adventures in dysthymia

Sunday, April 18, 2010

CROSSING THE ST JOHN'S

Dawn was but a whisper of rose
when I crossed the river, the wide
St John's that slowly, darkly flows.
A city slept on either side,

slept and dreamed while I traversed
the empty hours of the night.
In silence still it lay immersed
as I journeyed toward the light,

faint and far, beyond this span;
at ocean's edge I'd find the sun.
Beneath me, now, the St John's ran,
hours marked since I'd begun,

pilgrim to a distant shore.
A whisper of rose before me lay
and I'd less than an hour more
to the Atlantic and the day.

Stephen Brooke ©2010

It's not at all typical of me to write this sort of semi-imagist poetry, to try to downplay my (usually strong and opinionated) viewpoint in favor of description. But I did it anyway this time and attempted to go mostly for mood. Rhymed tetrameter here.

Not that it matters one bit to the poem, but the crossing of the St John's River I reference here would be at the city of Palatka, which I passed through many times in the pre-dawn hours on surfing trips. My, it's been a long time since I paddled out at Flagler Beach.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

AN APRIL FOOL

When days are warm but nights still cool
I'm just another April fool,
Listening for the first soft calls
of Chuck-will's-widow as dusk falls
across the firefly-lit fields.

In March, as stubborn Winter yields
reluctantly to Spring's advances,
life awakens and then dances,
dances like an April fool,
a carefree lad, cutting school.

And wind-blown flowers aside a pool,
in mirrored motley, as a fool,
dance as well to vernal song --
those strains, so distant and yet strong,
I recall from Springs afore.

Now I'll join in that song once more,
when blackberries blossom along the fence.
If in these days, I make no sense
just know me for an April Fool;
I'm but another April fool.

Stephen Brooke ©2010

A bit of a quickie, rhymed tetrameter (though not terribly strict in meter). I probably painted myself into a bit of a corner by repeating the 'April Fool' phrase -- there are only so many ways to rhyme it, resulting in a shorter poem than it might otherwise have been!