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  • D.B. Jonas

Ragged Right: Songs of Reticence


I fashioned this verse / who knows from what?

- William IX of Aquitaine, Farai un vers de dreyt nïen


Here will all the word-strings, timid offspring of slow time,

caesuraed, end-stopped or enjambed, fosaking arbitrary rhyme,

venture warily into vacancy, wander wanly into the Empty Quarter

of the open page, inching shyly from their sturdy westward border


toward some luminous Cathay, onto the trackless steppe of speech

where all the vacant vowels answer softly each to each,

and every heavy, shouldering syllable, scuffling toward the dawn

where meaning lies, finds meaning’s morning long since gone


and hurries back at breath’s extremity, retreating from exposure

to the solid margin’s shady rectitude to find some brief composure

in this flush-left consolation of the verse, buying time to see serenity

restored, a quiet place to contemplate the pale auroras of eternity.


But what pulsing melody of thought draws forth again from calm

the straying pen’s meander? solicits once again the nomad breath,

inspires the reluctant rime that mocks, that chides, that scorns? that psalm

or canticle that celebrates life’s endless, vivid auguries of death?


DB Jonas is an orchardist living in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico. His work has recently appeared in Tar River, Blue Unicorn,Whistling Shade, Neologism, Consilience Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, Innisfree Poetry,The Decadent Review, Water Wheel, Revue{R}évolution, Kairos, and other journals throughout the US, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. His first collection, Tarantula Season, is scheduled for release in 2023.

1 comentário


stewart.burke
25 de mai. de 2023

"But what pulsing melody of thought draws forth again from calm the straying pen’s meander?" I simply adore that sentence. It made me sublimely happy in the moment in which I read it, which is never a small thing.

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