adventures in dysthymia

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A COUPLE OLDIES: as I've continued to sort through my older work, I came across these poems. The first was mostly composed in '03 but I saw that it needed an extra stanza (now the third one) and some minor wording changes. I'd say it's pretty much done now.


Dawn was a tale the sea-birds told,
Against the eastern sky;
Dawn was a song of rose and gold
That could not tell me why

The night yet lingered in my heart
While day gloried above.
Each night, in dream, I once more part
From my too distant love --

On wind-swept shores, I hold her near,
Before I leave her side;
From wind-swept shores of home I steer
To seek a siren tide.

And one pale star, the Morning Star,
Then asked all I desired.
‘Oh, Morning Star, I would be far
Away, for I have tired

Of wandering the endless seas
With none to share my berth,
Of wandering where I may please
But finding naught of worth.’

In silence, my star faded then
Against the eastern sky;
In silence, I joined all those men
Who ask no more than ‘why?’

Stephen Brooke ©2008

A fairly strictly metered piece -- I was playing with that repeated phrase thing in first and third line of each stanza. Though not so intended, I reckon this could be set to music and may attempt to turn it into an 'art song' of sorts. The second poem is one I wrote way back in '01 as a bit of a joke for the lady I was dating at the time (a professor of English Lit). These two are about as close as I'm going to get to posting romantic poetry on this Valentine's Day.


If art were a woman, she’d leave me;
‘Wife beater,’ she’d tearfully claim.
‘He’s thrown me about in his anger,
Attacked me with sharp palette knives.
Oh, how my poor canvas has shredded!
And I only sought to give love.’
Yet ever she has returned to me,
Poor, battered muse, luggage in hand,
To tell me that I can do better,
Be my inspiration and nag.
We will fight again and again,
Then make up with passion and paint,
My brush bringing color to canvas –
The studio’s filled with our children.

Stephen Brooke ©2001

That really is about the sort of relationship I have with painting!

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