To split infinite

As mentioned in the album overview, this song started as an instrumental for Graham Ritchie’s production of Midsummer Nights Dream. To fit words to melody, a rather longer than typical ballade form resulted, so we reduced the number of stanzas to two, from the usual three. A traditional ballade needs a lot of words that rhyme with each other, which takes more skill in English than French. So, I made the decision to allow new rhymes each stanza. However, in contrast to the half-rhymes in some of the pieces, I made an effort to use proper rhymes, and to retain some of the effect of the traditional ballade, I chose rhymes that were half-rhymes with each other. Gathering up a batch of rhyming words that could roughly be applied to Amanda, I built the poem up from these rhymes, which felt appropriately medieval.

Maria Alejandra Velasquez Restrepo – voice

Trevor Tunnacliffe – baritone guitar


To split infinite



Now I am complete.

Pierced by my mate,

Consequences ensue.

Autonomy renounced,

I am no longer whole.

Split asunder

For domestic relief.


Belly to the soil.

Tremulous sprout,

‘Twixt fingers in close view,

Seminal roots outspread,

Grips loam for sustenance.

Ripples fan out.

Reduplicated leaf

Blooms into

A meadowland motif.


Simple, solid earth,

My livelihood and hearth,

Unshakeable foundation

Is what its always been.

But now its complicated.

Husband, eager, dismantles the world

We mutually perceive.


Lonely, whirling globe,

Dead fragment flung through space,

His contrasting view leaves me cold.

Can we find truth between

That resolves our differences?

His world: seething geologic skin,

While that same pattern weaves

Veins of green

In folded cabbage leaves.


My fecund vessel,


Fulfils ancestral need.

As mothers before me,

I must now wend my way,


From garden, follow Eve.


Slow, with reticence,


Will make my body bleed.

Never return home to

Curl safe in natal lap.

Vast barren void

Compels me to receive

Crucial seed:

Thus to my husband cleave.


Unclench, virgin womb

Transform to fertile soil.

Submit to dissolve our husk,

Bid husband to unsheathe.

Henceforth nothing more remains;

Surrender to follow fortune’s course

Beyond what we conceive.


My flesh divided

Joins the procession;

Release our issue into the light:

To the cycle bequeath.

By releasing, we connect,

From soil to starlight, common essence.

The source, I still believe,

Lives beneath

The folded cabbage leaves.