The roof on top of our house,
And the house with no roof at all,
The song of sparks from our chimney,
And the chimney without a soul.

The light in my mother's window,
The window without a light,
The foreboding sky at daybreak,
The shimmer of snow in the night.

How strong was hope against hope;
Our visions of freshly baked bread,
Our past, and the dream of our future
Vanquished the fear of death.

The illusion, in a world without choice,
Of a God, who could hear your voice.

from New Music (Five Islands Press, 2001), edited by John Leonard. Used and reprinted by permission.

Click here for a reading by Jacob Rosenberg of Michael Dransfield's poem, "Strange Bird," followed by this poem.

Click here for a video of the Melbourne premiere of Leonard Lehrman's setting, Jan. 5, 2002.

Click here for a video of the Jan. 5, 2002 Melbourne performance of Gordon Brisker's setting of the same poem.