Proper Lyrics

"Proper" in the sense of "property", or the French amour-propre, self-esteem.

As an only child, a bookworm, a bit of a nerd, or just as me, I have a relatively rich inner mythology, iconography. Some of it is canonicalized into verses, poems or lyrics, that have run through my head for years, bridging my young or adolescent self to my now-self.

These lyrics are memorized, or just floating somewhere in my mind, or written down in the various scattered and sometimes lost notebooks that make up the paper trail of my inner architecture. I figured I'd put some of them up here, to embody them in one more place, to let you read them, and to impose more of my inner universe on the apparently-outer world.

I make no claim that this is especially good poetry, mind you...

The empty hills and the cool brown earth
  have their own slow poetry
Written on the wind
  one stanza every thousand years.

One stanza every thousand years
  of light, and fog,
  and rain in the trees.

One stanza every thousand years
  of night, and water,
  and the hardness of rock.

There are other versions of that in my mind; in some, it's "the empty hills and the winter-bare trees". There is of course something impressively eternal about the spareness of winter, the hardness of rock.

When the snows of winter falling
Gently whisper in the night,
I can hear the world calling
I can feel the snowbird's flight.

There's a whisper in the air,
There's a call that I must heed:
To turn my footsteps outward,
And to follow winter's seed
(Winter's seed).

There's a few-note tune that goes along with that one. I wrote it, or I first discovered it, in my restless adolescence, poking around in a parking-lot where the snow had turned hard and crunchy and dirty, and I was enjoying the drama of my Self. The youth shows in the words, of course; but that's OK.

I come from a land of climbing spires
  that, empty, spear the sky.
I come from a land of haunted mires
  where winds like maidens sigh
And the sinking sun casts a blood-red light
  as the clouds of evening close,
And the shrinking town dream of ancient might
  as they rest in last repose.

For my world is old, and its rivers slide
  slow to the weary sea,
And the sky is gold over ancient hills
  that beckon still to me.

That's the more-or-less stable part; there are another couple of stanzas in which the singer complains about how this here world isn't like that. The words have never quite settled down in my mind, but here's one of the possible states:

I have travelled far, and I've seen your world.
  I've seen what you call home.
And I fain would go back to my long-loved lands