(to Eric Whitacre’s Cloudburst)
A young man’s choral
and symphonic works fill
the early hours before light comes
loud over the hill.
No ordinary music, this
as it palpitates the nerve endings,
spine, heart, for signs of life.
It is filled with longing.
Gradually, the tree at my window
fills with birds
of every sort, even those who do not
get on together, the territorial
pairs and their agitated cousins.
How to explain that, and to whom?
Who would listen to birds
who would not listen to bees,
or glacial sheering into the sea
or dolphins, baleen whales, drought, winds
heat and barrenness, terra de-forma.
My companions are deaf.
Acts of war distract us,
while we continue to feed the giant
machines that serve us and eat us
in the same ghastly breath.
(I don’t know Mr. Whitacre, or very much about his music, except the few pieces I have listened to, which I have a feeling are inadequate to fully appreciate him. I am greatly moved. That said, the birds happened and this poem happened, and trust he will not be offended, if reading. You may learn about him and listen to his work here, and I found he also has a blog, here, about his process.)