Unpublished & Unset
These are texts I wrote for various composers or just for myself that, for whatever reason, were never set to music. All of these poems appear in my anthology, A Silver Thread.
IX SIMPLE PRAYERS (2002)
Nine very simple prayers all following the same format: "For X, Y, and Z, We thank you, God. Amen." Subjects include the small and the immense, from children and love to the stars and galaxies.
ADVENI, SAPIENTIA (2011)
This is an original Latin poem I wrote as an inspiration text for what eventually became Eric Whitacre's "Chelsea Carol." I wanted to evoke Advent, but not necessarily in the Christian sense. There were deep religions before Christianity, of course! However, the first and last stanzas can be interpreted to await the coming of the Christ child.
THE CANTICLE OF JOSEPH (2008)
A Christmas song from the perspective of the enigmatic Joseph. What must have been his thoughts during the Nativity story? How did he process those wondrous events so familiar to us? Here is an excerpt:
And so the time has come
To be a father once again.
But what kind of father can I be
To this Son, who is not my son?
What can I teach Him who has come to Teach?
O Immanuel, God With Us!
I can only show the wooden way,
The way of flesh and blood.
He will learn to mill and carve and plane and sand,
To fit the mortise with the tenon,
To brace with cross and nail.
O Beginning, and O End!
IN THE NAME OF GOD (2001)
Invoking the many names of God from a variety of faith traditions.
INVESTITURE OF SIR ADAM (2003)
My imagining of a ceremonial exhortation to a newly vested knight from his Lord.
The hummingbird is the inspiration for this poem about love found again after a time of loneliness.
LIFT OUR LAMPS (2018)
A patriotic anthem based on the tune for the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
THE NOVICE (2011)
Along with ADVENI, SAPIENTIA above, this poem was the original English poem I used along the way to creating "The Chelsea Carol" for Eric Whitacre.
OUR NAME IS PRIDE (2018)
A pride anthem, gospel-style; although it's appropriate for any social-justice theme.
PARIS EN AVRIL (2002)
A typical torch-song, like what might be sung by Edith Piaf.
PEREGRINUS, PEREGRINOR (2017)
A Latin text about a wanderer, and the wisdom gained from the journey.
STORGE, PHILIA, EROS, AGAPE (2017)
The four types of love according to ancient Greek philosophy are given a modern flavor in this poem.
'TIS SEVEN DAYS (2008)
A sonnet that imagines the lament of a scribe or poet that the object of his affection has gone away. With her husband. It's complicated...
UNDER THE SUGAR MOON (2018)
A love poem which takes the lovers through the cycle of all the full moons throughout the year.
THE WATCHES OF THE NIGHT (2018)
A companion poem to SLEEP, this one is from my perspective here, in my fifties. You know, when you wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for a poem, and you simply have to get out of bed and write it down before it disappears? Yeah, I hate when that happens!
VOX AURUMQUE (2012) for Eric Whitacre
Originally conceived as the third in a series (along with Lux Aurumque and Nox Aurumque) this text fills in the story of the angels who sing in peace and in war.
WHEN GENTLE BREEZES BLOW (2008)
A sonnet about the nature of the wind.