adventures in dysthymia

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

A SONG FOR TOMORROW

Tomorrow is a song I wrote for you.
To whom should I now sing? The tune is lost;
it echoes in my deserts, empty places
between desire and the waning moon.

Bring me my guitar, a glass of wine,
and yesterday will find its melody.
I'll fill this night with stars a while, forgetting
I have no song, no music for tomorrow.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Two pieces in a row in iambic pentameter. It seems suitable to 'sad' poetry of this sort; a solid structure lends impact to what otherwise might come off as just more whiny words -- something we all read far too much of on line!

REASONS

We had our reasons, though not good ones, really--
they never are. You know the ones I mean;
you've whispered them each secret night and seek
no others now. Excuses hurt far less
that truths, our truths that failed to make us free.
I'll say no more but in the hidden book
of my heart all these things are written down.
Take it from its dusty shelf some day,
remembering again we had our reasons.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Sunday, August 29, 2004

moonlight
through half-closed blinds~
my prison bars

SB

Monday, August 23, 2004

A quote:

"Using the Internet is like walking down the street in New York City. Most of the time, you'll have no problems. But once in a while, somebody will steal your wallet, eavesdrop on your conversations, or abduct you and beat you senseless." ~Annalee Newitz

from her regular column at Alternet.com

WINDOWS

a sijo

This house we built together
has now grown very dark.

I can dwell in these rooms no longer
without your familiar light.

The windows are but painted scenes
I hung here long ago.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Sunday, August 22, 2004

DREAMER

When did you waken, dreamer?
Your memory sings nonsense
in each window I pass.

Dreamer, walk with me.
These streets are whispering
tunes you have not heard.

In the dark, my dreamer.
In the dark, they sing
of endless sleep and mirrors

that hold your memory.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

This is one of those poems that arose from words-- read what you will into it. It is not meaningless (it holds plenty of meaning for me) but it has no explicit message. "Walk with me" and see what you discover.

Friday, August 20, 2004

I have built my walls very high.
Would I break something
if I jump?
Just a little quinzaine. Haven't been very inspired to write lately, too busy with the music, etc.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

SHOW

Tonight holds the promise of storm; electric incense burns the breeze.

What voices murmur, basso, beyond the distant footlights of my horizon?

It is an old song, this tune that flickers in overture to the tempest.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

I do not consider this a 'true' sijo though it is in somewhat the form of one. The tone is not right, the 'twist' is not really there at the beginning of the third line. The lines do not flow properly either and could be divided as easily (or more easily) into three parts as into two. I worked on this idea most of the past week and finally decided it might be best in this format -- without at least some of the concept of a sijo as my pattern, I could find no direction for the poem.

Friday, August 06, 2004

The new act debuts tomorrow night. My friend Karen Polka and I have been practicing a while (not nearly enough, due to the fact that we live 95 miles apart) and will hit the Cracker Coffeehouse open mike in White Springs on Saturday evening. I'm an old regular there, of course, as a solo performer and, if there aren't many acts there, may be called upon to do a second set on my own. Karen and I -- who have named our duo 'Shadows on the Swanee -- do not have nearly enough material worked up to do more than one turn at the mike.

Actually, only three songs: Shenandoah, You Are My Sunshine, and Happy Together (yes, the old Turtles song). Not in my best keys, either; one must compromise. Sunshine, for instance, I prefer to sing high, in D, but I'll be doing it in A with Ms Polka singing harmony.

Ha, for a long time I could not sing that song. It was 'Sue's song' -- her family, and I, called her 'Sunshine.' I would literally get tears in my eyes when I tried to perform it. Especially in that the words seemed all too appropriate a while back: 'you have shattered all my dreams.' Oops, I've a little moisture in my eyes right now. Steve is far too sentimental.

Anyway, the moment of truth approaches. We'll see how things go and then next Saturday (Aug 14) we start our regular gig hosting an open mike in Thomasville GA. More on that later...

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

River

This river marks my border;
its voice is umber depth
and whispers. Go no further,
it tells me. Here you end.

My lands encompass leagues
of day-- a pilgrim's realm,
a kingdom of the sun.
I covet those that lie

beyond the flood. I seek
those countries of the moon,
the silvered, silent stars,
the sea at river's end.

This river marks my border;
no, I shall not cross over
today. I have my realm,
my kingdom of the sun.

~Stephen Brooke ©2004

This poem, although it ended up as ( I think! ) a musing on mortality, grew out of memories of the river that flows near my friend Sherrie's home.