Uncle Bob's Words

Words, poetry, stuff like that


The wife of Epimetheus, the fair and curious Pandora,

Unlocked and opened Zeus’s vengeful wedding gift

And released Sadness, Illness, Poverty, Lechery,

And their horrid cohorts onto mankind.  Alas.

Yet, the last one out of that evil box, the last one out

Was Hope.  Someone, I know not who, considered

That something good.

I hope it is.

My Friend Heterodoxy

You will notice, if you look carefully, that none

Of the resplendent, swaggering suits in the news lately

Had a more plainly dressed person trailing close behind

Whispering, “Respice post te. Hominem te memento”.

Roughly translated

“Look ahead, you doof (not in the original Latin), bear in mind

You will die.”

As I grow closer to my expiration date, whatever that is,

The lie grows more apparent, the scrim thinner, the light brighter.

There’s just not a whole lot of anything there.

I will not let the media feed me.

I will not let the myths beguile me.

I’ve seen what they’re all getting up to:

Make lots of money.  Get on TV.  Be “real”.

Meet my good friend Heterodoxy.

He’s foxy.

And he’s got good eyes.

You and Me

You and me.  yeah.

That was a song that played

A long time ago.

The words have faded in my mind

And the melody is just a ghost.

I still have the pictures, though.

Could I recall the lyrics

Bring forth the melody

I could make a music video.


It was a fast run to Gate City in a new tbird

  1. The top down, Kay and Mom and me.

I’m in the back seat.  I’m only 10.

Even in Morristown, Gate City was the place

Where you went to get liquor.

I was along for the ride.  Dad died that year.

I don’t know if this was before or after,

But the memory does not feel sorrowful.

It’s like a five second video clip. I wish

I could save it and open it in Elements

To hear the audio, to slow the video down.

I don’t know the file extension for ghosts, though.

Not Lonely. Solitary.

First, I wanted sex, then a relationship. I had both.

After that, I lost interest.

To paraphrase George Thorogood –  when I’m alone,

I prefer to be by myself.

The Wave

I felt as if I were riding the trough of a huge wave

Moving lightning quick across some anonymous ocean.

There’s a wall of water in front and to the back of me,

But the trough runs quietly, pulling me along.

I sense that the wave will not engulf me; and I am safe.

And when some far shallows ascends, then the waves would break.

I would be deposited ashore, on my feet, of course.

I would stand, brush myself off, and go on.

You see, this was the exact way I’ve lived my life to date:

Being in the caprice of some disinterested force.

Slapdash running, letting time’s arrow, and scant else, guide me.

Now older, I cautiously watch that sea.

The Spook

Father and son, holy ghostly, the spook’s

Gone down the road to seek the ailing king.

Never mind the media, they’re a bunch of kooks

And from their words no truth is gonna ring.


Just watch them now, dad and the kid, spot lit,

Smiling bravely as microphones edge nearer, nearer.

Their spirit’s gonna get etched away every little bit

By the acid rain of questions, the judge, the juror.


A hint of fear, a whiff of truth fills the freighted air

Blood recedes from clammy faces, n-nothing to say.

But then, like bells, the spook comes passing fair

He stops to kiss them both and doubt just flies away.

Heavy, heavy clouds

Clouds are heavy.  They really are.

I mean, they’re water, that’s all –

8.34 pounds per gallon, that’s all.

According to scientists –  thus spake Googlethustra –

Your standard cumulus cloud weighs in at 1.1 million pounds.

120,000 gallons of water, give or take a quart or two.

Looming overhead.  If it all came crashing

(Hahaha!  “Cloud crashing”…a concept)

Down, it’d do more than just mist your glasses.

And then some.

Keep a wary eye on that cloud…


I play Klondike.

I’m used to losing,

Inured to the whim of the draw.

Three card draw.

The game is what it is.

Random action on green baize.

There’s nothing for it,

Just deal the cards again.

A Little Lament

Oh, lord.

Past few days, I’ve had the septuagenarian sweats.

I passed 71 a little while ago.

No wonder.


But, like that town in Kentucky, Pippa Passes,

It passes. Life creaks on.

One wonder.

Time Wall

It’s a time wall going forever from your onceness.

Just a distance, unknowable distance, behind you.

This is the once was, the back-in-the-day, that

Memory that funny feeling, that frisson that both

Is achingly real and breathlessly ephemeral.

All that has passed: the seeing, the hearing,

The tasting, the smelling…

Ah, it’s been a good life and fun.

If I Have Ever Been

If I have ever been anything, it’s low level angry

And low level anxious.  Not always at the same time.

Back in the early 1800s, a person once remarked that

“Southern men are touchy about their honor.”  Got it.

But the anxiety can be so distracting.  It’s like some jangly

Train on a steady loop, going around and around.

And the worry is inevitably because I can’t resolve

The blasted matter at hand NOW, damn it.

I’ve made up long strings of conversations in my head:

Scenarios: Someone says this and I reply this.

Someone says this happened and I have the explanation.

And so on.  Blah, blah.  Nothing ever happens exactly

The way my rabitting brain voice rehearsed.

I do not consider myself devious.

I do not lie.  I am not above misleading.

Funny thing: sometimes if I touch bare iron

Into deep ground, I can be relieved a bit.

I can also, I think, hold onto a ground wire

And dissipate the annoying worry energy.

But that could just me thinking antenna theory.


Where You Are

“Y’aren’t from around here, are ya?”

I explain that I was born in a town just miles away,

But that my parents are from Iowa.

He nods and loses interest. Good on me.

When I joined the Air Force, it was,

“Where’re you from, buddy? Alabama?”

No, I say. I’m from Tennessee.

“Hmm. You people wear shoes down there?”

I laugh. It’s a tired, tired line by now.

Later, when I got into radio, it was,

“Good voice! You’ll do well here.”

Well, not really, but the point to me

Is what you sound like is where you are.

The Prothonotary Warbler

As I look back on 70 years, I do the typical math.

I toss out 15 years for being too young, then six months

Or so that are a bit hazy in the 60s and 70s.

And the rest is pretty much silent running, so to speak.

More ups and downs than a two-dollar whore.

And it comes out here: right here, right now.

Still rolling along, a little lamer, a little, well, tamer,

But doing new things, learning new words

And ways to move my hands in some new task

And ways to think, yes, that’s the best of the lot:

New ways to think. Example: the Prothonotary Warbler.

Long supposed to be called Prothonotary because

Papal Clerks in Byzantine Rome wore yellow robes.

Aside: the Prothonotary Warbler is yellow.

Well, a slew of sceptics called bullshit on that.

Scribes wore black robes, sometimes trimmed

In colors more suited to the gravity of their post.

Put a research in the slot: out comes a truer tale.

The bird acquired its melodious name in the South,

Louisiana, where a bit of French floats around.

A Protonotaire is the head notary in a community.

A nice guy, but rather on-and-on about things.

The call of the Prothonotary Warbler sings same.

It wasn’t the color, but the colorless song.

Life is delightful.

Thoughts on Thursday Evening

The weekend teems with possibilities.

A few grind boulders, for sure.

But I can overcome those, no problem.

The rest is just air to move through.

Or not move, for that matter.

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