On Purification

A snippet from the recent voice and percussion piece I wrote for Colleen Phelps’ March Soundbox concert:

Kendall A. wrote a new text for the work, which I’ve included below.

In the West, they name their wildfires
Like other places name their storms,
The scars of a blaze can last
Decades in the high desert
Where I grew up,
The plants take so much longer
To recover than the dirt.

Cacti explode,
Sage burns with juniper,
And the smoke
Smells like purification,