This beautiful diatonic miniature was commissioned by Ethan Sperry and the Portland State Chamber Choir, the text is by Paulann Petersen, the Poet Laureate of the state of Oregon. The more I hear it the more it grows on me. Enjoy :-)
Ēriks Ešenvalds (b1977): The heavens’ flock
Stars, you are the heavens’ flock,
tangling your pale wool across
the night sky, bits of oily fleece
catching on barbs of darkness to swirl
in black wind. You appear, disappear
by thousands, scattered wide to graze
but never straying. While I—a mere
shepherd of these words—am lost.
What can I do but build a small blaze,
[and] feed it with branches the trees let fall—
that twiggy clatter strewn along the ground.
[And] Lichen crusting such dead limbs
glows silver, white. [The] Earth-food for a fire
so unlike and like your own.
Paulann Petersen (b1942): ‘Be here when I can see you, when I cannot’
- Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, conducted by Stephen Layton