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- Carl Sandburg -

"Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance."

Featured Poem

Here is an excerpt from ONE SMALL STEP, an oratorio I wrote for composer Stephen Sturk and the singers of the Escondido Choral Arts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. In this multi-movement work I tell the story of mankind's long fascination with the moon, JFK's challenge to get us there by the end of the 1960s, our struggles along the way, the exciting liftoff, and glorious landing on the surface of the moon.


Interspersed within these milestone movements are the moon herself calling us to visit, a children's nursery rhyme about the Man in the Moon, and text drawn from the flight logs, tech manuals and radio communications between Houston Ground Control and the astronauts. Here are the opening lines of the oratorio. 


In the vast unfolding
Of space and time,
Mankind is but a moment.

In the endless journeying
Of innumerable stars,
The entire journey of all mankind
Is but one small step.

And yet, and yet,

From skin and stone
To sailing ship
Was only one small step;

From spinning wheel
To silicon chip
Was only one small step.

And yet, and yet,

We could only step so far...

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