prayer in haiku

my love for you God
it is the love of silence
I breathe and you say

summer couplet

I am lashed to the mast of a galley called Time
on a slow summer cruise that got way out of line

Salt Lake City, Golden Hour

Salt Lake City, golden hour
windows closing cut the shower
shining past the control tower
smacks against the plane

rejected light forms rivers, pooling
right beneath the engines, cooling
should be warmer, what’s this fooling?
the flight alights in vain

mercy dark, climbing higher
pilot’s got the holy fire
blind but he’s a frequent flier
seeking light left lame

im abendrot

In orchestra recently we have been working on Strauss’ Four Last Songs, for soprano and orchestra. The words sung by the soprano are poems. Herman Hesse, a German-Swiss poet who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1946, supplied the first three. The final song, “Im Abendrot” is a poem from an earlier German romantic writer named Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff (1788-1857). While all of the songs have a grandeur to them, “Im Abendrot” in particular draws my imagination out to explore.

I don’t speak or understand German, so my initial impression of the song was based purely on the melody of the soprano line and the orchestral accompaniment. Actually, my initial impression came from our orchestra’s first rehearsal of the song, without the soprano at all. After several weeks of playing it in orchestra, “Im Abendrot” had furrowed into my brain. I finally looked it up on Youtube to find recordings of it by many sopranos, including Renee Fleming, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Jessye Norman. After listening to a couple of recordings I looked up the lyrics.

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#29 (with you)

bend oh bend my child
hear my will and bow
beneath the clouds of Seattle
for I am with you now

remember who I made you
remember your birth mark
the stamp of love I gave you
the flick’ring crimson spark

find rest in me my child
I’ll hold you in the night
beneath the clouds of Seattle
and watch your dreams alight