Poems by Udo Hintze

 Udo Hintze is a mudlogger and poet. He first began writing poetry his senior year of high school. He won the 1999 Words Alive! Contest for Houston International Festival. His poems have been published in The 21st Century, Bewildering Stories, The Criterion, and Inkling. One of his plays has been performed at his college. When not working in the oilfield Udo likes to practice Tai Chi and read books. https://mudloggersdream.wordpress.com/


30. New Moon

The rainy month of April
has poured out my skills
onto the field of Poetry —
New flowers grown in Thirty.

29. Another Cento
(from lines from my poems)

We all carry the divine spark
within us
to light the dark.

When I was a kid
both sides blamed it on the Blood Moon.
they way I’ve been taught to believe.
showing what it means to be a human.

a splattering of sound —
Miracles and grace like rain.

When I leave the theater
I’m myself again.
Sandcastles reset themselves.

In the north I love you
with a love from the south.
My fork falls through clouds
I feel like a rich man —
I was hoping you’d stay and sit somewhere close by,
You were like a cup of coffee at night,
A fiery arrow illuminating the darkness.

Classroom is empty and dark
I go out. Drive on roads still under construction.

My shift is over.
calmly get up and get out of there.
I go to sleep and dream
of another life.

I see my beauty in you
the steaming aroma of daily lives,
even though we are different
the night is full of stars –
just look up.

28. Evening Haiku

Windows open show night
outside. Sit back and relax
Listen to crickets.

27. Your Voice

In the beginning you were there.
O Father your voice
was the first thing I knew
as a baby.
The voice of reason, love, instruction,
sternness, sarcasm, jokes.
Now as the chasm between us
gets bigger
All I have left of you
are photos, emails and video
of us on vacation
which breaks the fourth wall
but only in one way.
The sounds of your library,
the coughs, the sneezes, the snores,
the laughs, and words that expressed your spirit
are quiet and dark
like the tv downstairs that used to be yours.
The tv shows that are not watched but are still there
being aired as reruns and even new seasons.
I still hear your voice,
not in my ears, but in my heart.

26. Blessings

A cold beer on a hot day
after cutting the grass.
A friend who listens all
into the night.
To love someone
who loves you back after many years.
Finding an old toy in a cardboard box.
Finding a book at a cheaper price
at the store than online.
A delicious evening meal watching a funny tv show.
Miracles and grace like rain.

Like air, these are blessings
and they are everywhere.

25. Green Lizards

Walking on green earth,
a splattering of sound —
leaves shaking, signs of spring.

24. Primus

The First One,
the god of the Transformers
robots in disguise
looking like medics, warriors
trucks, planes, bulls
the environment,
the elements
the different configurations.
learning to adapt,
learning to defend.
We all carry the divine spark
within us
to light the dark.

23. Like Love

We don’t need love, we are love.

Buried beneath all the things we carry
like a hermit crab, our hard shells
keep out the light of the world.

When I watch movies and I’m an actor.
When I leave the theater
I’m myself again.

But when I am with you, I never forget who I am.
Because I remember what Heaven is like.

22. Waves

The waves far out
reach human civilization.
Touches the shore briefly
and becomes real
in time and space.
The ocean takes back what it has given.
Sandcastles reset themselves.

The waves travel back to the source of all activity
deep down, below the surface
to beings of light and ghosts of graceful dances,
where everything is connected.
There is nowhere else to go.

21. Low Cento

Stargazer, hold onto your telescope,
to your neat observations.

Before the north pole shifts
you will find your answers
Moulding an unformed clay
with a soft touch of thought

I remember all I cannot forget:
it must be the same sweeping sun, the same
uncertain moon, the stubborn stars.

No matter the calendar,
we are all here for the journey,
a lineage stretched out
still on the trajectory.

His world, no doubt, misleads like mine,
except we drive. They root.
(Romance is complicated)

I roamed a vast fantasy
Lost, but found pure joy.
The strange symbols on their pages–
Colors folds into light,
drapes into darkness,
crags over water.

The code of bursting imagination and experience
sometimes like honey-

Watch the universe.
The world and its people.
to all in the nest
who were called
their own.

When I want to celebrate with all my joy,
Hear the wind,
my friend.

20. Cats

When I was a kid
living in the apartments,
I was walking by the pool when
I noticed a bunch of kids gathered
around a blonde boy clutching a cat.
He lifted the calico fur on the back
of the cat to reveal a double A battery.
I don’t know how or why
the cat had a battery in there.
It would probably need
to be replaced every couple of minutes,
as anyone who has owned one of those
four legged, fur covered lightning bolts
will tell you.

19. Steel Rose
for Mary Doyle Keefe , model for Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter” on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, Memorial Day, May 29, 1943.

at first glance
it could be another blue collar
working man
sitting on his lunch break,
head turned away from his sandwich
the other arm flexed showing muscle
from lifting the riveting gun.

but it is a woman
and not just one woman
but representing all women
representing the strength that comes from within
not the clothes or the name.

even though the purpose
for which the poster was made
has fallen out of date
the message has not:

be strong and it will flow,
inspiration will fill the air
and cover the the fields of time
like a flower that never fades,
but makes the way for new seasons.

true strength comes from within
regardless of gender
it comes to full bloom
showing what it means to be a human.

18. bibliothèque

I love the library because
it feels so free
walking through the aisles
like I’m on Supermarket Spree.

I feel like a rich man —
walk in empty-handed
and come out, both hands,
with as much as I can manage –

a stack of materials
coming up to my chin.
I take whatever is available.
With knowledge you can only win!

17. Shortest Distance

We are an island
divided by political ego and ire
invisible boundaries
drawn like scars that
litter the bright green landscape
with guns, posters, sermons, bells.
Under these skies
we both stand. We share
the same soil, air, rivers and shores
Our love is a straight line.
In the north I love you
with a love from the south.
My compass always leads to you.
We know the shortest distances
between two points is love.

16. Tres Leches

I’ll tell you what I love
I’ll give you three guesses:
it’s layers of sweetness,
yet soft like a sponge.
when I see, it’s always my birthday.

Like a wet cereal,
yet strong enough to resist
gravity and air; semi-soft material,
covered with strawberries and caramel.
My fork falls through clouds

but my desire for you
goes through floors and roofs.
best of both worlds: liquid food,
and I return to the care-free life.
It’s refreshing like stretching out
on a cool, soft bed at night.

All these things remind me:
I love you
I love you
I love you.

15. My Cheese Steak

It’s a bit like looking at mechanical art.
Washed up on a Klingon language camp,
The Fabio army arrives
via The Ringo Starrgate.
A steel piñata?! That could take hours!
Follow me if you want to escape.
All this for cheese steak.

14. A Dudeist Prayer

Obviously you’re not a golfer
Nothing is fucked here, man.
Will you take it easy?
You’re living in the fucking past.
Is it being prepared to do the right thing, whatever the cost?
Isn’t that what makes a man?
Who the fuck are you, man?
Are you surprised at my tears, sir?
Strong men also cry… strong men also cry.
Could you change the channel?
It’s all water under the bridge.
Let’s go bowling, dude.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…

13. Typical Work Night

Another life
far from home
or a large sized town
surrounded by outlines of dark trees
and barb wire fences.

Outside my work trailer
the rig location
looks like the surface of the moon.
Small sharp rocks casting tiny shadows
as giant industrial diesel engines
hums like a giant dragon.

I walk outside with my hard hat
and steel toe boots, across the pad,
over rocks and fine powdery dust,
up the stairs to the shakers.
The steam fogs my safety goggles.
I scoop a spoonful of cuttings
into my Folgers coffee can.

Safe inside
I wash, dry, and describe
the little rocks and mud.
The sun is rising,
I fill out my report.
My shift is over.
I go to sleep and dream
of another life.

12. Celebrity

I was at the coffee shop when
I saw you walk in,
looking vaguely familiar
til all at once like a camera flash.
I remembered you – a celebrity
of movies and videos from the internet.
I tried to hear your voice as you ordered
above the indie music,
not filtered through speakers or microphones.
I heard you say something about Scorpios.
I was hoping you’d stay and sit somewhere close by,
But you got your drinks and said goodnight twice
to the crew and walked out.
You were like a cup of coffee at night.

11. Three Haikus

Walk up wandering steps
past orange shadowed windows
the teacher is waiting.

Classroom is empty and dark
teacher’s face lit by computer screen
try to be quiet and learn something.

Robots in disguise.
Cold machines making more machines
I run away safely.

10. Untitled

Rain outside. Calm, quiet afternoon.
Repeats on TV; sports and infomercials.
Another day of writing. Call my friend from Subway.
Drink coffee at night. At the pet Store everyone loves pets.
The dog in line isn’t going to pay, pulling on the owner like a child.
Don’t apply – I’m a ninja.
Bored at home.
I go out. Drive on roads still under construction.

9. Race The Sun

Life is meant to be lived.
You’ll have plenty of time to be alone
when you’re dead.

Don’t be afraid to get lost
or take new roads.
The world doesn’t end with maps.

There’s plenty to sights and attractions
see outside of your comfort zone.

You can’t save your life by being idle –
you’re wasting fuel and daylight.
Explore while you have your wheels and freedom.

Go out and step on the gas,
go farther and farther. When life give you options,
say, Yes! Yes! Yes!

You’ll never shake the black car trailing you,
no plates, windows tinted opaque and a driver
without a face but recognize by reputation.

One day your vehicle will breakdown,
and die. You’ll be stranded on the road –
a hitchhiker without choices. Then the black car will drive up,
open its doors and give you a long, quiet ride home.

8. ‘I see my beauty in you’

(after line from Rumi)

I see my beauty in you
even though we are different

I see my beauty in you
not the way you see me

Our differences are necessary
to see in the dark light of worldly beauty

I see my beauty in you
written nine centuries ago

we still read those words
undimmed by distance and language

because the truth survives and
the lover of truth in us replies

I see my beauty in you.

7. Coffee

spreading the word
around the world
coffee touches lips and fills voids
with hot, dark, rich fuel
releasing the dark energy
to combat the harsh light
of weekday mornings.

the steaming aroma of daily lives,
all starting to grab onto the handle
of the birthing chamber of ideas.

down below,
thick black oil oozes
through veins, coming
in geysers through derricks
covering everything
giving life to generations
of men and women.

oil and coffee
feed each other
and the world.
oil – you are the father
and coffee- you are the mother.

6. Comic Book Collection

I’m still collecting comics book
as an adult. I like flipping through worlds,
visiting and leaving as I please.
I remember when I was a kid,
I was sick at home from school
when my dad brought me a stack
of comic books from the thrift store:
RoboCop, Star Trek, Batman and many others.

Those panelled pictures with words
were windows into worlds,
lives different from my own,
a kind of Akashic Library
where all time-lines and possibilities

Pictures and words, creating a life,
to observe and draw lessons,
told through metaphors and allusions
by Greek and Roman gods in disguise.
Warnings against greed, hubris, and hate.
Exhortations to love, duty, compassion.

Sometimes at the used book store,
I’ll stand there watching
a guy my age or older, holding
a delicate bird in both hands, meditating
on metaphors of modern problems:
Everyone has their Kryptonite,
Everyone seen Gotham City,
Everyone knows death.

I still collect comic books,
I store them in clear plastic bags,
membranes made of Mylar
as thin as maple leaves
collected in long white boxes,
that surround my bed at night like clouds.

At night, I sleep and dream
I am a super hero.
sometimes I dream that I see my father –
dead in this life, alive in another.

5. You’re Never Finished With Me

Sleeping is a little death
but we wake up,
eyes open ready to start
again and continue the lessons
from the day before:
to remember, apply, and learn.

A bad break, a set back, or delay
of dreams can seem permanent
when you have no goal or vision.
Mistakes will happen the game.
Every night is a funeral
Every day a new birth.
Life and Death are always looking for volunteers.

There’s never “a too late”
or “too old.” Die
to self and forget the past.
You’re the star of your own solar system,
bringing light to those in orbit
around you, giving life,
reaching into lives far way.
Serve your purpose and
follow your happiness,
make the world come alive.

It’s never too late to go to school,
drive a car, start your own business,
reconnect with old friends or find new ones.

The sunrises and the sunsets
are just illusions – don’t count on them.
Count on yourself and go out
no matter the time because
even the night is full of stars –
just look up.

4. Final Four

Amidst concerns of stock market crashes
and growing global wars,
there is still time for the Final Four.

Kentucky wasn’t lucky,
so Wisconsin got the win.
Michigan State was not so great
’cause Duke still had the moves.

After the game, when fans were asked
why some teams win and others lose,
both sides blamed it on the Blood Moon.

3. Taking the Exit

Walls are tricky things.
They are almost like doors
but without the flexibility to adapt
to new situations.

Sometimes you walk through doors
and don’t even realize
you’ve walked into a new room
full of people you don’t recognize.

Or you could walk into a broom closet,
an open elevator or even a dark empty room
and stay there for a few years.

Every time you get promoted
you move one level higher:
first love – first wife – first kid,
second job, second wife. Turning and turning
onto other rooms, other lives.

So keep your eyes open
for opportunity – study the floor plan
and find the exits.
So when your wooden ships catch fire
and your office fills with smoke and the heat approaching
calmly get up and get out of there.

2. I want to say

This is fun,
I want to say
that despite all logic and evidence
the customer is always right
they way I’ve been taught to believe.

I want to say
the wisest amongst us are also
the most compassionate and kind
but even diamonds can be dirty inside.

I want to say
that hard work
is satisfying and rewarding,
pushing forward its effects
down the river to waiting harbors.

I want to say
that love is always true
and good but experience
tells me otherwise.

1. Arrow

Another long, lonely night
I start to work at my little desk,
shut down all other business
not related to this nocturnal rite.
I go deeper and focus the mind
like an archer’s eye
And get the target aligned,
I put pen to the paper,
my heart on the lines.
Pull back the string and
Shoot for the sleeping word,
go deep from above and then return
with secret celestial notes.
A fiery arrow illuminating the darkness.