A Petrarchan Sonnet

I don’t have any poetry tonight —
To see things truly seems a pain too great, 

For every shadow bears time’s dying weight,
And swiftly speeds the beauty in the light.

Her life once seemed to me a canvas white,
My father, though, saw lines pre-marked like fate
And warned her as we parted at the gate,
Yet I said nothing when she took her flight.

Time is a deep uncrossable, too steep
A pass for any traveller to mount.
But now, tonight and in this very room
I hear her children sleeping through the gloom
And know they too will go. Would one word count
That I could say – to guide, to help, to keep?

~ Watchful




Staraya Ladoga (Fantasy Overture)


Staraya Ladoga (Old Ladoga) is a town on Lake Ladoga in Russia along the old trade route of the Varangians (Scandinavians) that connected the Baltic with Constantinople.

I have posted before on The Telescope poetry inspired by old stories and various locales and now here is some music written to evoke that old river road across Russia.

I wrote this for string orchestra on Finale a couple of years ago.  The computer I wrote it on is down, but the midi is up on SoundCloud. The bass is a little too loud. I hope you hear boats rowing, rivers, and  lakes.

Here are some pictures related to the Varangians and that journey.

Guests from Overseas. Nicholas Roerich (1901) 
Through a Portage. Nicholas Roerich (1915)
Oleg Trizna_1899
Oleg being mourned by his warriors. Viktor Vasnetsov (1899) (Oleg of Novgorod’s burial mound is still to be seen by Lake Ladoga. )