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Maestro Ikarus

April 11, 2012

Von des Himmels blauen Auen
Zu den Gräsern sanft und mild
In der Sonne glühend Hitze
Sucht den Ikarus ich wild.

Und so schau ich froh und froher
Folg’ dem Bache singend nach
Und inmitten schoener Bäume
Liegt mein Ikarus nun bloss.

Und er starrt mich fragend nieder
Ob die Flügel ich gesehn’
Und dann fragt er leise, leise
Ob zusammen fliegen wir nun gehen.

Und am Dienstag, Montag, Freitag-
Aller Tage, Nachts und nun
Fliegen wir zu dicht zur Sonne-
Und mit welchem Mut und Wonne!

Bis die Flügel uns versagen,
Bis der Himmel schreit Genug!
Bis der Mond verstohlen aufgibt,
Bis den Tod besiegt wir sehn’.

Und so sinken leis’ wir nieder
Voll der Liebe, Quell’ sie ist,
Bis die Flügel wieder rufen-
Voll der Liebe und des Lichts.
-©2012 Irina Hale, April 2012; All Rights Reserved


In Loving Honor of Michael J. Jackson: Requiem for Orchestra, Piano, Organ and Solo Voice

August 21, 2011

Ever since being a teenager, I have adored requiems.

So I set out to write one- in several movements. It’s not going to be your standard requiem…no kyrie…

And I have a serious obsession with woodwinds, I admit that right upfront. I might be alone with my adoration of the piccolo flute and the oboe- but oh well…

Requiem Narrator and Solo Voice leading through the stage production- based on the painting "Stardust" by Patrick Whelan, Whelan Galleries, no copyright infringement is intended, all pictures are property of their respective owners

Excerpt: In Loving Honor of Michael J. Jackson: Requiem for Orchestra, Piano, Organ and Solo Voice

1. Movement for Orchestra and Piano

2. Movement: The Oven Bird

by Robert Frost

There is a singer everyone has heard,

Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,

Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.

He says that leaves are old and that for flowers

Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.

He says the early petal-fall is past

When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers

On sunny days a moment overcast;

And comes that other fall we name the fall.

He says the highway dust is over all.

The bird would cease and be as other birds

But that he knows in singing not to sing.

The question that he frames in all but words

Is what to make of a diminished thing.

3. Movement: Interlude for Orchestra, Solo Cello and Piano

4. Movement: Are You Listening?

by Michael Jackson (“Dancing The Dream”)

Are You Listening?” – by Michael Jackson

Who am I?

Who are you?

Where did we come from?

Where are we going?

What’s it all about?

Do you have the answers?

Immortality’s my game

From Bliss I came

In Bliss I am sustained

To Bliss I return

If you don’t know it now

It’s a shame

Are you listening?

5. Movement

(to follow…)

6. Movement For Solo Voice, Orchestra, Piano and Organ

Libera me, Domine, de morte æterna. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Lacrimosa dies illa,

qua resurget ex favilla

Judicandus homo reus.

Huic ergo parce, Deus. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Pie Iesu Domine,

Dona eis requiem.

Dona eis requiem. Amen. Amen.

Solita oscula-

ειρήνη υμιν (Eirene humin)

Amen. Amen. Amen.

Deliver me, Oh Lord, from death eternal. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Ah! that day of tears and mourning!

From the dust of earth returning

Man for judgment must prepare him;

Spare, O God, in mercy spare him! Amen. Amen. Amen.

Lord, all pitying, Jesus blest,

grant them thine eternal rest. Amen.Amen.

With [the customary] kisses,

Peace be unto you.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

Composition & Arrangement: Irina Hale

Cello, Piano and Vocals: Irina Hale

-©2011 Irina Hale, June 2011; All Rights Reserved

CLICK RIGHT HERE Click link in blue…
CLICK HERE for 5th Movement Intro Click link in blue…
Composition & Arrangement: Irina Hale
-©2011 Irina Hale, June 2011; All Rights Reserved

Of Turtles And Tornadoes- Sitting In The Path Of An EF4

May 27, 2011

No animal was harmed in the making of this picture, much to the chagrin of my cat whose instincts
were on fire. I escorted the turtle off the premises and into safety toward the nearby river.

I happen to live in the path of the tornadoes that tore through parts of Oklahoma on May 24th. And it happened to be one that took at least 10 lives.

And while Oklahomans are familiar with tornadoes- last Tuesday brought new respect to the sheer destructive power of a tornado. It’s been a while that even tornado experienced Oklahomans had to deal with such a violent series of tornadoes grouped together that closely.

It was an uneasy afternoon, following days of hefty rainfall, each thunderstorm growing more powerful than the previous one, hail the size of golf balls and grapefruits in some parts. We had followed the forecasts, I had our shelter stocked with food, shoes and the very few material possessions I consider irreplaceable.

And then the sirens went off.
I have heard the very same sirens every Saturday, noontime, every week. Being tested.
But how eerie to hear the sirens on a day that is not a Saturday, not a test.

I gathered child and pets, getting into our shelter. Huge thunder bolts coming down literally in front of us, dark skies, debris flying around- the thunder storm alone could have inspired Joseph Haydn to write a symphony, a mighty oratorio.

We sat in our shelter, listening to the howling, we felt the rest of the house shaking above us from the thunderstorms alone. Checking on the path of a tornado that formed 2 streets over from my house. Lights flickered, sporadic internet connection. Singing to my son, counting cheerios and imaginary sheep to a sleepy child, while trying to listen to the emergency radio announcements, comparing the audible news to the tiny map on my blackberry.

And then the tornado changed it’s path, took a left, away from us. We were three minutes away from being hit by tornado number 2, the most devastating one of that day.

Today, on Friday, my son woke me by throwing a stuffed animal at me- a turtle. He calls it Mami’s turtle.
My mother bought this stuffed animals many years ago when she was pregnant with me.
I did the same for my son, waddling through an Ikea, picking up a stuffed animal in the shape of a turtle.

our respective turtles

And then I wept. For the pregnant woman and her husband a few short miles from me in Piedmont who lost 2 sons during the same tornado that suddenly changed course and took their children.

I cried, hugged my little one, thankful that he can throw stuffed animals at me.

While I wept into my cup of coffee, I walked by a window, looking away and looking back.
What did I see crawling through the lawn? A turtle.

A turtle, in China and Japan revered as the totem of protection, longevity- and motherhood.

Native American Indians revere the turtle as the immortal mother who is determined to quietly and silently carry the heavy burden of humankind upon her thick shell.

I am surrounded by many Native American Indian tribes in these lands. I often stand at a traffic light, glancing over, to discover another license plate. Each tribe has their own license plate.

And so I asked my son if he wanted see a real turtle.
The real, living and breathing symbol of protection, longevity and creation that was slowly pushing itself through the grass.

I grabbed the camera, admired the turtle and we gave thanks to Gaia herself.

Never again will I look at a turtle the with the same eyes.

Egyptian goddess meets Indian mother


Sending peace and a prayer to the victims of the tornado series of 5/24/2011.

•Miranda Nycole Bishard, 16, of Helena

•Austin Hall, 22, of Enid

•Terry Peoples, 50, of Woodward

•Don Wesley Krug, 71, of Hooker

•Joan Krug, 67, of Hooker

•Sharon Dodd, 58, of Cashion

•Billy Leeper, 64, of Cashion

•Ryan Hamil, 3, of Piedmont

•Cole Hamil, 15 months, of Piedmont

•Laron Short, 24, of Chickasha

The Hamil family not only lost 2 children, with a third one still being in critical condition- they also lost their home.

Please consider a donation.
-Donation link here!
Thank you.

Wing Sung 612

May 14, 2011

Wing Sung 612 in teal with fine nib

I’m going to add a category here … because ever since my hand wrote the first letter, I had a rather strong affinity for fountain pens. Not entirely sure how I ended up with a small collection.
I made first forays into the world of writing with a fountain pen= and ink staining your fingers. No rollerball pens, no pencils. Fountain pens.

My penmanship is horrific and I remember the days of being a left handed person, being drilled by teachers to use the right hand, yet the love of ink on paper remained.

Something about the process of ink being put on paper- maybe some of us used to be those people carving things in stone- so maybe many lifetimes later we still appreciate ink on paper? Who knows.
I often wonder why some love ink so much.

While my eyes may roll in delight, dreaming about the perfect Mac- nothing beats that conversation you follow with your hand, your pen.

A poem written on shiny pages, inviting you to fill the pages.
Do you remember receiving a handwritten letter by your grandparents, do you remember writing a love letter that would make you say, Rumi, Shakespeare and Neruda- move over, for you have not seen passion yet?
Do you remember the most important letter you might have written?

See, pens ink and paper do just that to me.
I love ink stained blotters, ink stained fingers, leather pen holders and the hunt for decent paper. They are the physical tools that help me to sit, dream, waste time and paper and forget it all, simply writing, whatever wants to be written.

And so I chose a seemingly cheap pen to start these thoughts. Literacy and writing used to be the elusive knowledge of a very few. You were literate, you knew how to write- chances were, you were the keeper of knowledge.
Things changed- literacy rates grew, people wrote. Mass production of paper, beautiful hand crafted glass dip pens a thing of the past. (I must have spent some serious time at some court with my love for ink, pens and perfumes)
And only now the very act of writing with one’s hand seems to die out yet again- being a cherished rarity. Granted, Europe, Australia and North America differ much from Asia- where fountain pens remain an every day tool.

The Wing Sung is not your costly Pelikan, make no mistake about it- but what a wonderfully pleasant shock to write with it.

Japan, China and Germany all have their very own specific affordable writing instruments- and I love reading up on the companies producing these pens.
Apparently Wing Sun pens have not even been produced for a number of years- with With Sung having been bought up by the larger company Hero- or so internet folklore says.

Either way these pens float about the internet on plenty of sites- and I literally got mine to reach the minimum order limit- because I was buying a nib for one of my wonderful Pelikan pens, the German Nirvana of Pens. If you’re lucky, you should pay next to nothing.

At first glance- the impression of simple will overcome you- and the cap doesn’t exactly help anything. Not visually, nor will it keep the nib from drying out.
The pen is a so called aerometric filler- very similar to an eye dropper. Easy. Most people think of ink bottles as an annoying and messy relict of the past- I can’t get enough of them. But to those of us who do spent a few hours writing until we smear the pages- bottled ink proves to beat gel point pens or cartridges. Bottled ink makes sense in every way- financially, environmentally.
Refill your pen just a few times- you might understand why those monks painstakingly filled those volumes, one by one, by hand. You start to appreciate the service done to mankind to assemble volume after volume.

When you buy a Wing Sung in a fine nib- you get a fine nib. You’ll learn the difference between even a cheap Chinese fine- and a European fine nib.
In 99% the European nib will be considerably wider as its Asian counterpart, rooted in different writing requirements.

The Wing Sung lays days down what aficionados lovingly call a wet line. A wet writer and a fine nib do not have to exclude one another. Once that ink starts flowing it flowed reliably for me, no sudden rushes, no skipping.
I actually do write left and- and right handed. Either way this little every day workhorse was a pleasure to hold.
It seems to hold a decent amount of ink, as far as I could tell after a few hours of writing.

Modeled after a the legendary American Parker 51- this little clone does the job. I was able to fill more than 10 pages pages without tiring- and that is why a fountain pen beats those papermate things you’ll encounter everywhere.

Your regular pen requires a lot of pressure- one literally has to push the ink into the paper- while a fountain pen is designed to glide over the paper. A decent fountain pen will literally let you write for hours, and I simply cannot do that with anything but a fountain pen.

Granted, for longer sittings I will always reach for my Pelikan- but the Wing Sung surprised me pleasantly. A decent everyday writer.

Pax Osculum

May 10, 2011

Millions of kisses

Mostly hits

A few misses

Some nearer

Some farther

That much I gather

Although I’m really not counting.

Kisses of peace

But more pieces than kisses to assemble.

Kisses of peace

And then still some.

Never kill a kiss with too much to ponder.

Ah, heck, whatever type kiss it is

That you’re bringing

It’s surely Divine

Utter stupidity to say nein.

And always yours truly.
-©2011 Irina Hale, May 10th, 2011

"Commiato dei santi Pietro e Paolo", Alonzo Rodriguez, Messina Museo Regionale

Sometimes corny cannot be avoided.

Holding Still

May 7, 2011

'Be Not Afraid'

Shhh, let’s make our way to the forests

Shhh, hold on and hold still.

Can you wrap yourself around me

Just hold on and hold still.

Breathing so slowly

Moving is no more

Hold you within me

In peace, just the peace.

Attentive, so attentive

Not missing a heartbeat

Holding the peace

While you’re holding still.

"Joy and Sorrow", Zhong-Yang-Huang

So let me start singing

Singing to you and everyone who dares to take a listen.

Do you hear me singing? Can you hear yourself sing?

Don’t need my mouth for that either

But I’ll sure sing forever.

Of joy

And of love

Of the joy to be loving forever.
-©2011 Irina Hale, May 5th, 2011

Icarus Drowning

April 27, 2011

'Icarus Drowning' by M. Decker

Icarus Drowning II

A thousand deaths I died so far.
A thousand deaths with you afar.
A thousand deaths that I have seen.
Your million smiles that I have seen.

Your death that you could not avoid.
Your death that I have not enjoyed.
Your death- and it still decimates me
A thousand waves that crumble me.

Your death is all I need
To see my own.
Yet far away or so it seems
To linger on
Underneath that sheen.

Your death that is still torturing me
Your death still brings me to my knees
tears are- no end, no end, or so it seems.

Just breathe, sweet heart.
Or so you say.
That’s funny, love,
For I’m the one that’s breathing.
-©2011 Irina Hale, April 27, 2011

'Icarus Drowning', Brueghel

‘Icarus Drowning’

What can I tell you that you don’t know already?
What can you tell me
To share with me
To bridge this huge ocean?
What question can a lover ask
That no lover of Mankind
Hasn’t asked me before?

We have asked all the questions.
Do you know how to answer, are you seeking a question?

What else to do but to swim in the ocean.
Help me in drowning, for you seem like an expert.
Lend me your hand and we’ll go drowning together.
At least it takes courage to go drowning together-
Anybody could just go poison those pigeons in the park.

Watch not but the daytime, that’s just barely facade.
The brave people go swimming in the dark.

What are you watching me in sheer delight
When I don’t have the answers.
Did I not hear the question, did I miss all the answers
When someone dispensed them like candy.

Oh, I bet I was drowning
With a companion who just LOVES him some drowning.
Rather fearless in drowning
Arms wildly flailing, some call that dancing.

See, you already went for your drowning.
Fear’s dead, sweetest heart.
Or at least I would hope so.
But love,
Love survives.
-©2011 Irina Hale, April 27, 2011

Yes, I know. Makes me laugh, though.

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