Yesterday I posted my own poem written in response to Peter Steele’s heartbreaking “Crux”. Here, as an additional kind of tribute to my old teacher, is a musical setting of the poem that I wrote and recorded. Steele’s words, from his liturgical sequence, “A Season in Retreat”, are included below for you to read as you listen.
Crux (From Peter Steele, “A Season in Retreat”, Marching on Paradise, 1984) Seeing you go Where the dead are bound, and having no resource To twist those timbers out of their lethal course, I want at least to know What I can say Now that the boasts have blown away and even The cursing has grown faint, while the pall of heaven Abolishes the day. I was never wise In word or silence, never understood The killer in my members, thought of good As what one might devise From scraps of evil. How can I learn a way for me or mine To stand beside you? Vinegar, not wine, Is all we give you still. Among the dice And the dirt, with more of shame than love to show, All that will come to heart is ‘Do not go Alone to Paradise.’