Friday, October 30, 2015

Ware, a poem

a sonnet

The truth of every day is bought and sold
in bright bazaars that entertain the crowd,
with barkers' urgent voices rising loud
lest by some chance a different tale be told.
Hear us! they cry, for all you need we hold —
this and no more than this may be allowed,
and any other swiftly disavowed
as we our lurid tapestries unfold.

Go find forgotten corners of the square
and gather up the words that lie there lost;
I'll fashion songs of them and night's dark air,
hold each, remembering what it once cost.
What coin for those with such fine unsold ware?
Only the shining pennies children tossed.

Stephen Brooke ©2015

Names, a poem


By naming a thing, we begin to understand it.
It becomes solid, becomes real. We can say
it is the wind, remembering we named it

once before. We can call out for love,
having heard another cry its name.
I begin. I understand a little

and let the wind find its way through me, naming
it in my heart. Tell me your name and we
may converse, you and I, the wind and love.

Stephen Brooke ©2015

The Tower is Here

Officially released this weekend by Arachis Press, THE TOWER is now available pretty much everywhere. This is my latest poetry collection --- my fourth chapbook of poems and my fifteenth book to be published. It can be purchased directly at:

PDF and EPUB version are also for sale at our shop. Or it should be available at various retailers in both print and ebook versions. If not already at their sites, it will be appearing soon.

The next book, number sixteen, will be the second novel in my Malvern series, the sequel to COAST OF SPEARS. It should appear around the beginning of 2016 and is titled VALLEY OF VISIONS. The third and final Malvern novel, HERO FROM THE SEA, will come when I finish writing it --- which means there might be other releases before it appears.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Empty Page, a poem

Empty Page

I had a page with nothing on it,
So I sat down and wrote a sonnet;
This is not it, I know you can tell,
But I assure you that it's swell!

The lines are longer than in this poem,
With lots of words, just 'cause I know 'em,
And deep thoughts thrown in by the dozen —
Enough to keep the critics buzzin'!

Perhaps I'll let you read it some day,
Or maybe decide to toss it away;
That happens sometimes, I am afraid,
I go and rain on my own parade.

But don't believe that I would think
Of quitting when my poems stink;
I'll find another empty page —
I'm not about to leave the stage!

Stephen Brooke ©2015

pure doggerel --- it shows up when I should be working on Serious Stuff

Monday, October 26, 2015

Study, a poem


Some have deemed love a great weakness,
others will call it a strength;
I shall remain undecided
and study at greater length.

Surely one could spend a life –
at least a number of days –
seeking to learn every nuance
of love and all of its ways.

Say that it is work in progress,
as I test hypotheses,
thoroughly investigating
doings of birds and of bees.

But I should have larger samples,
new subjects would be terrific;
volunteer, please, I do promise
to keep it all scientific!

Stephen Brooke ©2015

Light verse this time around (though pretty strictly metered)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hammers, a poem


Without concrete blocks
and two-by-fours, who can
begin to build a house?

Once they are stacked,
what was only lines on paper,
a vacant lot, a promise,

becomes a song of hammers.

Stephen Brooke ©2015

just a little poem but also a comment on how I approach creativity -- need to amass my 'building  materials' before I start on the job

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Sixties, Again -- a poem

The Sixties, Again

There was an anger and an innocence, then,
served up buffet-style on the radio
and on the back of album sleeves and the pages
of underground magazines and newspapers.

We feasted, you and I, never caring
that it might be too much, that tomorrow
will throw regrets at such easy targets.
Let the cynics come; they always do

and one decade follows another. Maybe I
saw it before you, in the shadows we cast.
The fading reverb of Dick Dale's Strat
haunted those years, forgotten but felt,

echoed in our heart beat, in every wave
that broke and ran back to the sea,
in every trip to those far misted shores.
They beckoned us, they did, and we followed

our white rabbits while we could and our youth
disappeared down one hole or another. Across
each song I have sought it, through
cartoon pop and slick pseudo-psychedelia.

Again, the Sixties — no one saw them leave
but I knew they were gone. They became lost
in the jungle gunfire, to be identified
by their dog-tags, identified as the children

who danced the surfer-stomp when night was still
a friend. Pointless is as pointless does;
we both know it never mattered. Yes, the music
was good but it never mattered at all.

Stephen Brooke ©2015

a little longer and a little more free-form than is my wont

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Matter, a short poem


It is no great lie
when I claim to care about
the things you love.

They matter to you
and that is enough.

Stephen Brooke ©2015

although vaguely in the shape of a tanka, I would not claim it as one

Monday, October 19, 2015

Stops, a little poem


There are no destinations,
only stops along
the way to nowhere.

Rest here with me a while
before we journey on.

Stephen Brooke ©2015

Toy Store, a poem

Toy Store

In a toy store world, Barbie exchanges
plastic kisses with Ken. Too removed
from the animal that prowls our streets,
there is nothing left to recognize

in their shiny faces, rigid bodies.
Could I be as hard as they, as lifeless,
perpetually cold, and still be loved?
What ideal might I embody, become

for dreaming hearts? Seek no perfection here.
Seek no future among the staring smiles
that line our way but return me to my shelf.
I can only wait, still in my box.

Stephen Brooke ©2015

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Free Ebook

Through Sunday October 18, I and Arachis Press are giving away ebook editions of my new collection of poems, THE TOWER, before the official release, in EPUB format. Get yours at our store at Lulu (our printer):

Just put it in the cart and you will be charged nothing when you check out. And, as long as you are there, you might as well look at our other titles!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The Same, a poem

The Same

To give her up would be too easy.
To let her go, disappear

into another day — the sun
would still shine, would it not?

The rain would still fall. Everything
changes, just as it stays the same,

just as I would stay the same.
I shall not have a past, but live

along the empty roads where time
has forgotten its way. There, no one

knows her name. I may forget
it myself. Give it a while.

Stephen Brooke ©2015

only moderately obscure

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Valley of Visions

I finally have completed a pretty-close-to-final draft of my second 'Malvern' novel, VALLEY OF VISIONS. This is the sequel to COAST OF SPEARS, and was three-quarters finished when I injured myself back in mid-July and all my projects were put on hold for a while.

Will I start right in on the third and final book? I might give it a rest and turn to creating another children's book first but it will probably be written sometime in the coming year. VALLEY OF VISIONS should be available in print and ebook early in 2016. HERO FROM THE SEA (I am pretty sure I will use that title) might be published before 2017 rolls around.

I used the same formula to write VoV that I did for its predecessor, four sections, each with its own arc. It turned out about 5000 words shorter than CoS. That might change as I do tend to add a little to flesh things out in rewrites — somewhat the opposite of many authors' technique! But it is pretty close to being in its final form.

This morning, my hip hurt less than it has anytime in the last two and a half months. In fact, it was the first time I didn't notice any pain when I rolled out of bed. That is not to say I am all healed up and I will have to be careful not to re-injure myself. But maybe I can surf again now.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Books and More Books

I have begun the process of getting the new poetry collection, THE TOWER, into distribution. If there are no snags, both print and ebook versions should be available pretty much everywhere by the official release date of November 1. If the print copies don't make it to vendors such as Amazon by that date, so be it; they WILL be available directly from Arachis Press.

There will probably be some sort of giveaway of the ebook toward the middle or end of this month. Not absolutely decided how to handle that yet, so stay tuned.

This will be the last new title for this year. Do expect a fantasy novel, VALLEY OF VISIONS to appear fairly early in 2016. This is the second book in my Malvern series and the sequel to COAST OF SPEARS. There should be a third and final Malvern novel eventually, tentatively titled HERO FROM THE SEA. Or maybe LAND OF HEROES or even something else; hey, it isn't even written yet!

In the meantime, I continue to revise older titles for general distribution. All my poetry books should be available by the end of the year, including the very first, PIECES OF THE MOON, which originally appeared in 2003. Of course, all of these have been available universally as ebooks, and directly from Arachis Press as print editions.

That will leave only the four Donzalo novels. I'll work on getting them redone for distribution next year. I did consider an all-in-one edition but it was just too long (over 700 pages unless I radically changed the formatting). So those should appear as I find the time to work on them. The one remaining book in my oeuvre would be the retrospective of my mother's art and life, but I can't see any point in putting it into distribution.

Now, I do hope to write more stuff. Or publish others' work, for that matter. I am definitely willing to add titles at Arachis Press that didn't come from my own pen, poetry in particular. Not that there is any profit for either party in the publishing of poetry

The Creation of Time, a poem

The Creation of Time

Then god created the stars
and set his angels to counting them.
It took forever.

It continues to rain.
Each drop speaks its name
and then forgets it.

When the moon waxes,
the birds sing all night,
calling tomorrow home.

I have written out my future,
etched it on the rocks that slowly
erode into nothing.

Who can read it now?
Who could trace the letters
and count the stars

to find her name?

Stephen Brooke ©2015

disjointed thoughts, jointed