Pinwheel of Death

Piedmont Chamber Singers


SONGS

Writers William Bolcom

Genres Classical, Choral

Recorded 2008

Lyrics Poem by Kathryn Stripling Byer:

THEY HAD NO USE
FOR SUCH ROMANCE
AS CLINGS
LIKE THE STUBBORNEST IVY.
THOSE GYPSY-BLACK BOOTS
IN THE STIRRUPS,
THOSE GAY GOLDEN RINGS
LEFT BEHIND
ON A PILLOW,
WHAT GOOD TO THEM,
NURSING THEIR BABIES
AND WATCHING
THE GANGPLANKS
BEGINNING TO RISE
ON THE SHIPS NAMES PROPERITY,
RAINBOW,
GLORIOUS MEMORY?
HAVING NO SAY
IN THEIR JOURNEY,
THEY CAME HERE.
THEY STOOD
ON THE HIGH RIDGES,
LISTENING
INTO THE CEASELESS WIND
SOUNDING THE BEDROCK
OF WHAT LAY BEYOND THEM.
AT NIGHTFALL
THEY PULLED SHUT THE DOORS
OF THEIR CABINS
AND BLEW OUT THEIR LANTERNS.
THEY WAITED.
WHAT ELSE COULD THEY DO?

BUT WHEN THEY SANG
THEIR SOLITUDE
INTO THOSE OLD SONGS
OF LOVE AND BETRAYAL,
EACH VERSE
MUST HAVE CALLED
LIKE A PATH TO THEM,
BRAVING THE LAUREL HELLS,
ROCKSLIDES
AND BOTTOMLESS CHASMS.
HOW ELSE JOURNEY
INTO THOSE DISTANCES
WHERE THEY HEARD
NIGHT AFTER NIGHT
IN THE NEW WORLD
THE DARK ITSELF
HOWL LIKE A WOMAN
CAST INTO THE WILDERNESS?
ONE BY ONE,
I SEE THEM
OPEN THEIR MOUTHS.
HERE I AM,
THEY SING,
HAVING BECOME
THEIR OWN VOICES.
 

WRITERS