Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Myth is created by the poetic and misinterpreted by the prosaic.

* * *

God is infinite being striving to fill infinite emptiness.

* * *

'Common sense' is another name for lazy thinking.

Simply some thoughts upon which I may eventually expand and expound. Perhaps next year.

On the general subject of next year, I was not really expecting to still be in my caregiver role at the end of this one. Mom seemed so frail and failing last winter, yet she truly became more 'alive' once warmer weather arrived. Yes, her mental state continued to degrade but she seemed healthier, more alert.

It looks downhill again now, though, as winter proceeds. I really have to keep a constant eye on her as she will do harm to herself -- particularly, putting things into her mouth that shouldn't be there. I can only 'childproof' the place so much. Other things she may do might exasperate me at times, but are not, in general, dangerous.

For instance, this morning while I was in the next room she decided to dump the entire 'slop bucket' intended for the compost heap into the dish-washing basin. What a mess! And let's face it, I'm fussy and somewhat OC about keeping things in order. Which does help me plan for problems but also upsets me when things go off the rails.

One thing I did not accomplish -- and will not accomplish -- this year was much recording. I realize that it will not be possible to immerse myself in the studio for the near future. That goes for the art studio too, I suppose. Actually, both parts of the house are closed off for these coldest months -- I'll expand back into them in the spring. In the meantime, I fuss with a little composing via midi on the office computer, which I have temporarily relocated in my bedroom.

So, fast away the old year passes...and it was not a great year but it could have been worse. I enjoyed some music (in particularly Mary's new CD and the Tom Jones Praise and Blame -- love that album), kept in touch, after a fashion, via the internet, and, well, survived. We'll see what 2011 holds.

I guess I'll soon be getting nursery catalogs in the mail and thinking about investing in things to stick in the ground come spring!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

IT BUGS me a little that pretty much everyone (in this country) speaks of the solstice as being the first day of winter. Aside from the fact that there is no 'official' beginning of winter in the US, it should be recognized that the solstice was not traditionally considered the start of the season. That seems to have been foisted on us rather recently.

When one thinks of it, the solstice should be the middle of winter -- the 'bleak midwinter,' as the Christina Rossetti's poem goes. It should also be noted that in those nations that do have an official start of winter, it is often the first day of December.

Oh well, no one listens to my wisdom. Their loss! :)

We had an unusual late lunar eclipse for this solstice. I can remember my very first lunar eclipse, in the November of 1956. It is a particularly strong memory because it coincided with the very first migraine I can recall having, at age six. The two will be forever entwined, me lying on the couch with throbbing head watching that blood-red moon. I don't much like lunar eclipses.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I SPENT a bit of online time yesterday and today simplifying my life -- leaving message boards, deleting accounts, un-friending folks on FaceBook, that sort of thing. I figured I needed to be more efficient about how I wasted my time.

And I need to concentrate more on the creative, when possible. Not so possible at times, around here, as I need to keep a pretty constant eye on my mom to make sure she doesn't get into mischief or hurt herself. She's gotten bad about putting things into her mouth that she shouldn't.

Which is the main reason I'm not putting up a Christmas tree this year. I really do fear that she would be getting her hands onto it and perhaps harming herself. So only up-high decorations for us. It's not like she can really remember from day to day that Christmas is coming, anyway.

Back to the simplifying thing: I considering dropping the handful of MySpace accounts I maintain (barely) for different musical projects -- all pretty much in hiatus -- plus one personal page there. Went so far as to open a SoundClick page for my music but was thoroughly unimpressed and deleted it yesterday as well. So, I'll probably keep the MS pages for the nonce, despite the ridiculous changes there. Eventually, maybe Reverbnation if I start actually doing music again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


tribal music
in the night
star-filled sky
fire light
new stars born
rising sparks
tribal music
in the dark

tribal music
heartbeat rides
primal rhythms
full moon tides
drums provoke
tribal music
deep in me

sail upon
sea of stars
Venus calls
out to Mars
lovers till
morning comes
tribal music
tribal drums

tribal music
leaping flame
voice of night
knows my name
darkness hides
right from wrong
tribal music
ancient song

Stephen Brooke ©2010

This, unlike the recent poems I have posted, is intended (and was from the start) as a song lyric. There is music in development.

Oh, and the third stanza there works as the chorus, the rest are verses. More or less.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I had a disagreement with myself
or maybe it was with my god.

We argued all night and sometimes one
got the better and sometimes the other.

Light and bird-song spoke of the new day;
on this, at least, we agreed.

Stephen Brooke ©2010

Format-wise, this is similar to a sijo but it veers somewhat from the spirit of that Korean poetic form. Still, I suppose it's as good a description as any.

Sunday, December 05, 2010


The days become
a jar full of pennies
to count out on the table,
fifty to the stack.

Oh, here's an old wheat,
real copper. They don't
make those, any more.
No, not any more.

Let's put it in
another jar, a jar full
of yesterday's pennies
and roll the rest of these.

Stephen Brooke ©2010

For the too-young, 'wheat' refers to the design on the back of pennies, up until 1958. We called them 'wreath' pennies, sometimes, because the two stalks of wheat form a wreath.

Friday, December 03, 2010


The tides of the heart
follow no phases
of the moon, no
calendar of spring
and neap. They run high
when they will.
They leave the pools
of yesterday
to greet the sky,
the sky of stars
and starfish. Seek
with me there,
some night, for both.

Stephen Brooke ©2010

A rather rapidly written poem -- most of it, that is. The first two-and-a-half lines came to me a few days ago and had to wait a bit for the rest to rush to join them.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

the string stretched tight
sounds the clearest music
but breaks easily

Stephen Brooke (c)2010

a senryu-like piece

Looks like we're heading for the first freeze of the season tonight. I guess the calendar is right when it tells me it's December. We had a mild fall -- hope winter is the same. Not sure I could take another like last year, not to mention my mom. Or my truck, for that matter, which is probably on its last wheels. I'd hate to have a failure of transportation while still being a caregiver.