Dead Poets' Society by Steve Brooks

And all of us at the Maple Leaf
knew that he would come to grief.
Some folks live so close to death
That you can swear you smell it on their breath.

Yes, poets dream, and poets drink,
And poets live life on the brink.
Poets smoke, and poets die,
And if you ever ask them why,
They'll tell you, they don't have a clue.
They'll tell you,
It's just what poets do.



The Beauty I Spend With You

The beauty of this evening is not
The way the sinking sunlight dances on the tops of ancient streams
Or a gleam of light from an antique star.

It is not
The age of a perfect stone worn down by rushing waters
Or the reflection of galaxies through some modern lens.

It is not
Dreams dreamed by thousands in a thousand years
Or hopes hoped by the sleepy eyes of now-dead children.

The magnificence of this lovely day
Is in the breathing of this air with you.

It is in hearing your golden voice
Burble like an infant stream;
It is in the sparkle of your laugh
That shocks the world like the new light of the morning's yellow sun;

It is the warm belly of yours
Jiggling with humor like a warm patch of soft earth;
It is the simplicity of a town full of lights
That you drive me to in your ugly car;

It is your eyes while they sparkle your thoughts,
And it is the daily plans to make and break.
The glories of this most lovely life
Are in the nows now I spend with you.

11 February 2008



Propriety is not a line etched upon your fair face,
So how could I know it?
Each of your words, which move the lines of your face to speak,
Are reminiscent of so many lines already writ—
They are a breath away from the lines of an England Abbey
That lit the fiery soul;
They are the rhythmic beat of stone against stone
Yearly mending a hated wall;
They are the gentle pulsing of the sea’s great waves,
Charging along murderously in the belly.

And in these all, none speaks propriety to me,
So I ask, how could I know it?
Or if, perhaps, tomorrow, you are some lines of grammar,
The most loved semi-colon
Or an ellipsis that continues a thought…
Or the long strand of a dash
By which to complete the thoughts of the lonely poetess.
Or maybe there is a curve I haven’t yet seen,
Here by your ear, and there by your chin,
Or here, to furrow your deep brow.

So what is propriety
Compared to some such sacred line etched upon your face?

7 February 2008


It’s like that great Canon that moves me—
The way Scripture should move.
But, rather, it’s that death of missing you
And not those sacred wounds
That draw my eyes on up to the hills.
I wonder, do you rest your large, still eyes
On hills as I now do?
Or do you rest your arms, strong and warm and burnt
From the heat of many warm, red, carefree afternoons,
Upon the heavy mountains?
Has distance made you the Colossus
My thoughts create?
Has it made you a god-like apparition
Whose very words can make the mountains crumble and melt?
Or are you the psalm that echoes
In the valleys of such great mountains
To which I lift my large, still eyes?

6 February 2008