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Piepowder Poems.

In former days the Piepowder Court settled disputes between itinerant traders and their customers at markets and fairs. The word itself derives from the French pied-poudreux, meaning 'dusty footed', as travellers were likely to be, so it seemed an appropriate title for this collection of travel poems.

Most, but not all, are set in modern times. A blackbird sings on the camino in northern Spain, the moon comes up over snowy Jutland; pretty Dutch women enter a café in Tilburg; Little Blue penguins flipper out of the New Zealand surf. But you might also catch ancient human whispers among stone circles high in the Pyrenees; there's an incredulous narrative by an early mediaeval Irish monk; an old Etruscan gentleman remembers his dead wife; and a man hangs suspended in the torture chamber of the Doge's Palace in Venice.

The final piece, 'Stages' is a seven part longer poem in which voices from different historical periods open a brief window on their world.
1) A bewildered child in southern France, over 10,000 years ago, tries to comprehend the death of its mother.
2) A Babylonian women of 1500 B.C.E. writes to a friend.
3) A lonely young diplomat in Han China (approximately 60 C.E.) composes poems and letters to send home to his sweetheart and his parents.
4) Two poor scholars sit talking in a Paris alehouse, in 1155 C.E.
5) A young Aztec woman in Mexico, during the 1530's, following the fall of Tenochtitlan, tries to evade the advances of a Spanish nobleman.
6) My great-great grandfather travels from nineteenth century Ireland to England in search of work as an instrument-maker.
And finally
7) there are strange stories, and all too human flights of fancy from a contemporary supermarket.

You may want to keep your own feet dry, unblistered and dust-free, but that needn't prevent you sharing some of these travels too.

The following poems are included on this CD, you can listen to a short sound bite by clicking on the icon, or view the text of the poem using the icon.

Track Title Sound bite Words
The Bellman of Arqua (2.15)
Skeleton in a spanish cloister (2.55)
Merula (1.20)
Hunter's moon (0.55)
A winter night in Jutland (1.15)
Bone-pointing (2.00)
Blue-eyed blondes in blue (with bicycles) (0.40)
Mairu Baratzea (3.10)
The Castle at Arques (2.15)
Fixing Bayonne (4.30)
Eyewitness (4.04)
Little Blues (2.05)
Colmar from Les Trois Epis (1.05)
An Etruscan gentleman meditates on his wife's tomb at Sovana (3.40)
The death of St. Clare (3.25)
Between friends (2.05)
The furnaces (2.20)
The question (2.50)
Sighting (4.35)
Stages (25.00)

Total reading time: approximately 70.02

Produced and recorded by Paul F. Cowlan.

PIEPOWDER POEMS 2001 Alembic 2001 02P

If you would like to purchase a copy of this or any other CD, please visit the Order page

For any other information then email me at cowlan@t-online.de