adventures in dysthymia

Friday, June 25, 2004

I build ships
in the desert
waiting for rain

it is in your hands
if you open them

Stephen Brooke ©2004

A tanka...at least I'd call it one.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Twenty-Thousand

I don't mind that God created
time; only that He made
man aware of its steady step
down the road to oblivion.

Twenty-thousand days: is that
enough? Let's roll some dice, Lord,
double or nothing. What have I
got to lose, after all?

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Just figured out I would reach the twenty-thousand day mark next year and it started me poeticizing.

The Magician

Not one spell remains.
I have used all my magic
in the amusement of children
and idlers. They've filled my pockets
with pennies and applause,
not enough to ever buy
back a single enchantment.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Okay, so I've been depressed and introspective lately...

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

State of the Union?

George W. Bush meets with the Queen of England. He asks her, "Your Majesty, how do you run such an efficient government? Are there any tips you can give to me?"

"Well," says the Queen, "the most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people."

Bush frowns. "But how do I know the people around me are really intelligent?"

The Queen takes a sip of tea. "Oh, that's easy. You just ask them to answer an intelligence riddle."

The Queen pushes a button on her intercom. "Please send Tony Blair in here, would you?"

Tony Blair walks into the room. "Yes, your Highness?"

The Queen smiles. "Answer me this, please, Tony. Your mother and father have a child. It is not your brother and it is not your sister. Who is it?"

Without pausing for a moment, Tony Blair answers, "That would be me."

"Yes! Very good," says the Queen.

Back at the White House, Bush asks to speak with vice president Dick Cheney. "Dick, answer this for me. Your mother and your father have a child. It's not your brother and it's not your sister. Who is it?"

"I'm not sure," says the vice president. "Let me get back to you on that one."

Dick Cheney goes to his advisors and asks every one, but none can give him an answer. Finally, he ends up in the men's room and recognizes Colin Powell's shoes in the next stall.

Dick shouts, "Colin! Can you answer this for me? Your mother and father have a child and it's not your brother or your sister. Who is it?"

Colin Powell yells back, "That's easy. It's me!"

Dick Cheney smiles. "Thanks!"

Cheney goes back to the Oval Office and to speak with Bush. "Say, I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle. It's Colin Powell."

Bush gets up, stomps over to Dick Cheney, and angrily yells into his face, "No, you idiot! It's Tony Blair!"

Thursday, June 10, 2004

We wished upon the same star.
Will I receive all
you asked for?

~another quinzaine...this started as a senryu that came into my head as I was out mowing the lawn. It went something like this...

two dreamers~
each wishes upon
the others star

or maybe...

two dreamers
wish upon
each others star

Not sure which I prefer or if I prefer either! They both feel a tad trite. That is why it ended up morphing into the quinzaine form.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Vanilla

What flavors do you have?
Today was vanilla and so
was most of last week;
isn’t there something else
back there? Look in the bottom
of the freezer for me.
Any tooty-fruity or mocha?
No, no, not rocky road –
the way is hard enough
as it is. I’d rather
have another serving
of plain vanilla now.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

I had ice cream on my mind a couple days ago...in this weather that happens a lot! Only vanilla in the freezer and it got me to thinking and free-associating and all that poetic stuff.

Exile

Each night, lest memory fade,
I whisper your name three times --
my empty incantation,
long since grown meaningless.

This, the land of exile,
allows us no regret;
we have burnt our ships
in fear of the dark.

We are the fruit that falls
too soon and never ripens,
that holds its hard and lifeless
heart until all decays.

Each night, lest memory fade,
my mother whispers my name.
Does she remember the face
that once wore the word?

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Fantasy and free-association and symbols and all that. Trimeter, too.

Monday, June 07, 2004

PRAYER

She was my litany, her name
The only prayer my heart would speak;
The only heaven I could seek
Lay in her power to reclaim
This soul.
What toll
Is paid the ferryman to cross
His water, once more join the living?
In water lies the great forgiving,
The baptism to wash all dross
Away.
Why stay
Among these shades? They grow more dim,
More empty with each torment they
Inflict upon themselves. I pray,
I sing, to Love in hopeful hymn:
Deliver me,
Deliver me
From yesterday.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

More a playing with form than a piece actually about anyone specifically. No, it is definitely not about the former long-term GF, although I suppose I borrowed some of the ideas and feelings expressed from that part of my heart. And some from more recently.

Other news in the Lad's life: the art show on Saturday was so-so. Poorly organized, small crowds, but nice people. They'll learn...I hope! I passed out more business cards than at some very large shows. One never knows what may come from a bit of simple promotion like that. Some of my note cards sold, so my costs were partially defrayed. I may or may not try to do a show on Labor Day weekend in the same general area, but a little closer to Gainesville.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Trojan Quinzaine

Achilles sulked in his tent.
Should he have taken
more Zoloft?

Was our Greek hero manic-depressive? He certainly seems like it-- out happily hacking away at the Trojans one moment, moping in his tent the next.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Warts

Warts and all, they say,
warts and all-- that's what
I want you to see.
Not that guy who dons
shining armor each
day to hide himself.
Mine is rusty; I've
cast my shields aside.
Not the dream come true
that will fade in time,
for life is best lived
with eyes opened wide.
We might see tomorrow,
warts and all, can be
truly beautiful.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Another Florida Folk Festival has come and gone -- this was my fourth time to attend but the 52nd year for the festival. This is the grandmother of all folk festivals!

The first time I went up to White Springs, it was with my long-term GF, Sue. All else aside, I'll always be grateful to her for introducing me to the event and the folk scene in these parts. I found me a musical home and I'm not intending to move out.

The acts were pretty good -- a lot of familiar Florida faces, of course, favorites of mine such as Bettina Makley, Lucky Mud, Tampa Blue, and some many others. Some excellent headliners were there as well, like Spider John Koerner and the one and only Arlo Guthrie. His show was really great and I mean that!

Very hot and dry here over the weekend. It will wring one out pretty quickly. The Suwannee is WAY down. Good thing there was a plentiful supply of root beer floats and strawberry lemonade close at hand.

In other musical news...I and my friend Karen are working up a duo act we hope to trot out at an open mike or two before long. We've decided fairly certainly on the name 'Shadows on the Suwanee.' That's from the name of an old Johnny Burke song. And believe it or not, Miss Karen actually got me out on the dance floor at the festival...Steve does NOT dance. Much less, swing dance!