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george heathco: ravens & radishes

by George Heathco & Misha Penton

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wind whooshes through fissures in darkhour shingles something on the evening stairs sounds december and my porch, a tundra of bone chimes, crackssnaps! through seaglass casement curtains my heart a tangle in their filaments I watch grandma’s fingers weave winter kitchen incandescence readying silk for the telling of stories she leaves garden radish tending for spring when duranta blooms and hollyhock cultivate the land for moth-tide: the season of air shaft whimsy and spin-past-on-the-breeze wings when digging ‘round the little plants’ sproutgreens, their iron tangy fleshy folds red lipped, bundled oozing a low ache earth blood beneath her fingernails between the tiny plot’s molting ash wood fence stakes up to their shoulders high with snows and iced barbed wire keeps the love inside — Misha Penton
my looking glass, its edges a tangle of serpentine tresses a frame carved in deep sanguine sleep a breath in a breath out frosts my likeness a reflection of dark lashes and lips, fingertips and speckled brown iris evening wishes Its images cast behind me: of Night carrying stars, Her baskets high above hills the wind at Her back delicately transporting clouds upon her apron reflected moments ripple and whirl what if I shatter? in shards? and each fragment spun out across distances of forest and dream: and each is myopic, illusion-inducing and stabs its way into every heart everywhere and laid bare all our delusions? who, then, to heal us? — Misha Penton
Ah! so here is where I left it!: a little grotto nestled in the wet greens of an october ravine open to me, rock agape its sacred seeming granite edge laced in winter-nude wisteria I shake and shudder as I pull my expansive feathered cloak close its warmth at last! an ebon-aubergine of quills that shimmer and ruffle and weave enfolded in my lost skin I walk out and into the winds at my back, the Glass Mountain sings its bluegreenbluegreenblue iridescence translucent against firmament unnoticed, six ravens rise black wings beat a dissonance against mists whitened by moonlight and I? I am the seventh — Misha Penton
a vein of yarn leads a passage over forest floor branches, a-tangle a last leaf hangs iced in orangebrownredblack cracksnap! an inky ash slippery slate path peeks through midwinter snows all the better to step upon – all the better to – children wait growing like greenwood fiddlehead ferns unfolding scent of curls and chocolates laced skirts and frock shirts swirl past: a blur of ball-toss and hide-and-seek their shout in the night nightmares catch on breeze and briar all the better to – all the better to stalk – forepaws, hind paws, tail my breath along the trail fang and claw, expectant — Misha Penton
his hooves run clap ring sprint clop zing over Sky’s grasses his breath is chervil and dandelion, fennel, and hyssop birches and bamboo, tall tangled twisted: a tempt – a blur – we dash my quiver arrows speak sharp and true across my bow star trails smear and slash: whips across emblazoned firmament glisten, flash! splash! he rears and the muddied road reaches up shhh! wait! I hear the swoop and swoosh, whirl and whoosh the dive of the Firebird alights upon the path feldspar eyes, plasma plumage as quickly as she graced us, she is gone: in a whisper and a rustle she gifts a single tail feather: I resist the glint of its lightning barbs the steely cut of its vane the melisma of its lava quill I will not possess her — Misha Penton


ravens & radishes is an EP operatic fairytale song cycle by composer George Heathco, setting the fairytale poetry of soprano, Misha Penton:

Rapunzel is locked in the tower, the witch's granddaughter comes for a wintery visit...Little Red Hood, lost in the forest, is relentlessly stalked by a She-Wolf...Snow White's stepmother muses in her mirror....Seven brothers are turned to birds and only their little sister can save them...And the firebird, encountered on a wooded trail, flies free...


ravens & radishes music video on Vimeo: vimeo.com/92673726


released April 27, 2014

George Heathco, music
Misha Penton, lyrics and concept

Misha Penton, soprano
George Heathco, electric guitar
Daniel Saenz, cello

Produced by Misha Penton and George Heathco
Recording engineered by Todd Hulslander and George Heathco
Mastered by Paul Connolly of brightbluebeetle

Recorded at The Geary Performance Studio Houston Public Radio
Design and Photo by Misha Penton


all rights reserved



Misha Penton Houston, Texas

Misha Penton is a singer, composer, and filmmaker. Her music is a blend of futuristic art song and chamber electronica—you will hear the rise and fall of her many layered voices, and the swirling guitars and electronic sound worlds created her Misha and her collaborators. ... more

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