adventures in dysthymia

Saturday, December 31, 2005

DARK-SKINNED WOMAN

I

She walks my dreams,
the dark-skinned woman.
She walks in grace

and I must follow.
Oh, for some it will be
breasts, for others blondes;

I have loved them all
and regret none. Yet,
she walks in grace.

II

Fitted dress, stockings:
other girls didn’t
board a school bus

as though headed
to a night club. Sophisticated
lady-in-training,

might I see you now
among the showy
Sunday morning hats?

III

Blame it on Michelle,
ma belle, Uhura herself
boldly going where I

could all too readily imagine.
Hey, I was a teenager
with my own mission

and it had better not take
me five years to seek out
some new worlds.

IV

Brown girl with brown baby
and San Juan street ways
that would never be mine,

how came this mariposa
to my garden? I had
no nets to hold you.

Your smile was the sun;
your eyes told the secrets
of Caribbean depths.

V

Did I but seek
you, the woman
who walks my dreams?

You walk in grace,
my dark-skinned woman,
and the grace of God

walks with you
and His grace follows me.
Yes, all my days.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

I admit, I've always had a bit of a 'thing' for black women. In part, I'm addressing that fact seriously here and in part I'm poking a little fun at myself.

Maybe I should have this kind of protection:
When Chihuahuas Attack!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

FORGE

I have held a destiny
forged in the smithies
of the heart, written
our love in hammer
and smoke and sinew.
I have bent myself double
with the labor. I have
burnt myself hollow.

So I’ve tempered fate;
so I’ve dreamed a future
dancing on my hearths.
And all the while
you grow like a rose
from the hand of God.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

I should've been in bed but this poem wouldn't let me sleep.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

a quote:

"The President needs to come up with an exit strategy to get his head out of his ass." ~ Bill Maher

Quite a few interesting pictures of post-Katrina New Orleans here, taken by that bass-playing goddess, Greta Brinkman.

Merry Christmas to All my Friends

The picture is of the tree-lighting ceremony at the Christmas Concert at Tuskegee University -- the choir had just come on stage in a candlelight procession (singing Do You Hear What I Hear).

I've finally found a little time to work on editing my recording of the concert! It's sounding pretty good. A couple more pictures from that night are below:



Sunday, December 18, 2005

USED TO BE

Semi-famous
or used to be --
the kids around town
knew the name.

My name.
Who remembers it
now? Shades of highschool
anonymity,

invisibility,
nobody-ness --
Anyone care to buy
a used guitar?

Stephen Brooke ©2005

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Your Christmas is Most Like: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

You can't really get into the Christmas spirit...
But it usually gets to you by the end of the holiday.

I kept aiming for your heart.
Did I shoot myself
in the foot?

Stephen Brooke ©2005

a quinzaine

(NO MORE) LOVE SONGS

No more love songs,
no more games;
embracing hell,
we shed our names.
Time only for
truth’s halogen glare;
no pretense now
that we care.

Time but enough
to rape each other:
suicides
who killed their lover.
No more love songs,
no more time;
and no regrets
for the crime.

Tomorrow’s dead,
tomorrow’s dead;
throw away
what’s left unsaid.
No more love songs.

Sell my heart,
buy my time;
have no regrets
for the crime.
Give away
my every song,
every word
that I got wrong.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

Well, I suppose it is recognizable that this is a song rather than a poem (in the literary sense, though I consider all songs lyrics to be a form of poetry). Obviously not one of the folky things I write and perform these days...and I haven't time nor inclination to do the rock band again, at least at this point, so it will probably just sit sans riffs and tune...or rewrite (as it is still rough as a lyric).

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

My Aunt Dotty passed away last night at age 83. I thank all who wished her well here.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Adding to the previous post, the hospital called around five to let us know my aunt had taken a turn for the worse and we went off to Perry (about 35 miles). Seems she has an abscess in her lung (she was a smoker most of her adult life and had mild emphysema, which may play a role) and a really bad infection. They've drained it, but Aunt Dotty is not doing well and may not make it through the night. If she does, obviously she will never be able to live on her own again.

We visited a while and the priest came to administer the sacraments so that's about all we can do for now. It's a matter of waiting and praying.

Today is my Aunt Dotty's birthday. Eighty-something...a few years younger than my mom, anyway! Unfortunately, she is spending this birthday in the hospital; I'm off to visit in a few minutes.

She was admitted with pneumonia, anemia, bleeding ulcers and God know's what else. Expected to get through, though she was placed in the ICU yesterday. I think that was more to keep her from trying to get up and do stuff on her own than because of her condition. She is not the most cooperative patient.

Anyway, we are pretty much the only family she haves (having never married) and definitely the closest, so I am back into something of the role I was filling for my dad. Not care-giver, per se, but the guy who takes responsibility for her affairs.

DRIFTING

Drifting into you, after
all these years: I, the cautious
one, fearful of who I am
and of who you think I am

or might become. Eyes closed,
I could have run to you. Eyes closed,
drifting into fitful night
I’ve often prayed I would not waken

and you, who never heard my words,
will not now deny me this
awakening nor this drifting,
my slow drifting into you.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

Thursday, December 08, 2005

SANDS

Ever a seeker of that
perfect moment, that
unattainable moment,

I have opened gifts
of anticipation
to find, not disappointment,

but only the empty glass
of time and none to turn
it over. Surely the stars

will sift slowly, softly
down to fill my hands
before they slip away.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

obliquely inspired by the holiday season