The Vocal Competition

Valley United Church, 2:30 p.m, Recital Class, Contestant 1

Quivering lace-dripped lonely dove

vaulted from the five-wire cage

to soar in apostle-painted sun,

you lean with syllabic sincerity

as your blue eyes weep black-eyed grief.

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,

a long ways from home

Your unlined face mourns

three century old parting

Bist du bei mir

geh ich mit Freuden*

and virgin passion pleasures

nodding grey heads

Quella fiamma

che m’accende**

Gathered in your beating breast

the sainted air transfigures

in profound angelic pronouncements.

Ave Maria

gratia plena***

until the judge

grounds your flight

with pencil point

Damp-palmed you settle, restless,

on the uncompromising pew,

despising the grace

in contestants two and five and eight

Oh hungry sacrificial dove,

why sing for blood

when you can

sing for love?

*If you are with me I go with joy –J.S. Bach

**That flame which sets me on fire –Benedetto Marcello

***Hail Mary full of grace