Ode to a Spirit Level

Who would have thought that two vacant globes
preserved in alcohol

could so hold a construction
worker’s attention,

a devotional gaze otherwise reserved
for gravity-defying breasts or buttocks

if not always the eyes that go with them,
that cool disregard

that elicits a squint & a whistle
at whatever fails to fall into line.

Series Navigation← Ode to a PlaneOde to a Hoe →
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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

12 Comments


  1. Bit of a dry spell (for me; certainly not for the weather here!). I’m afraid that’s the best I can do right now.

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  2. The spirit/body comparison is amusing, but a little forced…. It does add a dimension at right angles to both the level and the plumb bob. ;-)

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  3. Actually, I didn’t intend any spirit/body comparison – that’s been done to death with spirit levels, which are so called because of the ethanol (‘spirits’) in which the air bubbles float. I could retitle it “Ode to a Bubble Level,” I suppose, but I don’t care for the internal slant rhyme of that alternate name.

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  4. I’m afraid it snuck in while the construction worker was looking elsewhere. :-) ( Puns are inevitable; resistance is useless! :-)
    )

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  5. Aee! I’m caught-out wallowing in the comment trough, once again. I enjoyed this.

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  6. Thanks. Actually, I liked the “git ‘er done” reference in the first draft of your comment.

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  7. I really liked this. Amusing doesn’t have to mean it’s not true and there’s a ‘heap o’ truth’ in that ‘cool disregard’ line. At the risk of being slammed for punning..you nailed it. A whistle can be both a compliment and an insult (and apparently at the same time) ask any woman.

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  8. Thanks. But I’m thinking it’s probably an grossly unfair stereotype of contruction workers.

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  9. You are too hard on yourself. Nobody thinks all construction workers are sexist anymore than that all scythes have curvy handles. Whatever poetic or satiric way you approached it, for me you captured the fact that it’s not necessarily the whistle/hooting that enrages women but the disrespect and denigration in the dead eyes of many who do it.

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