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Boston is my hometown, in my homeland, and in my world, in the world we share with so many, whether at the time of the Boston Marathon, or any other day of the year.  If you have been affected by the bombing on April 15, 2013 at the Marathon and you need some healing, may this song help you. The Soundcloud link is below if you wish to listen.

5/15/13 I felt the need to add a third verse and change the chorus. I’ve given much thought to the fact that we need stronger networks that provide support for those in need, whether for those who become victims OR for those who become perpetrators–in other words, we need the networks to prevent the explosions. And this holds true whether it’s those who commit mass mayhem or those who are killing the disenfranchised one by one in our inner city. All of us need to be listened to, to be heard, to have a voice, to have someone notice us when we are down or downtrodden.

So, I have changed the chorus as well…I need to re-record this with the new verse and chorus. Will have to wait for a bit…hopefully within the next few days! In solidarity,

7/2/13

Went to a songwriters’ group in early June and after some good comments, I’ve made some more changes–still haven’t made a new recording

7/23/13

I’ve added an intro to the song. And I finally got to do a new recording.

This is my hometown…It’s the world’s hometown

On April fifteen of twenty-thirteen
Two blasts occurred in Boston.
Some people died and many were maimed
And we asked who’s to blame, in Boston.

And we were so mad and we felt so sad
Trapped in our homes in Boston.
And I sat down to write this song
To say what I feel in Boston…

This is my home town.
This is your home town.
And we’re all in this together.
This is our home town.
It’s the world’s home town.
And we’re all in this as one.

I can’t believe you’ve done this,
I can’t believe it at all.
There is no real good reason
To make this kind of call.
And all I’ll want to ask you,
If ever (I get the time.) YOU GET TO HEAR
Is why, why, why, and why?
(When there’s no reason or rhyme) .
YOU WANTED TO CAUSE US SUCH FEAR
For…

I can believe we’ll get through this,
Yes, I can believe that for sure.
For there’s lots and lots of reasons
And we’ll help each other endure.
And we’ll ask a lot of each other,
And we’ll all try to find a way.
For we know why, why, why, and why,
And plenty of folks that can say…

I wanna believe we give a damn
I wanna know we care from the heart
But there’s been too many seasons
The WORLD’s been torn apart.
We need to learn to listen
to SOULS WHOSE NETS are frayed.
We must ask why, why, why, why,
Not all of us feel they can say…

This is my hometown.
This is your hometown.
And we’re all in this together
This is our hometown.
It’s the world’s hometown.
And we’re all in this as one.

https://soundcloud.com/janhapharp/this-is-my-hometown-preamble

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Forgiveness

An effort at such, anyway…two years after Betrayal.

Forgiveness

Trying, trying, trying
to forgive,
to keep my heart open.

I don’t know where, what, who you really are.

I cannot forget what you did.
But, I do not think of it every day or most days.

I admit that you are a human being.
And I know that
all humans need love,
all humans need forgiveness from and for.

I cannot give you love,
but I know that you should have it.

I forgive the frailty that is the feeble body.
I forgive the weakness that is the wounded mind.
I forgive the sickness that is the shattered soul.

But these I will always know:
some did not reach out to question or console;
some followed when they could have led;
some were afraid to ask.

The worst were simply evil in the guise of benevolent power.
Narcissus has nothing on you.

Most importantly, I forgive myself.

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Last song I wrote in 2012.  Freshly recorded in 2013.  Written for my husband, but the inspiration was a pop song by a boy band.  Here’s the text and below is the SoundCloud link:

Oh Daddy, You Are My Rock!

Oh daddy, Oh daddy, Oh daddy
You are, you are, you are, you are my rock.

Your kiss is sweetest wine That makes me feel divine
Your skin is softest fur That makes me gently purr
Your love’s the rarest pearl That rightly rocks my world
You are, you are, you are, you are my rock!

Your touch is cooling river That makes my soul to shiver
Your arms are soft embrace That makes my heart to race
Your eyes are deepest thought That makes my passion hot
You are, you are, you are, you are my rock!

Talking, sighing, kissing, twining, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh.

We love, we kiss, we talk You are my gentle rock
I love your honey voice I had no other choice
Because you bear me whole For you I bare my soul
You are, you are, you are, you are my rock.

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Pretty Voice Blues

This one is dedicated to my dad, Paul Frelich, who passed away last Sunday…this was one of the last verses I read to him.   Inspired by two men, one a friend who said I need to sing like the experienced woman that I am.  And the other was a choir director who wanted me to sound like an English choir boy. Oh jeez…

Pretty Voice Blues

Pretty voice blues got me singing this song.
Up high and not low seems the sound may be wrong.

Man done told me my voice is too nice;
You gotta salt that sugar with some heat and spice.

Another man told me to keep the tone straight,
But a boy soprano ain’t been my fate. 

Trained tone blahs got me singin’ this ditty.
Can you sing the blues if your voice is too pretty?

Well,  I’m a strong, grown woman and I’ve paid my dues,
Yet I got me a pretty voice singin’ the blues;
Yes, I got me a pretty voice singin’ the blues!

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My Celtic ensemble has a favorite waltz entitled “I’ll make my love a breast of glass”.    The tune is quite pretty, but came with no words.  We found a discussion online of some traditional lyrics, which have a theme of giving your true love a glass breast within which the lover can see your heart beating truly “for you”.  I decided to write my own lyrics though, using that basic concept but including my idea about a “magic bird”.  This one is dedicated to my husband, who once had dark hair.

I’m reposting with an additional 2nd verse.  9/14/12 — reposting again with a final verse.

I’ll make my love a breast of glass

I’ll make my love a breast of glass
Mirrored in which will be my heart.
This heart will ring like mellow brass
To soothe my love when we’re apart.

“Take care, my love, with your strong hand
So not to break that fragile breast
For if it cracks you’ll crush my heart
And I shall shatter with no rest.”

I’ll send my love a magic bird
Whose song will sound my tender thought.
Her wings will quiver a soft caress
In his strong hand when her he’s caught.

There in her beak be my golden braid
And twined within my soul, my voice.
My words will be a melody:
A pledge of love to him, my choice.

She’ll give my love my shining hair
He’ll twine therein his own true soul
With his dark locks among the light
And make of two a single whole.

“Now you, my love, have placed your heart
Inside that breast along with mine;
And like two flowers in a garden
They grow together side by side.”

HeartSoulVoice ensemble performing this in February 2017

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The anthem I sang at the July service was this song that I wrote just two days before.  I have decided this is my reason for being.  “Heart, Soul, Voice” is also the name of my Celtic ensemble (but in Irish), “Chroi Anam Guth”.

Heart, Soul, Voice

Heart is a deepest feeling
That I cannot deny.
Heart is a driving passion
That I cannot defy.

Soul is a quelling empathy
When others can’t say why.
Soul is a soothing sympathy
When others need to cry.

Chorus:
Voice is the joyful sound
My heart needs to not break.
Voice is the willful path
My soul needs most to take.

I have seen your beauty
my heart must sing its song.
I have felt your anguish
my soul must then be strong.

Let my voice encircle you
and hold you all around.
Let my voice so strengthen you
to stay the road you’ve found.

Chorus

My heart, my soul, my voice
Bear you on a wing.
My heart, my soul, my voice
Lift you while I sing.

My Heart, my Soul, my Voice
Are my feet upon the ground.
My Heart, my Soul, my Voice
Break chains with just a sound.

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I have not written in a while. I have been busy taking pre-requisite classes in Human Development and psychology before entering graduate school for Music Therapy/Mental Health Counseling this fall, and in between classes, trying to get to the beach, and…I have been busy writing a lot of songs, compositions, and poetry.  I recently led the service (doing all the music, singing, harping, and keyboarding, and reading the sermon) for my UU Church’s summer service on July 1st.  My daughter helped me by doing some of the readings and singing harmony with me.  Here is the sermon I presented.  I’ve been writing and re-writing this essay for almost twenty years.  And it’s still a work-in-progress.

The Church Soloist

Call me The Ringer.  Call me The Singer who Keeps the Sopranos on Key.  Call me the one who reminds the choir director that medieval pieces notated in 3 are really in 1.  But none of these are my job title at my UU church.  I am “Soloist”.  And almost every Sunday you can hear me sing.

If you had told me as a child that I would some day sing professionally in church, I would not have believed you.  As the offspring of a lapsed-Jew cum humanist-atheist mother and an ex-Catholic father, I attended church only sporadically while growing up.  I had always thought I’d debut at Carnegie Hall singing an aria or playing a Mozart piano sonata.  Or that I’d write celebrated pop songs or be the next Joan Baez.  During junior year in college, when I discovered I enjoyed accompanying others, I decided I’d become a professional at it, but the stress of playing for all the vocal exams as my exam that spring turned me away from that plan for further study.  I stopped playing piano for a whole year and several years later I earned a degree in medieval and renaissance music, concentrating in voice and taking up small harps.  Today, while I do write songs and instrumental pieces, I am not a classical diva like my college idol Elly Ameling, nor (yet) a famous singer-songwriter like Joni Mitchell.  Nor am I a concert pianist like Russell Sherman, who has recorded all of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, although I hope at some time to give a concert in which I play all my favorite childhood piano pieces and some newly learned pieces.  And while I’d love the celebrity or even notoriety of singing the “Star Spangled Banner” at a New England Revolution soccer game, I am, in reality, an anti-diva, for I am “The Church Soloist”.

A good church singer must be able to tolerate the whims and idiosyncrasies of the choir director.  As a penny-poor graduate student, I honed my church-singing skills in the paid choir of an Episcopal church in upstate New York, under the direction of the crotchety organist who’d been directing there for 40 years.    While apprenticing, I learned that great organists, all too commonly, make only mediocre choir directors, for they almost always conduct the tempos of medieval or renaissance music as lugubriously as a funeral dirge and consequently the singers must sing each phrase on two breaths instead of one and run out of breath by the end of the first page of music and nearly hyperventilate by the end of the piece.

While I may not yet have given my Carnegie Hall debut, I have performed in about 1100 Sunday services since 1984 as the soloist for my church, where I am lucky to choose freely the style, repertoire, and genre of music I sing.  My job title is simply Soloist, but I, along with the organist and the choir, musically minister to an appreciative congregation.  Such musical work has not made me rich, even though I receive a salary for it, but I have received a wealth of thanks from congregants who tell me that “the song today was just what I needed to hear.”   I do not take such rewards lightly, for they nourish my own spirit.

When I choose a solo, I try to match the music to the sermon topic or to the season of the church year.  The right piece of music for the time or the topic helps make the service a whole.  Another part of the whole includes a prescribed litany, a “call and response” between the minister and me; I sing this every week to begin the prayer section of the service.  Many congregants over the years have stated that this litany helps their minds quiet worries and their spirits to offer prayers.  To close the prayer, I chant a “Sanctus” (“Holy, holy, holy”), a short piece that wakes us up enough both to respond in kind to the minister’s “Good Morning!” and to pay attention during the ho-hum of announcements.  To complete the ritual at the close of the service, I used to sing the final Amen, although in the last few years we have moved to the closing sung by all.  But, I will add a harmony to that piece as my little “extra” spice.

* * *

“O fire of the helping spirit, life of the life of all creatures,
You are holy in giving life to all forms.
You are holy in anointing those dangerously shattered;
You are holy in wiping the fetid wound…”

–from O ignis spiritus, St. Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)

At the beginning of February, the holiday of Candlemas celebrates the light of the church’s candles as a symbol of Christ’s teachings, even as it harkens back to pagan rites of mid-winter and reminds us that we have only six more weeks until spring.  Candlemas 2004, I chose to sing St. Hildegard von Bingen’s O ignis spiritus, a chant written about the fiery yet comforting spirit of God that gives light and life to all.

Unlike most Gregorian chants, which often have simpler melodies and a narrow vocal range, Hildegard’s solo chant melodies are often virtuosic and complicated in melody.  Throughout her body of musical works, her poetic texts contain a spiritual vocabulary that is visionary, luminous, and rich in multi-layered connotations.  The music for this particular piece does begin within a narrow range of notes, but soon expands with the text to melodic heights and depths that punctuate the meaning of the words:  in verse four, altissimus (“the highest”) climbs to a high a, in the highest part of my soprano register; then, just after, on abyssis (“the abyss”) the melody falls into the lowest notes of the piece.  Like much solo chant, one word or part of a word may be spread over several notes (in musical terms, a melisma), particularly towards the climax of a textual phrase.  Melismas allow the performer to give nuance to important words, and thus Hildegard’s wordpainting makes it easy for the singer to interpret the poetry to an audience, even if one is singing in Latin.  I sang this with the organ playing a simple flute-like drone accompaniment.  I found that Hildegard’s hypnotic musical text setting allowed my psyche to dissolve into the words.  I was no longer “Janna singing a solo”—I was a being who had merged with the spirit that “…always lead[s] forth the comprehending made joyful by the inspiration of Wisdom…the sound of praise and bliss of life, hope, and the richest gift which gives the rewards of light.”1

During coffee hour after the service, several people commented that this particular incantation mesmerized them, or drew them in to a meditative state, or transported them elsewhere.  “Likewise!” I replied.

* * *

“Deep River, my home is over Jordan.

Oh, Lord, I want to cross over into Campground.
Oh, don’t you want to go to that gospel feast,
That promised land where all is peace?”

–traditional African-American spiritual

One March several years ago a longtime church member who now lives in Iowa, visited to give a sermon about his experiences growing up black in the South and the Midwest during the forties and fifties.  I had been told that Deep River was his favorite song, which his grandmother used to sing.  I had never done this spiritual and thought it was a good choice for the service.

Deep River is about crossing over the river Jordan into the Promised Land, or into the peace and bounty of the hereafter.  As I sang the piece that Sunday, the words seemed to be telling us to do what we can, here and now, to create peace, to share our bounty with others.  The wide leaps in the melody and the soulful chords underneath complemented the simple text.  This is one of those songs—the tones fit just right in your throat; the words flow easily out from your mouth.

The song foreshadowed the aboutness of the sermon, for the speaker talked about his efforts to educate inner-city youth in 1950’s Chicago and the successes that resulted.  I believe the piece had also let him feel again the comforts of childhood since, after the service, he told me my singing brought tears to his eyes.  “I couldn’t have asked for better thanks!” I said.

* * *

“A sight in camp in the day-break grey and dim,
As from my tent I emerge so early, sleepless,
As slow I walk in the cool fresh air, the path near by the hospital tent,
Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there, untended lying….
Then to the third—a face nor child, nor old, very calm, as of beautiful yellow-white ivory;
Young man, I think I know you—I think this face of yours is the face of the Christ himself;
Dead and divine, and brother of all, and here again he lies.”

by Walt Whitman (1819–1892)

Mid-week before Palm Sunday in 2004, the news had reported over 600 American military had died and 3,500 had been wounded thus far in Iraq; many times more that number Iraqi men, women, and children had similarly suffered.   For the Palm Sunday service, I had already chosen a selection from Pergolesi’s 18th-century setting of Stabat Mater, in which Mary laments her son’s suffering on the cross.  But as I was leafing through a newly purchased songbook of modern English composers to find something for Easter, I found what seemed a more appropriate choice for Palm Sunday:  Dom Thomas Symons’ 1928 setting of Walt Whitman’s “A sight in Camp”.  In this poem, the dead bodies of three Union soldiers are a metaphor for Christ and the two thieves on Calvary.  The words struck me immediately.  I rarely request dedications for my songs, but that week I asked the secretary to put in the Order of Service:  “Janna dedicates this song to the memory of all those who have died in the Iraqi war.”  On a usual Sunday after the service, perhaps one or two individuals might make comments to me about the anthem.  That Sunday, churchgoers constantly approached me throughout the coffee hour to tell me how they had been moved by the words and meaning of the song.  “This was something I had to do,” I told them.

* * *

If a song I sing comforts others, because it helps them transcend the everyday, find solace from pain, grieve losses, voice worries and fears, feel compassion, or understand the spiritual truths that exist in the wider world, a certain joy is given me.  When I am told that a church anthem has moved a listener, I feel a kind of glory—a spiritual bliss—that is hard to duplicate in the secular venues of music-making.

This kind of transcendence is not easy to achieve when listening to or performing sacred music in a concert setting because the experience is out of context.  In context, church music is not a performance, but an integral part of a sacred ritual.  In my church, except for the times I perform with the piano by the altar, unless the congregants turn around in the pews, they will only hear me singing, for I am in the organ loft, high above and behind them—neither my performance presence nor my general appearance affects the auditory experience of the listeners.

Several years ago, I attended a concert of St. Hildegard’s music given by an internationally renowned quartet who specialized in medieval repertoire.  Their voices were perfectly in tune, pleasant in tone, polished in delivery.  Their outfits were understated, yet stylish.  Their stage presence was professional and stately.  To make clear the meanings of the texts, the performers, in turn, would also read English translations of Hildegard’s miracle stories.  But as the concert wore on, I found the stories and songs continually unmoving, each delivery both unbelieving and unbelievable—I kept trying to not fall asleep.

These performers sounded beautiful, but they had ignored what for me is the cardinal rule of vocal performance:  The vocalist must not just sing the words, the vocalist must be the words.  If the vocalist includes a spoken story in the performance, the same must be true—to tell a story, you must believe it, even if only for the time you are telling it.  This is something akin to the “willing suspension of disbelief”.  The singer or storyteller must lose the sense of self to truly express the sensibility of the meaning of the words.  Instead, the quartet performed these songs and stories as if they wanted the audience to appreciate only the beautiful singing, merely noting as historically quaint the miracles naively faithful medieval minds had believed to be true.  I would much rather have heard them invite us to transcend our modern mundane ways of thinking, to slip into the medieval mind, to find for ourselves in the experience where the truth of these tales may lie.

A song, then, is not merely pretty melodies—a song is words with music.  My belief is that I cannot express or interpret a song well without being, or trying the best I can to be, one with the words.  Music is merely a mechanism to help express the meaning of the words.  I had certainly heard this explained to me many times by my voice teachers and coaches, but my own personal conviction about vocal expression grew out of two experiential lessons I learned in graduate school at Sarah Lawrence College.  One was revelatory, the other didactic.

The first lesson was in a medieval poetry class in which our eccentric professor would have us read out loud from the great classics:  Beowulf, El Cid, The Song of Roland, the Romance of the Rose, and the like.  One day, it was my turn to read from El Cid.  I’m not much for war stories, but as I read aloud the lines of this poem, I found myself becoming completely absorbed in the words, in the heroic deeds of the story.  For that short while, I fought with the Cid from the high parapets in Valencia.  When I had finished reading, I suddenly realized the whole point of such poetry—these words, these stories were meant for ears in candlelit castle courts, heard by those who probably never had a book in their hands, whose culture was to hear such works recited in the tradition of troubadours.

I was absolutely excited by this revelation—that my persona could actually disappear into a song or a story—and thought, “This is the way to interpret a song to an audience!”  A few weeks later, at a reunion concert with a Boston singing group I had been in before graduate school, I revived my rendition of a medieval lai by the great French composer Guillaume de Machaut.  The poetry was flowery, rhyming, and repetitious, the music beautiful in melody; it did not tell a story, but was a lengthy paean to the love of the poet’s life.  I had always enjoyed singing the piece, but had found it hard to make believable to my audience.  This time, I let my consciousness sink into the words as I sang the laiI was not singing the song, the song was coming through me!  My choir mates said this performance of the lai was more captivating, that I had “never sung it better”.  I told myself that, just as I was, they were captured by the wonder of the words.

The second lesson was merely the momentary musing of my usually hypercritical musicology professor, the late Paul Echols, at the time the genius director of early music theatre at Manhattan School of Music.  After attending my first-year recital, which consisted of many medieval German ballads and love songs, he said, in reference to the ballads, “You do your best when the song tells a story.”  I have never forgotten that precise smidgen of criticism.  For then I learned that while it is easy to interpret a ballad for one’s listeners, if the song does not seem to tell a story, I must try to reveal where the tale is hiding or, more importantly, simply remember to let go and let the story tell itself.

* * *

Be not afraid. I go before you always.  Come follow me, and I will give you rest.” (Joshua 1:9)

Several years ago, I was asked to sing at the funeral of my husband’s younger sister, Eileen, who had died at age 40 from complications of lupus.  It was a simple service in a funeral home with no piano or organ.  During the priest’s words, my tears were flowing uncontrollably.  When it was time to sing, I somehow calmed myself and walked up by the podium.  I let myself feel that this was my last gift to Eileen.  I hoped the song would help those who loved her to celebrate her and her journey to a new home elsewhere.  Unaccompanied, I let the words and music of “Be Not Afraid” come through me.  When the song was over, I sat down next to my husband who was dabbing at his eyes.  Kevin turned to me and said, “Thank you—I couldn’t cry until your song let me.”  I have never received a greater gift.

1.  Translation from Abbess Hildegard of Bingen:  Sequences and Hymns, edited by Christopher Page (Antico Church Music, Devon, England, 1982).

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My Green Man

A song for my husband, my Green Man (who has green eyes and Celtic ancestry).  This is the story of our wedding, held on May Day.  I may change some words, but then I may not, but whatever I’ve got, it’s all for Green Man.

The tune will be a jig (in 6/8).

1. On the first of May
Twas a cloudy day
But with garland gay
I wed my green man

2.In the church we did vow
Forever and now
“Before each we’ll bow”
Did say my green man

3.A song I did sing
Gave we each a ring
the piper did bring
all out with green man

4. Around the Maypole
My ladies did stroll
To ravel each roll
Before my green man

5. With delightful glance
My maids did dance
To weave and entrance
My laughing green man

6. Ribbons light in hue
Colored pink and blue
Wove a web for two
Around my green man

7. At last they cried
“Hooray for the bride”
And headed inside
To feed my green man

8. Then thru the gate
in to celebrate
the happy fate
of me and green man

9. A brogued biddy most spry
our craic she did spy
and with glee did cry
“such a handsome green man”

10.And as we stepped gaily
as if at a Ceilidh
marched in the trail she
of me and green man

11. My limbs did move
In a reveling groove
To dance for love
With my green man

12. His hand I did take
My heart did ache
I kissed and ate cake
With my green man

13. I never will part
From the joy of my heart
For my breast feels a start
When I hold my green man

14. Years later we’ll kiss
Even when our words miss
And belie any bliss
With my green man

15. For even in May
When the world is gay
The skies can be gray
O’er me and Green Man

16. But I’ll love him true
whether rosy or blue
le chroi, anam, agus guth
my own, my green man

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Ave Maria, Gratia PlenaI have just finished composing this song for harp and voice for performance as guest artist at a Vespers next Sunday.  The topic provided to me was “Mary” or “commitment” or “The Three Kings”.  I was inspired by the first two (the breastfeeding counselor in me, obviously).

The melody is “odd”.  In the chorus, the word “Maria” always starts with a descending tritone, which is echoed in other parts of the chorus and verse (on the important word of the phrase).  This melodic device is an homage to another “Maria”.  If you can guess who’s and where, you get special points from me (but other than that you got the point, I’m not sure what’s special that I can give you).

Instead of the usual western chords, I mostly play a sustinato 5th of F-C (even when I start with the tritone on Bb to E), and the musical interludes have a decidedly Latin flavor with lots of thirds and off-beat rhythms. Overall, it sounds “ethereal” to me–so the feel is not “cutesy” at all.  I promise I will upload a performance in the new year (once I figure out how to record something that replays well in the computer).

Ethereal--indeed, to Maria, ethereal is how she might have felt when a winged angel appeared at her side.  And ethereal is sometimes how a first-time mother feels when she holds and nurses her baby in those beginning days.  Ethereal is what a mother feels knowing that this new child is now “my child forever” (“the rest of my life”).  So, my other homage in this song is to that of “the great mother”–eternal, ethereal, loving, warm, sustaining, light-shining, powerful, and any other “amazingness” you’d like to assign the great mother.  PAX

Maria of the Shining Light

Chorus:

Maria, Maria, Maria,
A woman, a mother, a wife,
Maria, Maria, Maria,
Bright emblem of loving and life.

Verses:

Archangel Gabriel flew into your sight,
Declared he, “Shall birth you a child of might.
I vow that Joseph will honor this right
And promise that you shall be mother of light.”

Three womanly joys in us you do rest:
Devotion and reverence, a sweet love sure blest;
Provision and sustenance, kind milk of one’s breast;
Salvation and providence, warm arms as babe’s nest.

A small infant, whimpering, squirms in my clutch,
I salve baby’s hunger with soft milky touch.
O, help me, Maria, commit to this much.
On all mothers, Maria, shine your light such.

Final Chorus:

Maria, Maria, Maria,
Wise woman, great mother, good wife,
Maria, Maria, Maria,
Shining paragon of loving and life.

© Janna Maria Fröhlich, 12/31/2011

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Haiku Selections No. 1

Three Haiku for 9/11 (written 9/11/11)

Nine in the morning.
One home–work, phone;  Beth tells me
One fact: “Planes crash.” Me:  “What!?”

Why haven’t they done
what they should? No good happens
when no reaching happens.

Daughter arrives home.
At door. She asks. I tell. Her
question “Why do they hate us so?!”

Haiku re a 4-year-old’s questions (9/11/11)

Driving home from school–mundane,
Traffic light, we stop.  He asks
“Mommy, can God die?”

Haiku–From Norway Maple to Drum 8/31/11

My silver maple,
Felled by hard wind and harsh rain,
Your heart will beat again.

Haiku–Morning light on Jamaica Pond 9/4/11

Diffuse morning light,
Ripples shimmery as silk;
Sense of softness surrounds.

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