Wordy Pursuits

I’m back, fresh(ish) from my annual writer’s retreat in Michigan! I’ve had to miss the past two due to performance conflicts, so this one was especially needful. The house wasn’t the most comfortable we’ve had, but it was bright and airy, only a few steps from this glorious stretch of beach.

MIchiganBeach

Despite walking to the beach for many lovely sunsets and moonrises amidst the fireflies, I escaped with only about ten mosquito bites, and I’m pleased to report that I’m still immune to poison ivy. W00t!

Happily, I managed to finish two writing projects during the week, though my poor old netbook wasn’t up to working on the huge file that is The Book Manuscript, so integrating formatter comments shall be my project for the rest of the month, when I’m not singing and/or attending Comic Con.

In exciting writing news, I had the pleasure of collaborating with singer/composer/arranger Colin Barkley on a commissioned work for professional chamber choir SACRA/PROFANA‘s 2017 Summer Choral Intensive, and our piece “Three Bridges and a Fence,” for which I wrote the lyrics, was premiered on Saturday at the SCI final concert. It was such a joy to hear words I’d written  delivered in song by such a dedicated and talented group of young singers!

Colin and I were asked to create a piece of music to fit the ninth season’s theme, which is “Building Bridges,” and the idea that we both liked the best was an autobiographical work based on bridges built over the creek in the woods behind the log cabin in which I grew up.  So without further ado, here it is:

Three Bridges and a Fence
By Libby Weber

Along a twisted barbwire fence
The old road ran in father’s father’s day,
But now the only evidence
Remaining is a wreck of brick and steel
Where children’s play made rusted culverts ring with mirth.

The road was swallowed up by trees,
As disuse preordained.
Though purpose fades in memories;
The barbwire fence remained.

Upriver from that broken bridge,
A footbridge father built was washed away.
That span connecting ridge to ridge
Was dashed to bits; diluvian ordeal
That spread its splinters where the saplings grow in girth.

That bridge was swallowed by a flood
And barbwire snapped in twain,
Though rotting plank feeds swelling bud,
The barbs will still remain.

And now my brother’s handiwork
Of golden lumber trusses, crossed today
On wanderings through shady murk
Now spurs its crossers’ fancies to reveal
What bridge will stand when barbwire fence dissolves in earth.

©2017

I really enjoyed that collaboration. Colin is a joy to work with, and I adore his music. Once The Book is out, I’m planning to be a bit more proactive about ensuring that composers of my acquaintance know that lyrics are a thing I am thrilled to write to order. As writing a sonnet every day for a year has taught me, I can write metered rhyme about pretty much anything.

And now, back to the humbling task of formatting.

Smooches to all,

Libby

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One response to “Wordy Pursuits

  1. A lovely piece of poetry. Although where I grew up, we called it “bobwire” 🙂 Of course we also had a river known as the “Picketwire” — its real name was French, “Purgatoire.” So I really shouldn’t talk…

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