This Morning's Paper


Catherine Dalton

This Morning's Paper takes us on a journey of the soul, from the initial reading of a tragic event in the morning paper to the balm that can be found in nature and in the strength of spirit.



Commissioned by: 

Mahtomedi High School Varsity Choir for their director, Robert Pontious


Mahtomedi High School Varsity Choir, Rob Pontious, director,


Item Voicing Media Price
HSP-111-01B SATB choir, soprano soloist and piano $2.25
digital download
SATB choir, soprano soloist and piano $1.35


This Morning's Paper

I opened this morning's paper
Sixty degrees and sunny.
But wait, it says a child died...
three years old...
shot in his own home...
a stray bullet...
and the drought in Africa
continues to take lives. 

Everything is as is should be.

If everything is as it should be,
then why do I feel I'm hanging on by a thread?

There is no need for self pity.
There is no need to feel I've been wronged.
And so I stand on the ground, the earth that bore me
reaching my hands up to the sun.

I ask my eyes be open,
to see things as they truly are.
For when a heart goes on a journey,
sometimes it's hard to find the way home. 

Then the wild geese fly over head
and the bubbling stream flows to the sea.
The blue sky slips through the branches of he oak.
I lay my head against her rough skin and cry.

Program Notes: 

When asked by the students of the Mahtomedi High School Varsity Choir to write a piece as a surprise thank gift for their director, Rob Pontious, I was delighted. To gather ideas, I interviewed the students who were organizing the commission. I asked them why they wanted to do this. Their answers circled around their belief that choir was a place where they could be themselves, no matter what. It was a place where someone cared about them, each of them. Singing was important, but the most important thing in Mr. Pontious' classroom was that all students had a place where they felt safe and where they felt at home no matter that was going on around them. "This Morning's Paper" was inspired from that conversation.

Mahtomedi High School Varsity Choir, Robert Pontious, director (Mahtomedi, MN) - World Premiere

One Voice Mixed Chorus, Jane Ramseyer Miller (St. Paul, MN)

Cleveland Chamber Choir, Scott MacPhearson, director (Clevelend, Ohio and Kent Ohio) 50th Anniversary of the Kent State Shootings

Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Tamara Marston (Ashland, OR)

Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver, Patrick Scofield (Vancouver, WA) 

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