adventures in dysthymia

Sunday, October 31, 2004

ROLES

No, that's not me--
you've seen me only
on stage, mouthing
my crafted lines.

I learned those roles
long ago,
learned to meet
your demands,

my audience,
to fill you up
while I remain
empty.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Friday, October 29, 2004

Need a scary Jack O'Lantern for Halloween? Carve your pumpkin here!

another quote:

“The strong must learn to be lonely.” ~Henrik Ibsen

Thursday, October 28, 2004

A Quote~

"Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith." ~Paul Tillich

DEGREES

It wouldn't hurt that much, would it,
if we parted now? Though love
should be unconditional,
total, all or nothing, we know
better. Love comes in degrees
and our flame never burnt so hot
as the fires of memory.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

STUMBLE

Let's face it-- we all fuck up.
Yeah, all men are sinners
or something like that.
The best we can hope
is to do as little damage
as possible, to choose
the least from a multitude
of evils. Oh, and I believe
in evil and in good and the choice
and the road between the two.

I believe we all stumble along it.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Monday, October 25, 2004

BOOK OF DAYS

My book of days you are,
the pages of my life,
limned in leaf of gold
and lapis lazuli.

In you, I'll read my matins,
my prayers at none and vespers.
In you, my sun shall rise;
you'll be my evening star.

My book of days you are,
my comings and my goings,
the planting and the harvest,
each sorrow, every joy.

And all the seasons pass,
I'll read anew the year;
my book you are until
I close my eyes and sleep.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Political Announcement :)

Although I've posted some things here that poked fun at our Prez, I don't really think Mr Bush is a bad guy (Mr Cheney is another story). Misguided, yes, dumb as mud, probably. But I even admire him some for turning his rather sorry early life around.

As to the other candidate...I would describe John Kerry as an artsy, intellectual, occasionally pretentious, liberal Catholic. And you know what? So am I.

You can probably guess which I'm voting for.

ELECTION 2004 -- the fishing poll

It seems that the 2004 election was so close that the Electoral College vote was tied, and that Congress couldn't break the deadlock, and that the Supreme Court decided they'd better not make the decision themselves. So they sent Bush and Kerry to a frozen lake in South Dakota to have an ice fishing contest. No one was allowed to accompany them, and they were on their honor to let the guy who caught the most fish in five days become president.

On the first day they went out in different directions. Kerry came back with ten fish. Bush caught none.

On the second day, Kerry caught twenty fish and again George W. came back empty handed.

When Kerry brought back 25 fish on day three and George W. still hadn't caught any, Bush got worried and telephoned Dick Cheney for advice.

"He's probably cheating," suggested the Vice President.

"I hadn't thought of that," said George W. "You're probably right. What do we do?"

Cheney suggested that instead of going fishing the next day, Bush follow Kerry to see what he was doing.

At the end of day 4, Bush called up Cheney and told him, "you were right, Dick, the bastard is cheating."

"What's he doing?" asked Cheney.

"He's cutting holes in the ice!"

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Migraine

I was struck with the first one in over three years yesterday evening, after getting back from my trip over to my sister's house in the Fla panhandle (may write about that later). I used to have 'em all the time, every 10 to 14 days, from as far back as I can remember. Even as a very little lad, I would be incapicitated by the pain and nausea, sometimes for days.

But a little over three years ago I started taking med for my depression and SAD. It helped those, of course, but even better it put an end to the migraines! When I looked into the literature, I found that this is sometimes a welcome side-effect. Believe me, I'm a much happier person in a whole lotta ways than I used to be.

Anyway, the traveling, lack of sleep, missing meals, missing meds, and (probably) eating foods with too many nitrites (or is that nitrates? Whichever, they do set off migraines) seems to have led to a reoccurance. Nothing to do but load up on the ibuprofen and lie down in the dark. And, of course, take my medication.

Which I'd better remember in the future! I take better care of myself when I'm traveling alone -- it's a hassle trying to accomodate a couple passengers, especially when they're your parents! :D

YAAAAY RED SOCKS!

Way to go....I still hope the Cardinals make the Series and beat you...but if they don't, be sure to whip them Astros! :)

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Christmas Cards

Time for a bit of shameless self-promotion! Christmas cards and other products with my art are now available at my Cafe Press store. I've also opened up a shop at Lulu with some of my images available for download. There will be more stuff at both stores as I get my, uh, donkey into gear.

Thank you for your time...we now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

I was watching The Fugitive yesterday evening on Turner movies. What a great movie! No, no, not that Harrison Ford vehicle; I mean the John Ford film from 1947 with Henry Fonda. Fabulous (if sometimes a bit overly dramatic) cinematography and Ford's direction was, as usual, storytelling at its best. The story itself, of course, was strong, taken from Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory.

Hey, I'm a sucker for these sorts of stories of redemption, I admit it. It's nice to be reminded that there is good in humanity.

Monday, October 11, 2004

LEAVES

Each day now carries
its message of change,
written on a falling leaf
or a frosted window.

Autumn speaks with the voice
of birds in fervent flight,
wings spread upon
the faith of October.

The wind-tossed leaf--
does it too yearn
to seek a land
of eternal summer?

We can follow
only a little way,
the leaves and I;
only a little way.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

can't allow Miss Sherrie to outdo me in melancholy autumn poems now, can I? :D

BLUEGRASS

Over the weekend I attended a bluegrass festival at the Pickers' Paradise Park up near Ocklocknee GA; the usual north Florida-south Georgia suspects were there. I have to admit they all kinda sound the same to me anyway...okay, I’m not really a big fan of bluegrass – I feel it over-emphasizes instrumental flash at the expense of the songs – but it was an okay way to spend a Saturday afternoon and evening. And the people involved are a friendly bunch; I ended up sitting late around the campfires and decided to throw a blanket on the ground and stay there overnight.

Ran into an acquaintance from the Florida folkie circles I more normally frequent, Carrie Hamby, who fronts the Tallahassee-based group Singing Biscuit (those who grew up in Indiana might know the origin of the name). Ms Hamby was playing bass with Fifth Gear. I don't know why so many bluegrass groups have women on them big ol' standup basses! I liked FG; they were certainly the most entertaining/energetic bunch to get on stage. Incidentally, their site is www.fifthgearbluegrass.com . I noted what sounded (to me) like a surf music influence in some of their songs -- sort of Dick Dale plays bluegrass.

But I still prefer Carrie's more folk-oriented group, which performs some of her originals. Incidentally, a cut of theirs was used on the Car Talk show on public radio a while back between segments. Might as well give her site too: www.singingbiscuit.com .

Friday, October 08, 2004

I just finalized what I see as a pretty prestigious recording job-- on Nov 7, I'll be traveling to Tuskegee to 'save for posterity' an organ concert by Dr Wayne Barr. Dr Barr is organist at the Tuskegee University chapel and director of the school's renowned Golden Voices choir. I've done a couple live recitals at the university prior to this of my friend Lynda Garcia, who teaches and accompanies the choir there. Ms Garcia has had a career as a concert pianist and is a former Miss Black Oklahoma.

Incidentally, the organ recital is free to the public, Four PM Sunday, Nov 7, in the chapel. If you find your way there, I'll be the guy in the back fussing with his equipment. :)

Thursday, October 07, 2004

About the song, 'Far Away,' I posted this morning-- I had a restless night, sore back, lots on my mind. Along about two in the morning a train of thought came rumbling through and so, for the next hour, I was up and down scribbling lyrics. Then, I actually slept...therapy? Or maybe I was just too sleepy by then to stay awake longer.

This morning, I spent some time hammering out the flow, revising, etc. The first two verses are just about what I wrote in the night; the refrain and third verse saw a lot of rewriting. Then I worked on the tune. That's not something I usually do after the lyrics are complete. Just happened that way this time. My big concern was that it didn't turn out sounding like a Johnny Cash song! Too bad I can't show where the beats fall here. Well, I probably could but it would be too much hassle! It might not seem to flow right if one has only the words as a guide.

Anyway, it's more or less a finished piece. Been playing and singing it this afternoon (in A) and who knows...maybe I'll trot it out in public before too long.

Far Away

a song

I hear the distant whistle
As I lie by your side;
I wish that I could board that train
And ride, ride, ride
Far away,
Far away.
I wish that I could ride far away.

I hear the wild geese passing
Through the midnight sky;
I wish that I could be with them
and fly, fly, fly
Far away,
Far away.
I wish that I could fly far away.

And I wish that I still loved you
The way that you love me,
But I know I must leave you soon
And be
Far away.

I hear your heart beat softly,
Hear you breathing low;
If only I could kiss your brow
And go, go, go
Far away,
Far away.
I wish that I could go far away.

Stephen Brooke ©2004


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

I finally got around to setting up a storefront at Lulu. Only one item so far but one must start somewhere -- I'll be putting up more images for download and perhaps other product. At reasonable prices, of course! :D

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

WRINKLE

The story of our love must be
written very large and bold,
for I find as I grow old
I haven't always my glasses with me.

I loved your kisses, never doubt,
when we were passionate and young
but now be careful with that tongue
as my teeth tend to come out.

Forgive me, should I leave your embrace
because I need must run and tinkle;
though age gives love a brand new wrinkle,
I find yours still the fairest face.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Monday, October 04, 2004

Perhaps only a Floridian could truly appreciate it, but here is a special update on electronic voting! :D

FADE

I've shut the doors of night behind me;
I'll heed no more tomorrow's song.
I've heard another tune and long
To dance where dawn will never find me.

I seek that distant steady chime,
For life's elusive melody
Holds but regretful memory;
My evening star, fade this last time.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

Friday, October 01, 2004

COLORS

The colors of Summer--
of grasshoppers and of rain
and of every rocket that climbed
the skies of July--
I gathered them for you
to burn in Autumn's bonfires.

Tomorrow, they are smoke
and ashes, hanging in the still air,
cold and colorless as the morning
of the first freeze.

Stephen Brooke ©2004

not particularly about anything, just an 'autumn poem.'

Shadows on the Swanee -- i. e. my friend/musical partner Karen and I -- will be performing at the Cracker Coffee House this Saturday night. That's in the Stephen Foster Park in White Springs FL. Admission is free...but you are bound to spend some money on the home baked goodies! The show runs from 7 to 9. Y'all come by if you're in the neighborhood!