Uncle Bob's Words

Words, poetry, stuff like that


The glass wind chimes tink-tinked in the breeze

That moved through the open windows

Of that house, so secure, in the trees.

I had money and I had you.



Quiet afternoons, shameless in our youth.

Eating, dressing, going out…all done well.

I’m glad we made it, to remember this.

I think I’ll email you an old picture.


Another evening with no art.

Reality intervened.

Do this. Do that. Have to.

Tomorrow, I meditate.

And new images will appear.


The trees are tired of summer.

They shyly begin to show their hidden colors

In advance of approaching winter and

Their autumnal deciduous dump.

The skies today are Navy grey;

Rain is coming.

The leaves will be wet and heavy.

Unpack your sweaters and sweats.

It’s that time again.

Angels Always Win

Wrestling angels is tiring.  They always win

And are nice about it.

Which is mean, really, but they’re angels

And angels never lose.

The arena –  here inside my head.

And the bout is between me

And Mr. Angel, who never loses.

The Bad Boy who roars and wrestles;

Mr. Angel, of course, who never loses.

Bad Boy fumes and mutters.

Mr. Angel’s nonchalant.

Omnia Vanitas

I’m not especially vain,

But I don’t want people to get the wrong idea.

Not stupid. No Dunning-Kruger Effect here.

Not a slob, but fitted sheets did save me

From hospital corners.

Shirts ironed, as the pants.

Shoes clean and brushed.

Braced and belted for work, of course.

But looser here where I live.

Henry Rollins said he was not

Lonely.  He was solitary.

I get that.

Dancing Around

I’m dancing around in my mind like this

Because it’s what magicians call misdirection.

I’m pretending to see the blur of my feet

Not the fear in my heart.

I’m grinning and joking around like this

Because it’s what comedians call comedy.

It’s the silly, clownish face, radiating.

Not the sad one beneath.

I’m moving slower and slower like this

Because it’s what mages call meditation.

I see my fear that shivers, hidden away

And move to embrace it.

The Choice

Ever since my Muse, that louche bastard,

Hared off to who knows where

And never returned, I feel I’ve lost a hand.

But I was never all that good at art, anyway.

In my early 20s, I had to choose:

Pictures or words.

I chose art.

Fall back.  Regroup.

Moving on.

It Takes Ten

Put a tenner in that body’s mouth!

Pennies no longer suffice to charm Charon-on-the-Styx.

You know that he’s been the ferryman for souls

At a penny a pop, non-stop, since Day One?

That’s a lot of pennies.  Charon’s loaded.

He vacations in Death Valley, palling around with Scotty,

Hood thrown back, drying out in the desert air,

Before he returns to the soggy bottom land

To receive the gifts of the endless psychopomps.

So, make it a Hamilton, make sure the way to Hades

Is as well unencumbered

As you might expect from

This guaranteed ultimate trip to Hell.


My ancestors lived in Doggerland, Doggerland, drowned by the sea.

They hunted deer and mastodon in the cool Mesolithic climes,

And nighttime fires, tended with care, marked out their borderlines.

On the land they never called Doggerland, Doggerland under the sea

In Doggerland they lived, not knowing England, not knowing France.

They wore warm furs and hats of straw but, probably, seldom pants.

Such was the life in Doggerland, Doggerland under the sea.



I remember teletypes with their bauded paper ribbons,

Telephones and forever fixed addresses, typewriters (ugh),

Press type, sticky jars of rubber cement & vapors,

And those crepe rubber blocks for cleaning up layouts.

Blue pencils, red pencils, photofaxes, the smell of paper

And ink, the rumble of those massive presses.

Pneumatic tubes that fascinated me as a kid.

La la, gone for good.  Clear ‘em all out. Bye!

Oh, Word, I am not worthy.

Then there was: darkrooms, chemicals, Tri-X or Plus-X,

Velvia…American or English photo paper?  More silver,

Blacker blacks.  Light meters.  Cameras weighed a ton.

Don’t even think about those glass lenses…weapons!

Then, in Rochester, evolved a sensor and a Bayer array.

Double K, seemingly oblivious, let it all slip away.


The future?  Bring it on.

(no title)

Everything in me once social

Is compressed into a tight little brick

That only warms infrequently

By memories served up

From my default mode network.

I savor the old movie (seemingly

Shot from just over the refrigerator).

Two now dead, three still living.

Vertical, breathing, warm.



Why Thomas Alva, sitting there in Menlo Park

In his fancy genius pants

Would find that his major tinker’s dams

Would only thrive through the genius

Of Nikola Tesla?

Thomas Alva could have electrocuted

Every dog in New Jersey and every

Elephant, if he could find any,

And Tesla would still have come to eat his lunch.

DC or AC

Any hayseed could tell you

That electricity is the bomb

Without knowing what Carrington

Saw when TAE and NT were mere babes.

Current runs through the veins of the Earth

But the million-times-larger Sun

That white star magnet just 93 million miles

Off to the right runs the whole show.


I admit I was wrong.  It happens all the time.

Maybe more now that I’m older.

Maybe more now that I’m dumber

And quicker to fact-check before posting.

Like this:

This is a photo of a sourdough boule I bought

At a local farmers market.  Locally baked.

Six dollars and I got it home and thought

Leaping lizards!  There’s only three bucks of bread

Around all these gaping cavities.  I bin scammed!

Well, no.  I looked up the baking process of sourdough.

It’s supposed to have all these holes

Like Swiss cheese.  Holes are where it’s at.

Sort of the way life is, no?



It is a clatter like dueling drumsticks.

A cold wind jostles the bare branches

Of endless trees, stark against the night sky.

A chevron of wild geese faintly chatting

Passes over, between the autumn moon

And the young man who shivers

With the absolute oneness of it all.


Bear in Miller Yard

There is a bear in Miller Yard.

A small teddy bear

Strapped tightly to a brake stick pole.

Little bear is grimy and balding in spots.

But it keeps watch.

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