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Recognizing the Angel (2020)


available from the composer

duration ca. 9:00



soprano voice and alto flute

poem from Recognizing the Angel by Mary Ann Coleman

used with permission of the estate of Mary Ann Coleman

originally published by the Press of the Night Owl, Athens, GA

April: Recognizing the Angel


The sharpness I note in others

makes more sense than my own distances

                  --Charles Olson


As I read on the porch in April,

words slip from the page's corner:

a wedge of grackles.


Tumult of voices: cries that filter

through the wateroaks.

Feathers thrash and lengthen. Fuse.

Plate glass windows shudder

in a sudden wind.


Two great wings rise

as an angel bends

near my wrought-iron chair.


Dogwood blossoms

malingering near my shoulder,

a moving current of white tongues,

bridge the space

between my body, my distances

                                              and this spring.


Pollen yellows a neighbor's pickup

                             a haze

                                              a sunlit sheen.


Clouds gust overhead

while I sit in flying shadows,

the sun breaks through, intense

as the wild light in the dogwood's blossom

or the high music flowing from the angel

through the dark roadways of my blood.


I listen.            


                  --Mary Ann Coleman

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