…and the winners are Abigail Yanaway and Emily King!
Adult Winner Emily King’s poem:
The hours and days
That became the weeks and months
That became the conception of this being were held fast with idea and foresight, mission and dream.
Chorus Angelicus, newly born of composition, passion, and sound, was a marvel in her infancy. Immediately embraced for her pure heart and soulful beauty, her admiring kin, they, soon to become her beloveds, gathered about her delivering cradle to welcome her, knowing instinctively that what she would become would be like nothing before. Each and every one humbled and thrilled to be included in her promising growth and journey.
A precocious being, Chorus Angelicus, her babyhood fleeting, set forth surefooted and steady, newly cloaked in voices of the world. Harmony trailed her wherever she walked. She would prove to grow mighty in word and sound and her mirrored appreciation of those invested since her birth, would feed her with love and devotion, promising her an ardent life, long and well-lived.
Through Chorus Angelicus’ early years, her voices grew stronger and brighter with every passing season. Unlike other beings, she had not a solitary voice, she had not a simple, recognizable tone, but indeed carried the inflection and harmony of each and every exchange. Those that originally gathered about her cradle had grown in number, she had more admirers come forth to stand watch and sing and feed her and these admirers were soon, too, her beloveds. They came to lend voice and might to her life and her light.
Season upon season became year upon year and Chorus Angelicus grew. She passed her adolescent in a spell of glad labor. She had become a picture of outstretched, waving arms, a picture of muscled legs that held her securely as her great weight was swayed from one to the other and back in rhythm. There were moments that she would bend and lean as her voices gathered such strength she would appear fevered and there were moments she was stoically still and her voices held a single note unwavering. Her fingertips cast beams of ribboned light as her voices, alongside, carried song to darkened corners and stone-lined halls, to holy pews, lush grasses and polished floors. Chorus Angelicus grew. She grew a jovial, gentle, studied being, adored by her beloveds. Her voices continued to swell in strength and number. Celtic lullabies and German song, the refrains of English and Ukrainian composition and Israeli pieces clung to her outstretched arms like gossamer armor before their crescendo of fluttering hems fell like petals to the pleats of Central and South American sound below. Her hair was twisted and tucked in French and Norwegian sound, full-bodied and opulent. Beneath lids of Native American and African songs, her eyes, though knowing well the joyful celebration of her voices, wept desperately with songs of lost children. Her requiem voices gripped her heart like no other, never to fully release their grasp.
A quarter of a century since her birth, Chorus Angelicus, has BECOME. In the human realm she would be said to have reached adulthood. She would be said to have reached and surpassed milestones of growth and thought, of action and development. In the human realm she would likely begin to question her mortality as adults often do once they have passed a fleeting human childhood and an often grueling adolescence.
But Chorus Angelicus has BECOME by voices.
Born of voices.
Sustained by voices.
There will be no bothersome ‘life expectancy’ for her.
The beauty of her BECOMING, is that as long as she has her beloveds, as long as she has her voices, she will live.
Youth winner Abigail Yanaway’s poem:
My notes are a jumbled mess,
None of them in English.
Someday it might just take a linguist
To decipher what I’ve written.
On one page I’ve written ‘Nyet’
(So that I do not sing
When I turn the page)
And I see that word and know
That it is there declaring “No!”
On the next page, you mustn’t sing.
On another page in messy scrawl
I’ve written “Vit!” and so I know
To turn the page, and quickly too
There’s something that I have to do.
If I need to make it sweet “dulce” will appear
But if asked for anger I choose “Irata”
To remind me what to do
And when we’re asked to sing
On numbers yet again
To force myself to pay attention
I count the measures out in French
(Spanish has too many syllables,
And my German’s far too rusty)
But all these little habits of mine
Came from singing and writing and speaking
From songs I learned years ago
And words I fell in love with
On a crowded pew of others
Who loved just the way I did
The sounds, the words, the magic
The way Arabic feels on your tongue
Or the way Swedish sounds
And so as I fell in love with the music
I also fell for the words
And as I was surrounded by others
I watched them fall in love as well
And fell into loving that love of sound,
And further the following love of words,
And the love of the magic contained within
The lines and spaces and varying shapes
That mean more now than just notes.
So yet I came to love the people.
Perhaps not all.
Certainly not equally.
I never claimed to be a saint
(I am only an angel after all)
But to my friends,
Je vous aimez
To those I love,
Notes: on the words and pronunciations
Nyet- pronounced basically as it looks- No
Vit- again, as it looks- Quickly
Dulce- you know this one- Sweet
Irata- as spelled- angry
Je vous aimez- note that the ‘z’ is silent- I love you all
Ya’aburnee- Ya-ah-boor-nay- literally “You bury me” the expression that you wish to be outlived by a loved one so as to spare yourself the pain of living without them