"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
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
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'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.
Points off for "fain", of course. Lots of well-sliding phrases in there, though: "spear the sky", "the clouds of evening close", "rest in last repose", "long-loved lands". Part of the chorus of the internal dialogue.
The mountain looms above the plain
I used to take hikes, or long walks, up into the various hills, and like everyone else I was frequently inspired.
I read this one in church once; it was a Unitarian church, so it was OK. It's called "A Polemic Against Religion".
A simple little choice to make
Reading it as text, you've probably already noticed the gimmick (how many normal poems have twenty-six lines, after all?). But hearing me read it, the audience didn't twig until I told them after the first reading, and then of course I got to read it again. I had quite an ego! In those days.
I walk in the rain
More adolescent angst there. It's funny how so many of the lyrics by which I still define myself are ten, twenty-five years old, and brimming with the pain and fear of self-becoming. Or, I suppose, it's perfectly natural.
I wrote that one ("I walk in the rain...") in my head during that same church poetry-reading, and I recited it when it was my turn. Ego again: I had the pleasure of telling one or two people (I remember telling my Dad specifically) that I had just written it on the spur of the moment, and wasn't reading it out of my notebook as I'd pretended to be. I hope I'm as good at smiling and praising my own kids' acts of blatant self-promotion as my Dad was (is!) with mine.
More lyrics later, perhaps.