adventures in dysthymia

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Down in southern Ohio,
Back in the Hocking Hills,
Where the pulp wood grew
To feed the paper mills,
And the creeks ran milky white
From the overflow,
There I was a boy
Many years ago.

I was just a youngster
Wandering the woods;
The tree-lined hills and hollows
Were the best of neighborhoods.
I'd climb the sandstone cliffs
To look out over my realm,
For I was a king in his kingdom,
A captain at his helm.

A box of photographs,
One flint arrowhead,
Are all that remains
Of the life I led.
These are now my treasures,
The memories they bring,
But once I had much more,
When I was a king.

I swam the ice-cold creeks,
Explored forgotten caves;
Found buried arrowheads,
Lived through some close shaves.
The ways were steep and slippery,
It was far too easy to fall,
But I'd climb up to my throne
For I was king of it all.

Stephen Brooke ©2008

Intended as a song, not a poem -- the third stanza would be the chorus. Although I did live in such a place for a while as a child, the story here is largely extrapolation rather than autobiographical.

I cannibalized some of this from a different song that had sat stalled in my notes for a while, about 'the hermit in the hollow.' I finally realized that there was no real story there so I jettisoned the hermit and changed the focus.

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