Monday, August 29, 2005

Here's the brand-new, no-frills fire pit I put in my back yard. I can hear them snickering at DIY Channel but, hey, it will do the job. Drop by and we'll toast some marshmallows. Or a whole's a big'n!

In the mean time, they've started the demolition of the motel across the street. A landmark and eye-sore in Steinhatchee since the 40s, to be replaced with a dozen condos. I guess I won't be able to go jump off the dock on hot summer days anymore. Here's a pic from my front yard.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Scrub Country Poem

Carry me on the voice of crows;
I’ll live the harsh music of your days,
hold the cicada heart of the evening,
the humming dusk, close to me.

Carry me to the pine-top sun;
a corvine shadow, I seek my name,
no more than a whispered sigh
of Spanish moss, a campfire song.

No more than the afternoon rain,
conversing with palmetto fronds –
Carry me on the voice of rivers;
I’ll wear the heat of distant skies.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

I rarely write poems about places and even less the part of Florida where I live. If this really is about a place!
George Bush is out jogging one morning and notices a little girl on the corner with a box. Curious, he runs over to the little girl, Hannah, and says, "What's in the box, kid?"

Little Hannah says, "Kittens, they're brand new kittens."

George Bush laughs and says, "What kind of kittens are they?"

"Republicans," says Little Hannah. "Oh that's cute," he says and goes on his way.

A few days later, George Bush is running with his buddy Dick Cheney and he spies Little Hannah with her box just ahead. George Bush says to Dick, "You gotta check this out," and they both jog over to little Hannah.

George Bush says, "Look in the box, Dick, now isn't that cute?

Look at those little kittens. Hey, kid, tell my friend Dick what kind of kittens they are." Little Hannah replies, "They're Democrats."

"Whoa!" George Bush says, "I came by here the other day and you said they were Republicans. What's up?"

"Well," Little Hannah explains, "their eyes are open now."

Sunday, August 21, 2005

When roses read and violets blew,
I rose from bed, blue over you.
Stormy, whether old or knew
your reign, now thoroughly through,
away passed as the mourning do.

more playing.
Dogs got God’s togs –
hair here, hair there –
to wear anywhere,

Pay me no mind. I'm just playing with my words again.

I’ll pretend you’re someone else,
You can do the same;
We’ll make love and tell each other
Yesterday’s to blame.
Blinded and adrift in you,
I may speak a name;
Light me then a thousand candles
From a single flame.

Pray for me a thousand prayers,
End each with your kiss;
Let me fall into the night,
Curse me with more bliss.
Such inchoate offerings
Some choose to dismiss;
Yet I must believe in love’s
Every artifice.

Rise tomorrow, like the sun,
Like the morning star;
Hold me so I can’t let go,
Hold all that we are.
Let your song be of the night,
Of a land afar;
Lift your voice up to the dawn,
To the morning star.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

Obviously not a 'song' in any pop sense...yet strictly metered and singable.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Just another bomber.
Another kid off to Paradise
on wings of flame.

Does anyone bother,
now, to read the details?

We shrug and go on,
not understanding.
Not able to understand

and relieved
that we never will.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

On Bukowski’s Birthday

Not Brautigan – the other guy
who starts with B. Yeah, Bukowski,
that’s right. I get them mixed up.

Used to like his stuff. Liked both,
to be honest. Plain speech poets.
I don’t do that much, now,

my inner Beat has lost his cool.
I think it stepped in front of Sexton’s
speeding Cougar. Or was that

a mirrored tiger, in a coat
of many colors? Psychedelic,
man. Let me hide this stash

of words and we’ll head to the party.
Wouldn’t do to take them along;
you know? No one there is a user.

No one there smokes this shit.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

Monday, August 15, 2005

Every now'n'agin, I try to write about depression. Thus, yesterday's poem. I don't think I've ever done more than just nibble around the edges of that cookie...but if I can't capture at least a bit of something that is so integral a part of who I have been, how can I hope to deal with the other biggies? Love and Faith and all that...after all, I'm a Serious Poet, here! :D

Speaking of depression, I was reading a couple days ago about how Abe Lincoln seems to have suffered from it pretty seriously (that's what got me started on the poem). Also, that he was a well read and fairly prolific, if mediocre, poet. Some of Lincoln's poems can be read at The Hypertexts -- go to the Esoterica section. Among them (and rather popular in his day) is a humorous bit of doggerel about a gay couple.

Not that they would have been called a 'gay couple' 150 years ago. 'Confirmed bachelors,' more likely. Like Lincoln's predecessor in the White House, James Buchanan. Very much a confirmed bachelor and likely our only gay president.

I've meandered a bit, haven't I?
Some thoughts~

A good poet must be a good actor, able to throw himself into his roles, able to become his roles.

Everything depends on viewpoint and interpretation. Everything is subjective, an alternate view of the 'truth.'

How does one know a pinata is empty without whacking it a few times?

Sunday, August 14, 2005


Now, there is nothing –
no hope, no love –

only the pit
and the demons within.

They clamor my name.
Each night they call;

call me to join them
and it would be easy

to trade one torment
for this other.

For God hates those
who hate themselves;

the blood grows sour,
the body offers

no salvation.
I fall asleep,

praying the morrow
to die stillborn.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

Saturday, August 13, 2005


All of yesterday’s
unfulfilled prophecies
turned up at my door.

Let them knock. Let them ring.

I’m not opening up.
Tomorrow’s news has gone to bed
And I must do the same.

Let them cry, remember me?

Memory is such
a fragile box. It cracks, it leaks
its dark pools of denial.

Let them flow away, fading

into imagination’s
desert lands. There they shall
become the drink of prophets.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

Friday, August 12, 2005


You, who thought life had no meaning:
when did you learn that it was simply
spoken in a foreign language?

The lessons have their cost. Each teacher
must be paid, a penny a word,
a dime for each vine-ripened phrase

They pick for you. And then you may
open your book, reading from
the empty pages. Reading psalms

that bring the students to your feet.

Stephen Brooke ©2005
AM and PM

stephen brooke ©2005

a silly senryu -- nothing new for me

Thursday, August 11, 2005

In my ongoing quest to sample wine from every state in the union (I'm on a mission from Bacchus) I recently added Missouri and Minnesota. Alas, I had to skip over Massachusetts and Maine -- maybe later!
Aww...they just bulldozed down all the lovely mature trees (cedars and sabals) in front of the old motel across the street. What a waste! I guess the building itself is next. It's been standing there since the late '40s.

And what will replace it? Looks like townhouses or something of that sort. There's a lot of that going on here lately. Steinhatchee is transforming from the sleepy fishing spot it was when I moved here into full-fledged resort area. That will be good for business, I reckon...shoot, this was what I was expecting (and hoping for) when I moved here! Took a little longer than I thought, though.

At any rate, this will make this property I'm on more valuable, whether for me to do business or to sell it off. Can't complain about that, can I?

Can complain, however, about the noise this is going to create the next few months. This will not be conducive to the recording process. Looks like I'll have to do sessions only in the still of the night. If them darn barred owls would shut up!
My page at is finally up-n-runnin'. Took quite a while longer than the 'two to five days' they said it would...and I only put up one song! That's just to hold the space, really. Anyway, the link is over there to the left of this post. Or go to:

I'll have more up there eventually. In the meantime, I still have music up at the MySpace pages. For now.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Went up to White Springs last night. Big crowd...of performers. We were limited to two songs each so I didn’t attempt the song I’d been working up last week, The Rainbow Connection (yeah, Kermit’s song). They ought to do like most open mikes and make it first come, first served. If you sign up first, you get to do your three songs and if you’re late, too darn bad! (Steve grumbles under his breath here.)

My three songs usually take less time than a lot of people’s two songs, though. I keep ‘em short and don’t run on endlessly about nothing between pieces. Either some performers have no sense about the need to keep things moving or they’re just plain selfish.

Or maybe it’s just my own roots showing and I should mellow out a little. But I still think most songs shouldn’t go more’n two-and-a-half minutes. I start to yawn after that.

Heard about a song contest coming up while I was there – entries due the end of this month. The theme has to be ‘springs.’ Water springs, that is, not the seasons nor the kind that absorb shocks. It’s sponsored by a little festival at the Rainbow Springs State Park down south of me a way. I think I’ll try to get something together.

Rain is my favorite cliche.
And night – night is good.

It rained last night.
I believe a slow train

passed by, too.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

How can anyone govern a nation that has 246 different kinds of cheese? ~Charles de Gaulle

People tend to give me odd looks when I tell them one of my heroes is Charles de Gaulle. Okay, they give me odd looks anyway. I guess we're not supposed to like the French much these days but then it seems that CdG didn't either!

Anyway, our view of le grand Charles (or Big Chuck) has been filtered through some decidedly pro-British and pro-US views over the years. Look at many of the English-language movies and books about WW2 -- de Gaulle is portrayed as obstructionist, arrogant, are, too often, the French people as a whole. News for you: more Frenchmen died fighting against Germany than British. Without Free France and de Gaulle's obstinance in refusing to accept defeat by the Nazis, not only would the war have been much more might never have been won.

And when or if it had, France might well have been a Stalinist nation without CdG's leadership. The Resistance was riddled with communist cells. A very different post-war Europe! His insistence upon the recognition of his wartime government in exile and its treatment as an equal partner had much to do with the stable (by French standards) post-war situation. And, ultimately, we have his handling of Algeria where he managed to extricate France honorably from a decidedly nasty civil war. Yeah, he made some blunders and certainly some unfortunate remarks along the way. Who doesn't?

Of course, de Gaulle is considered a conservative (and I guess I'm a liberal of sorts). A rather moderate one, however -- he certainly was never the right-wing reactionary his enemies liked to paint him as. Hey, he was not really very far from his wartime compatriot, Eisenhower, and waaaaaay to the left of our Mr Bush. Maybe actually serving in the military would have benefited the latter...nah, probably not.

Monday, August 01, 2005


It will be you
or it will be me.

One of us,
sooner or later,

will meet that someone
with whom we'd rather

spend our time
and this slightly-

will become

slightly less.

have any plans
for tomorrow?

Stephen Brooke ©2005