Songs of Light and Dark

After hearing Human Voices perform unaccompanied at Halesworth on December 13th 2009, I wrote this poem and sent a copy of it to the lead singer Helen Chadwick, who was pleased enough to circulate it to the rest of the Voices. 

It was started as a murmur
a memory rising from the cave dark.
Welele, Welele, Welele
the ululation progressed, so did the singers
passing through the listeners
weaving them into place, locked
in a racial weft of half forgotten fear.
A need to placate the unknown grew,
welling from unglimpsed depths
came reminders of impermanence
stripping suppression’s civilised  mask.
Each listener gripped by the circle of sound,
struggling for emotional control, shaken
at the stir of the animal within.
Welele, Welele, Welele.

In the interval, in the well lit foyer,
speech was not readily regained.

This poem was recently shown on Charles Christian’s excellent webzine Ink Sweat and Tears, click on the link to visit it.

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