Wednesday, September 30, 2009


The air grew heavy with summer
and tomorrow slept in the fields,
dozing among the corn stalks
where cicadas sang

their tuneless lullaby.
There was, that season, a river
we could not cross, flooded
with our illusions. In stages

it rose as we played
along its bowered banks,
at reckless dreams of love,

sun-lit games born in
the fervor and fever of spring.

There was too much heat,
that summer, too many storms;
we were intoxicated
on secrets and the scent

of fresh-mown fields. We were
carried on the flood
of the river grown wide,
our banks undercut,

our sanctums swept away.
I have slept in those fields,
dreamed with tomorrow
of comings and of goings,

of the wind that turns
in its season. Of summer.

Stephen Brooke ©2009

Something new, at last, and relatively serious. Been hard to concentrate on much lately.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I am not conscious of the scars,
most of the time. I do not see
them readily, am not reminded;
both are toward the back of the skull,
one a little higher than
the other, hidden by my hair.

I still have my hair, thank God.

The one is from a gun. No, not
a bullet, a gun. The higher-up,
older mark that would be,
and came not from true malice
but a small automatic thrown
in anger as I walked away.

It didn't go off, thank God again.

I know that's not very exciting.
There is no tale of a fight
nor holdup, just some mild amusement
in visualizing a pissed (and drunken)
woman chucking her pearl-handed
purse gun at my back. I suppose

she could have shot me. Thank God once more.

I did bleed some. As I did
when I got whacked with a steel bar.
That would be the second scar
and, yes, that was malice, not anger,
intended to lay me out. It didn't.
The bar only glanced across the back
of my skull and laid open the scalp.

For which I also am thankful to God.

Anyway, those marks remain,
reminders of who I was and still
am, perhaps. Not a fighter,
not a tough guy, just someone
who's been some places and done some things
and just might again, some day.

And for that, I thank God.

Stephen Brooke ©2009

Though laid out in lines of rough tetrameter, this could just as readily have been formatted as a prose poem. Or prose, period. Very first draft-y, of course, as is most anything I post here, and more of an idea than a finished piece.

Monday, September 14, 2009


If money grew on a tree,
a maple or a beech,
I'll bet that it would be
too high for me to reach.

I'd stand beneath and look
up at the breeze-blown loot
and wonder what it took
to get some to take root.

Maybe I'd just sit
and wait for some to fall;
but when I think about it,
life wouldn't change at all.

For each day that I went
to gather what it's giving
is time I would have spent
just working for a living.

Stephen Brooke ©2009

Lately, life's kind of been keeping me from having much time online, between my duties as a care-giver and lots of work to do around the property here. With the cooler rainy weather the last few days I've been engaged in a flurry of planting/transplanting. That may continue off-and-on into the colder weather -- some things really should be dormant when moved.

This morning (during a break in the weather!) I was up on the roof installing an antenna. I gave up on satellite a couple years ago. It's simply not worth the cost. Although I have a tripod and will eventually use it to place the antenna up on the roof ridge, right now it's attached to the old satellite dish mount. I'm running it only into my mom's room for the time being; it improved her reception from four channels to fourteen and we can finally pick up the PBS programming from Tallahassee, so I'm pleased.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

With the start of the lovebug season here, I thought of this song I wrote several years ago and has been a performance staple for me since. Apparently I've never posted the lyric in my blogs (not here, anyway) so here we go:

The Swarm

He started in Ohio, in a brand new Cadillac;
Silver-haired wife beside him, her poodle in the back.
Drove real slow to look at the sights, headed where it was warm,
Until they reached the Florida line, that's where they met the swarm...

Then it was love bugs on the windshield, love bugs on the grill,
Love bugs smashed all over that Caddy, all over that de Ville;
As he drove down I-Seventy-five, he got madder and madder,
Listening to those love bugs going splatter, splatter, splatter!

It didn't matter where he went, the swarm would be there,
'Cause exhaust is an aphrodisiac, wafting through the air;
They're over every highway that runs through the state,
Bound and determined to find themselves a mate...

So it's love bugs on the windshield, love bugs on the grill,
If you head down that Interstate, how many will you kill?
They'll be stuck to your wipers, their little wings a-tatter,
You can't stop those love bugs going splatter, splatter, splatter!

Stephen Brooke ©1991

That pretty much sums up lovebugs -- they congregate and copulate over the highways a couple times a year and end up plastered on automobiles in very large numbers.