Not Quite There (a mini opera)

Not Quite There

Written for the ENO Mini Opera Contest in 2012

Scene: two men and two women stand in a space crowded with furniture and knick-knacks; an attic or garage full of stuff.  They are all completely isolated from each other by the items, no matter which way they move while the others speak, searching for someone else, but never finding that person.

MAN 1:

My love has always lain in the unspoken:

No words pass beyond my teeth

No written phrase gives me away

No noise opens up deep dark thoughts–

My secrets are ever and always my own.

Never will I say ‘I love you’

But my devotion is beyond reproach.

My lips are sealed around the truth.

WOMAN 1:

I cannot come to meet you

By the sea so clear and blue.

I cannot make my way to your place

Be it close or in some distant space.

I cannot move from my spot

A lonesome weedy condemned lot.

I cannot stop standing still and tall

No matter how I yearn to answer your call.

I cannot see the way to you

Through the mist and foggy dew.

MAN 2:

I want to meet you,

Hold you, love you,

Whisper secrets in your ear,

Grow older year after year.

Together always we will be

From one to two, me and you,

Everyone else shall see

A love so right and true.

But this week’s no good

And this month I’ve got no time.

I would meet you if I could–

But if we did you would never be mine.

WOMAN 2:

We touch without contact,

See without sight,

Hear without listening.

If ever we met

In the gray twilight that lies

Between two people

Would still we love?

Would the passion

Still live on or fade away?

Does proper contact steal

The mystery and romance?

I cannot take that chance.

Do not ask so much of me.

Be content, even as I.

MAN 1

My lips are sealed around the truth

WOMAN 1

I cannot come to meet you

MAN 2

You would never be mine

WOMAN 2

Do not ask so much of me

MAN 1

My devotion is beyond reproach

WOMAN 1

Make my way to your place

MAN 2

Together always we will be

WOMAN 2

Be content, even as I

MAN 1

My love lies in the unspoken

And I cannot bring myself

To give voice to inner thoughts.

Close your eyes and trust in me.

WOMAN 1

I cannot move away from here

To go to someplace far or near.

Please, please, come to me

By dusty road or shining sea.

MAN 2

Every day I think of you

Wondering why I stay away.

Our love, though it grows strong and true,

Cannot yet compel me to stay.

WOMAN 2

At night I write devotions

Across your scarred skin

In the misty twilight grey

Knife’s edge between any two.

ALL

My letters, my love,

Reveal my heart.

Hold them close to you

When we are apart.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s