Uncle Bob's Words

Words, poetry, stuff like that

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

At death

At death

A Pharaoh’s heart was weighed

By jackel-faced Anubis against

A feather of Maat, Maat of justice.

If the heart balanced,

Hello, heaven.

If it dipped, uh-oh,

Here’s that sand nap.


So, now

When a romance ends then

Shortcomings are weighed and weighed again

To find a slight downward pull of guilt

That unbalances.

Good bye, God speed.

The door behind you.

The rest ahead.

I wanted a lot

I wanted a lot, back in the day.

Ultimately, all I got was dreck.

Only that which I gave, gave worth.

What I believed, what I did.

All my art, all my knowledge, held true.


Okay.  Focus.  Let’s assume god only

Came to be in the perfervid dreams

Of men: utterly sincere, and bat-shit crazy,

Then shaped into a true religion

By a man whose vision was far from fevered.


Back away from the god-is-business meme.

Show by your actions that you’re worthy.

Let the dead past be and motor on.

Believe in your art, not some pious prince

Who says he’ll save you.  He can’t.  You can.

Naked eyes

I took you in with my naked eyes.

Later, you were in my hooded eyes

Daring me to take you in again.


We had just moved to a one-bedroom apartment.

Third floor walkup. I was 12, I got the cot

In the small living room, but under a window

That opened to an airshaft and a small bit of sky.

Lying there at night, new to a city, I’d listen.

Sirens, arguments in other apartments, TVs.

And, then, above it all the haunting peents

That puzzled me.  What kind of bird was that?


Walking home late at night, years on,

I’d hear the cries up in the dark sky, peent!

Then, against some lighted building, a form shot by.

Long winged, dart-like, swiftly gone.

The bird, my brother, who knew some shit, said,

“Is a nighthawk, also known as a goatsucker.”

No, no, no.  No goatsucker is my night flyer.

I’ll stay with the first name, the conjure name.


I watched a nighthawk slowly spiral upward

Circling higher and higher, climbing higher,

Hundreds of feet in the twilight sky, pause slightly,

And peel into a dive straight down, catching supper.

Approaching the apogee, the night flyer cupped his wings

And, whoooosh, flew off into the night, peent!


Tunnels and Bridges (a reworking of an earlier effort)

When you think about it,

Tunnels and bridges are opposites.

Tunnels pierce an obstruction.

Bridges ignore an obstruction.

Tunnels are negative.

Bridges are above it all.

Thus, tunnels are yes

While bridges are grace.

And the road is always an adventure.

Drip, drip

Your imprimatur is on this box.

Sealed within is a bottle of indeterminate size

Containing an unspecified volume of qi, your qi.

The bottle has a bung that drips deliberately

An unknowably calculated amount

With a certain hidden periodicity.


Outside, you have your path to follow

Not knowing, unknowing, when that

Delicately quivering,

Surface tensioned

Final (maybe?)

Drop will fall.

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