Sunday, February 24, 2008


Letters I could never finish,
each addressed to you,
stand as a fence on heaven's bounds,
yet I start anew.
Written and unwritten, these,
unseen and unsigned,
I sought to hide myself in them,
too deep for you to find.

I would write this letter to you
Lynda, if I could
I would tell you all that I
feel now, and I should.
My heart, too full of ready words
it knows not how to say,
lets the lines fall from the page
to be swept away.

I've sewn my wounds with silent needles,
made numb the ragged edges;
stood in triumph on high places,
looked down from the ledges.
For among the sleeping stars
hide dreams of suicide;
I hear them singing, singing, singing
all the broken night.

The untied endings of the night
no longer bind the day;
too much time and far too many
letters went astray.
But I have tried, time after time,
even though I knew
that, Lynda, I could never finish
each addressed to you.

Stephen Brooke ©2008

Some notes: although I was actually writing a letter to my friend Lynda when the idea for this song-poem came to me, it has little to do with that. I just liked the alliteration. There was a conscious attempt here -- at least at first -- to do something in a Leonard Cohen vein as a sort of exercise (since my stuff is usually not very LC-like) but it was bound to develop in its own direction once I got going. I reckon the second 'verse' there will function in a chorus-like manner (and I probably will develop it as a song, since it doesn't really work that well as a serious poem unless I do some serious rewriting!).

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