Return of the Moon
Return of the Moon
In that place, far off, where //Kabbo once lived,
the sorcerers, dancing, would fall into a trance.
Wanting us to believe they were no longer men,
our sorcerers would turn themselves into birds
and we really believed that they were those birds
In //Kabbo’s place, far off, and still farther,
it happened if a sorcerer wanted to kill us
he would change himself, evilly, into a jackal.
To us, there, our magicians really were jackals.
We lived there, where a man could really be this.
We lived, then, in a world of men become birds.
Moon now risen, returning new,
Take my face, this life, with you,
Give me back the young face, yours,
The living face, new-made, rising:
O Moon, give me the face
with which you, having died, return.
Moon, forever lost to me, and never lost, returning
Give me the face, O Moon, which you, having died, make new.
Moon, when new, you tell us that that which dies, returns;
Your face returning says to me that my face, dead, shall live.
O Moon, give me the face which you, your death makes new,
The hare is like a mist, like !Kho, like !Kho
A blue mist, resembling smoke,
Our mothers used to say
When a mirage appears at daybreak
just before sunrise
they say it is the hare,
the mirage in it that keeps the sun in mist
that cloaks the sun in smoke that weakens the sun’s eye
and does not let it rise
and brings much ill-ness to us.
It is the hare that does it
a hare like mist, the mirage in it the !kho of it.
It is they say a smoke resembling mist
blue mist, like smoke that does it.
While we were sleeping. /Kaunu would sit
He struck at his bow-string, cloud coming out.
He plucked out a rhythm that summoned the cloud
And we woke in the cloud, the sun shut out.
We would hear a far twanging, coming from cloud
We would wake to find we were sleeping in cloud
And a rain would begin, lasting into the sunset;
The rain would pour down through the two sunsets.
While we were sleeping, /Kaunu sat there, awake.
He made the rain fall by striking the bowstring.
And we woke in the clouds, a sound in the clouds,
Cloud pouring out of the sound of a bowstring.
Song of the Broken String
Because of a people, because of others, other people who came
Breaking the string for me,
The earth is not earth, this place is place now changed for me.
Because the string is that which has broken for me,
This earth is no longer the earth to me,
This place seems no longer a place to me.
Because the string is broken, the country feels as if it lay
Empty before me,
Our country seems as if it lay
Both empty before me, and dead before me.
Because of this string, because of a people breaking the string,
This earth, my place, is the place of something –
A thing broken – that does not stop sounding, breaking within me.
commission: Evelyn Glennie and the King Singers (note: words for Watson)
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Works for Percussion by this Composer
A Sense of Place - Marimba, Cello
Ambient Resonances (Echoes of Time and Place) - Percussion Duo
Concerto for Marimba (Klatzow) - Marimba, Orchestra
Dances of Earth and Fire - Marimba
Double Concerto (Klatzow) - Marimba, Flute, Orchestra
Figures in a Landscape - Marimba, Flute
Inyanga - Marimba
Lightscapes - Marimba; Chamber Ensemble
Night Music, with Illuminations - Marimba, Flute
Return of the Moon - Marimba, Male Vocal Ensemble
Six Concert Etudes for Marimba - Marimba
Sonata for Solo Marimba - Marimba
Variations on THE theme of Paganini, for 2 marimbas - Percussion Duo
Words by Watson - Marimba, Male Vocal Ensemble