is a very well-written piece of poetry.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 26, 2019:

Haha Bill, yep I try to avoid that too. Thanks for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 26, 2019:

Well, I hope there is a lesson in this poem for Gabe, Eric. Many of us make similar mistakes at some stage in our lives. As long as we learn from them.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 26, 2019:

There's a bit of Jack in me...ultra-focused....although ignoring a wife's wishes is a death sentence I try to avoid. lol

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on January 26, 2019:

This is one of those big kid poetry lessons to be read with an 8 year old. Wonderful and entertaining and such a necessary thought to invoke.

Life gets of a sticky wicket from time to time, best we focus on our loved ones and not things.

I was Jack in the eighties. Don't care to have my boy do the same.

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