Precious Nothing: III. Across The Oceans

I wrote lyrics for composer Kirsten Volness' "Across The Oceans," a song from her nature- and humanity-inspired cycle, Precious Nothing (for mezzo-soprano, mixed octet, and electronics). It was commissioned and performed by Hotel Elefant and received its world premiere at Roulette in Brooklyn, NY, September 23, 2013

"Beyond the beauty, range, and affect of the music, I was happy to be reminded of Cawein’s poetry and to discover Adara Meyers’ finely crafted and absorbing poem."
—Michael Miller, New York Arts



What is it to give a name?
We, and who, and I once knew her
Once over many times
Does this just one time

Rather not think
The sky grants peace
A hushed sound I only dream
Somebody, please, shake the fog for me.

One fossil rests small
in the palm of my hand
I recognize its shape in moons out of reach
Tectonic dreams
The myth of memory

Thank you, dependable
star, mist, gravity
Helium core, release and shine
but you’ll drift away

Granted only a moment

We stop soft and cast a glance
emerald vines behind the wall
we rest,
we wait.

We’ll run shallow streams
cool ankle deep
All told—a smile
An infinite number
Splashing the sun across the oceans