Tom Hennen is a quiet, reclusive Minnesota poet, offset printer, and nature watcher. “In the Sky Of Winter” is from his collection of prosepoems called Crawling Out the Window (1997). In it, he describes the winter disappearance of flying insects, in response to which the sky “lonesome without its tiny aviators, has filled the air with snowflakes.”
The musical setting is for a trio of women’s voices; hushed, cool, and intimate.
First day of winter, and it seems all the insects are dead.
None sail around any more, or chirp, or buzz, or suddenly
forget the art of flying above your soup. But they are
there, under the leaves, burrowed into frozen plowings,
little wings folded, legs tucked close. They are in the
tiny cases of their bodies, alive, some of them, but
still as fallen twigs or stones.
Meanwhile, the sky, lonesome without their tiny
aviators, has filled the air with snowflakes.