Words made Song: another collaboration

Canadian composer Mari Alice Conrad’s latest piece, The Peculiar Dances of Shifting Minds, inspired in part by this poem of mine which honours my late mother. Also on the program, new works by composers Athena Loredo and Alice Ping Yee Ho; all performed by Vancouver’s Allegra Chamber Orchestra, under the leadership of Janna Sailor. Congratulations to all the composers and musicians.

Nocturne: Tiny Now

She is tiny now, my mother

and jokes in the morning, when

her teeth aren’t in, how she whistles

like a little bird. And i want to reach

back to the nights when

she brought the piglets in

laid them in the woodstove oven

so tiny, but she believed in them

and in that warm cradle, the spark

of life rekindled in them. How

do i cradle her? now

she is so tiny, softly

drawing nearer to

the Western Door.

This poem won’t do it.

This poem is for me

a piglet grown, with

my astonished snout

of discovery, how the power

that built a world for me still

reveals itself, blue

slight, soft, tiny.

This poem was originally posted here in 30/30 2017, and also appears in my 2018 book, For the Changing Moon: Poems & Songs (Thistledown Press).

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Elaine Elrod says:

    Dear Anna Marie, congratulations on this incredible collaboration. It is fitting that such a timeless poem has inspired such a timeless piece of music. I listened to the whole piece and thought it was beautiful.


    1. prairiepomes says:

      Thanks, Elaine. Working with Mari Alice has been great – later this summer, BaBel Choir of Toronto will premiere ‘Journey Song,’ my poetry set for SATB by Mari Alice.


      1. Elaine Elrod says:

        So exciting. Congratulations. We should have a “watch” party if there is a video.


  2. prairiepomes says:

    Fun idea, Elaine! I’d be up for that – but it’s short, so maybe we can put together a list of videos by a few of us, and make it a real shindig!


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