Counterpane, 2011

Counterpane, 2011

‘Ere each day fare
with tangled hair
she stood above her village fair
and it was her land-Counterpane
in towers, blocks, and figurines
across the floor was scattered more
plastic men-their children wore
Queen Lily’s royal robes
they fell- her tresses, silk the folds
like clouds they swelled, the billowed, rolled
hills of glass and velvet grass
Her plastic figures silent passed.

Lego castles, puppet kings-
origami fish in streams
the land of Counterpane-her dream
Where she was loved-where she was queen
There hung porcelain ballerinas
Puppets-their spine a string
paper shapes of boys and girls
birds that could not sing

Each house, the homes, on different roads
a lightbulb sun above them glowed
Her city stretched across the room
flanked by flowers, full in bloom
each street had its own unique name
desolation drive and memory lane
at the end of the road, so read a post
the outside fringe of counterpane
a portrait of her dead father hangs
in each home, each father gone
a mother with the children lone
the only life she’d ever known

Lily put out the lights each night
star stickers on the ceiling bright
the horses on green carpets plain
were taken to the barn, they laid
over which hung a model plane
in the dream world Counterpane
where plush horses roamed the carpet plain

Her blind rooster crowed at dawn
a digital clock croaked monotone
she took her origami dolls
down paper boulevards
houses that she made of wood,
the tracks-
a car rolled up, she sent it back
in Counterpane, the sun was but
a high wattage coiled light bulb
that hovered above, balloons
over what was Lily’s zoo
lions, tigers, caribou.

An electric train weaved in and out
back alleys, highways, all about
around the town, their daily routes
intersecting broken homes
some got off, some more placed on
and sang the train an electric song
some went to work, some went home
above them all the queen looked on
a stray lost in the rain
she couldn’t find her way back home

She wandered through the night alone
longing for some far off dawn
humming still her father’s song
the one he sang in church
Whistling as birds on a perch
She took her dinner on the porch
As the wind picked up with force
She slipped into a calm day dream

Piece by piece, year by year
she lost her lovely village dear
How hard it is, how it must be
To be in love with a memory
And all those birds, to beauty bring

Lily only longed to sing
oh-it would be a wondrous thing
she spelled hope, her fears, those dreams
And she grew up, her story told
how cold–
to lose your loved ones young and old
and her village, Counterpane
had turned into dusty plains
so much, now vacant- gone
until there were three roads,
just three streets lone:
Desolation lonely drive-
where guardian angels go to die
and miracle mile where children smiled.

Those plastic stars above shone bright
when the light bulb sun blinked off
no light
and in those fevered dreams it seemed
she wore such fancy diamond rings
the mic in hand, about to sing
yet no words came to mind

Lily-she-in her fantasy
sat on a vacant stage and cried
again she tried to sing but no words came
the audience booed, and chased her off stage
where once was a flame went out
she tried to scream and had no mouth
in that darkest hour, though bitter she had found
she had nothing left to sing about

That same old song was lost, and lo-
She had no place to go, no home
Autistic-letters in her pocket-

A though Z, Queen Lily-Got it,
such love imaginary–
she gave the blocks to her mother Mary.
I love you, she wrote on the board.
I love you, too, she said, Amore.
she patted Lily on the head
Her mothers mouth was stained and smiling
though in her eyes-she sighed, she cried

If only she was capable,
to speak, no blocks instead
to sing the sweet songs in her head
like all sweet voices which she heard
not just television static-
a hopeless feeling for a girl
to fold her hands to pray, unheard
she was a silent ballerina
who jumped and whirled, she twirled
until stopped the hand
she bowed before quiet clapping hands

On Hera’s necklace, our blue world
covered in newspapers and words
have we amongst all of the worlds
yielded tender green, and herbs
is mother earth herself in search
for meaning-a lost stray too
our world another ballerina
lost and wandering too
another lone star shooting by
with Lily’s head turned to the sky

Such a strange blue marble here
on which we all are trapped
coming together with a silent storm, a pearl
in the hydrogen, and wastes of space
another ballerina lost,
unconscious turning-leaving puffs of clouds behind
a crystal ball of gathered snow
under which we come and go
quiet shadows in a row

Time went by
and year by year
Pieces of her city disappeared
another family gone so dear
from her throne she looked with tears
all that beauty, make believe-
how hard it is, how it must be
to be in love with a memory

Now an old lady, lonely, old
the tree of memory where once
she hung he
that portrait of some stranger hangs
and when it went but three remained
three dead end roads of Counterpane
Desolation drive and miracle mile
and the worn out road of memory lane
how hard it is, deaths fingers cold
miracle mile where children smiled
they laughed, they sing, and they grow old

Where the portrait of the stranger hangs
in the ghost town Counterpane
each day that passed her by turned gray
and she spoke through her blocks
to her children by the bed to say
I’ll see you in Counterpane.


Published by

Brandon K. Nobles

Brandon is an author, poet and head writer for Sir Swag on YouTube. With 630k subscribers. Since February 2021 he has written for the most important and popular series, News Without the Bulls%!t and the least popular work on the channel, History Abridged. Brandon joined the channel in late January, since then his work has been featured every month in News and History. His novels and works of fiction have also been well received, and he continues to be a proficient and professional chess player. In his spare time he like to catch up on work.

One thought on “Counterpane, 2011”

  1. And you were worried about “losing your touch?” I consider this poem a masterpiece. I almost feel nostalgic reading it and recalling my own methods of escape from this world as a child, whether it was reading a book or becoming lost in a creation of my own mind. This poem is easily universally applicable… the microcosm and the macrocosm.

    Counterpane deserves to be placed among what I consider your best poems, “The Glass Umbrella,” “Willow,” etc.


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