In the cool, in the fox-tail light,
Stars still dimming,
There, and there,
We slide, legs naked, brushing, from the down and satin bags
And dress, cool as the air, fresh as the light.
Fasting, then we step along the creaking wooden path, gray,
Lean as bone beneath our sandaled feet,
Into the rising ghosts of mist, which drift and swirl,
Above the fishy flowing spring.
The sunlight grazes, hot into the canyon, flashes
On the ochre grass and burning green, vermillion,
Cobalt, through the standing brush and watercress.
Tight, and tighter close we hold and as
The priest lifts up the sacred cup, I lift
The fire of our gaze, still and just,
Lights brighter than the rising sun
And our embrace is cooler than the silent fish
Beneath our feet.
We kiss, unite,
The sky explodes
And we have caused the dawn.
– John H. Richards
It is rare that a composer has the opportunity to discuss a vocal work in such depth with the text’s author. In this case, the poet is my own father, and with his express permission, this work for SATB choir is based on an excerpt from the poem above, namely the last seven lines.
This piece was premiered by the Sospiro Vocal Ensemble in November 2009.