Crepuscule, Rio Arriba County

D.B. Jonas

In alternating bells have you not heard
All hours clapped dense into a single stride?

Hart Crane, Recitative

Seated on the hilltop,
my palm upon
the slow surrender
of sunlight’s heat
from the radiating ground,
I assume a mudra
of infinite patience.
High and far away,
dark flocks disappear
into the lapis light
of our darkening North.

In the canyon
the little donkeys cry for dinner,
and out at the highway
the lost men gather
in their lonely cantinas,
each one all alone,
elbow to elbow,
abandoned to the desolations
of the latest Ranchera
endlessly repeated,
each one nursing
at the stubbled solstice
of a little row of empties,
the quiet quarter-hour’s tepid,
uncheering Budweiser.

It is the vacant hour
when the hillside campaniles
offer distant sanctuary
up and down the valley
and a tender current
swells the air up here
upon my hill, and all
the little leafhoppers emerge
to dine and sing
in the descending dark
where, as I sit, 
the word-hoard darkly
gathers in this poem’s ear
I seem to only hear
the drawing near
of faraway bombardments,
the bustling granite boulevards
through the shouldering syllables
of my Owen or Sassoon,
or that gently scouring
melody of Hart Crane,
the soft approach of benzine
rinsings from the moon.

D.B. Jonas is an orchardist living in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico. Born in California in 1951, he was raised in Japan and Mexico. His work has recently appeared in Tar RiverBlue Unicorn, Whistling ShadeNeologism, Consilience Journal, Poetica Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Amethyst Review, The Deronda Review, The Decadent, The Amphibian, Willows Wept, Sequoia SpeaksRevue {R}évolution and others.

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