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My Favorite Uncle is a Renaissance Man

Classical violinist and avid photographer
black and white, Hasselblad
(digital is blasphemy)
Sweet on Model T's, steam engines
and bluegrass, when no one's looking.
It would never occur to him
to speak down to a child.
As a girl, conversations ended
with the bang of a starter's pistol,
mad dash for the dictionary,
fistfuls of vocabulary
begging to be understood.
He liked that I read,
didn't matter what
as long as I was reading.
He's the only person
who's ever asked me
if I have favorite words.
Years later, a conversation
about a lack of destination,
always going three directions at once.
He recognized a kindred spirit
of no fixed address and offered
an avuncular pearl:
Disregard maps and bibles.
Destiny, for some of us,
is the journey.

18 May 10

Rated 10 (8.3) by 4 users.
Active (4): 9, 10
Inactive (34): 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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(130 more poems by this author)

(19 users consider this poem a favorite)

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fabulous, loved this, love the ending, its just how I feel! loved the ending, great read. xx
 — crimsonkiss

Wonderful, I agree with crimson I love the ending it's exactly how I feel. this leaves me longing for such an uncle. Excellent write.
 — Ilena

Great poem.  I especially like lines 1-27.
 — JKWeb

sweet sybil-writes, and what are your favourite words today? mine are invertendo-innuendo -- we'd all do well to dive deep for the pearls and come up with their gleam in our eyes; another 'avuncular pearl'
 — AlchemiA

... the Map is a guide, like books and bibles and hexagrams derived from yarrow-stalks finger'd with care, yet you'll find yourself in uncharted territories every single time, that's the way to be aware that you're solopsistically-sublime ...
 — AlchemiA

LOVE this!  I HAD an uncle like this, but he passed when I was a teenager, but as cool as YOURS nonetheless!  :-)
 — starr

Interesting thoughts you have here.
 — psychofemale

Thank you all for the lovely comments~gratitude.
 — sybarite

Wow. Beautiful, just, beautiful.
 — Callisto

sybaritie, I very much like your poem. It's beautifully compressed and rich in detail and soul without  being wordy or inaccessible. Very lovingly portrayed. Thank you.
 — smugzy

Thank you smugzy and Callisto!
 — sybarite

hope i'm not too late for this ride.
step on it, speedster.

; )
 — fractalcore

The bus stops...here....climb aboard!--Thanks for the read frac!
 — sybarite

this is really enjoyable and touching... with the avuncular pearl of wisdom... The first stanza was the best for me because it had so much sonic POP!  
 — jpmhawk

jpmhawk--thanks for the read and feedback, appreciated!
 — sybarite

Wonderful piece... j.g. smiles
 — goeszon

Thank you goeszon--he is a wonderful man, appreciate the read.
 — sybarite

"It would never occur to him to speak down to a child."  We all should be so lucky to have someone like this in our lives--you are blessed.
 — PaulS

i like the last stanza and the them of childhood in poem generally... i'll re- read...
 — greenmantle

i like the last stanza and the them of childhood in poemzzzz ! generally... i'll re- read... !
 — greenmantle

Thank you PaulS--yes, blessed, I agree!  For a man with no children of his own, he is very in tune with how to communicate with them.

Thanks for reading greenmantle.
 — sybarite

m, beautiful, probably one of my favorite on the site. it should be standing #1 i think. i rlly love 1-3, 6-12, 25-27. its sorta if i close my eyes ( or keep them open) i can see it, feel it, smell it, and by that i mean its vivid? it also made me laugh at one point, smirk at another, feel a ting of pain for no apparent reason, and feel complete satisfaction at the end.  well done.
 — Rss233

You HAVE to be gay. I think your poem is very sweet
 — asphara

Thank you bunches Rss233.

Asphara--thank you--but whatever made you come to the conclusion I HAVE to be gay?
For the record, I am not, but I have kissed a girl...and I liked it ;)
 — sybarite

was interesting for me until the end, which was way to cliche as a closer: no idea (I'm not disregarding the idea as valid) is more exhausted, especially in new-age philo, than is "life is a journey." As a result I think we have to pick it apart and be exceedingly creative in the ways we describe this.

 — uncjaf

uncjaf--appreciate the feedback and understand your objection to "journey" references but in this case, it is how the conversation unfolded and to pay proper tribute to my Uncle, I needed to use his words as they mark a turning point in my evolution :)
 — sybarite

Not sure I needed every line, but this is some of the best crafted work I have read on this website. If I had to be super nit picky I would say you could actualy do without lines 1-5. For you, the author, I can tell you wanted us to try and understand the complex type of person, but it wasn't needed. Also lines like 6 are just begging to be the opening act.
 — frogilicus

the last 3 lines make the bearable.  
 — unknown

Very beautiful poem you've got here. It really shows how much you respect and admire your uncle. There are only a few things I'd fix, and they're nothing major at all. L3--the word "equals," so mathematical and too casual for the intelligence of your uncle. I'd just insert "is" or "was" instead. L19 and 20, is that rhyme accidental? After so long without rhymes, it feels out of place. Perhaps "discussion" in place of "conversation"?
Oh, and be careful of your verb tense. You do a lot of switching between current and past.
 — FangzOfFire

I liked this homage to a nurturing uncle and echo Fangz excellent feedback - not too sure about the double-dashes and the propensity for poets to stick verbs, connectors and prepositons at the end of lines - line 26 for example the us-is alliteration is not strong enough - is the journey seems better for line 27  Niggles aside - a cracking piece. Mitch :-)
 — pdemitchell

Some minor tweaks based on recent feedback, much appreciated.
 — sybarite

he's my favorite too.
 — unknown

Indeed, I feel the same way.
 — katt

Great read. Wonderful to have an Uncle such as yours, lucky you and lucky he. ;)
 — lalita

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment--appreciated.
 — sybarite

Hi, Reid here.  The item has been well-commented already.  It's a mixed bag.  BTW, write to me for frank comments, if you like?  Also, fact: I'm big into Model Ts and toy steam engines: I crewed as mechanic for a speedster, cross-country-USA, in 1999.  I broke my back, nearly.  NICE tribute to a great, good uncle.  Enjoyed this even if it does need the usual de-fatting and re-focusing of detail work.
 — unknown

I've read this several times over recent weeks. I must really like it. Yes, yes I do. The style and form do well with the subject. The pared down version, that I can imagine, would almost certainly take away from the charm of this.

A period is missing from the end of line 3.

Did you mean for 19 thru 21 to form an incomplete sentence?

A warm tribute to an uncle, and a fine contribution to readers.
 — A

Thank you Reid and A for the feedback, much appreciated.
Reid, how am I supposed to write you directly without an email address?
I would like to hear your thoughts--my email address is posted on my profile.
 — sybarite

nicely done, feel like mr deeds would put this GOD DAMN WELL WRITTEN POEM on a card. futhermore i will flock to the books with excitement when the underlings gather in mobs of 9 year olds.
 — 13fatstacks

on a mature note: your uncle might be a myth, but the Idea that your uncle is this awe , intelligent, creative, well Shepard is what i like about. it.
 — 13fatstacks

Thank you 13fatstacks.  He is very real and very much as described.  
 — sybarite

 — the0ther24

sybarite, put a photo of yourself up?
 — unknown

(and in any case, I don't know how to add a photo to the profiles here)
 — sybarite

^it's easy. just use image shack and add the html code in the space :)
 — unknown

I still want to know why...!  I was teased in grade school, the pain lingers....I am afraid you will laugh at me and drag me back to grade 3....LOL!
 — sybarite

 — faith

So lovely! To speak plainly, one of the few pieces I've seen top rated that's worthy of the spot
 — peace

Well deserved.
 — unknown

Disregard bibles?
I have no respect for those who disregard Gods only true word. And this is number 1? You're wrong. You know who I am.
 — unknown

This was so touching and personal, I felt like I had just looked into someone's diary yet didn't feel guilty for doing so.  Great, great read. Thank you!
Take care.
 — Known

Very sweet. Love this.
 — duffyj83

 — unknown

I love this! Just as it is! But, if you were to give me licence for a minor  edit, i would only suggest this, for the last stanza:

Disregard maps and bibles
of us . . ."

Not a big edit,  but adds drama to the end of a dramatically loving poem. But, I love anyway
 — dannyprice

I had to look up avuncular. Don't change a thing.
 — Rely