Redell Olsen, Mixed Media Collage, 2020.

Or, Acis and Galatea rewilded

Or, A Serenata; or Pastoral Entertainment
in the Age of Extinction

Chorus [to be sung to Part the Second of Acis and Galatea – Wretched Lovers]

radar watchers cloudy blur
sad data this: few insects whir
weather watchers quit past dream
behold the noise of species scream

see what specks show up as wing
this rising plume it cannot sing
of migrations past and far off shores
Mark! How this winged insect soars

I Rage -

{to be sung to the music of Part the Second Acis and Galatea – I Rage, I Melt, I Burn – Recit Polypheme}

I rage – I melt – I burn!
See a glacier in sun come undone.
Once trusted cloud, float of this skyward lift,
I stream the life.

Shape me a reckoning in science, art
to make a fix for this voracious greed
its profits chanting [his] / 'I can't breathe'
chokes me in flight, defend us air, my love.


Air {to be sung to music of Acis and Galatea – Air O Ruddier Than The Cherry}


More filthy
than the lucre:
Oh darker than
the sugar
Oh air more tox
-ic, earth
as sick,
as leaders
in stupor!

specks in the
weather data
now look again
cloud shapers

so hard to name
extinction shames

us all to face
the storm here

(spoken after or in parallel to air)

oh stories tell
that matter
oh othering
other thing
than human

kind plume
ants fly the
day spikes

at end

data clusters

later, later

noise has
such density


as raging
plume fierce

as manmade
man made them


Oh weather, whether
Oh ruddy, ruddy cli-mate

[Echoes in other sections of spoken voice and sung voice/s to be drawn from fragments of these melodies also]