Barbara Ras

L’Heure Bleue
April 18, 2021 Ras Barbara

L’Heure Bleue


Who was the first to say darkness “falls”?
At dusk, the blue hour, creatures in the wild
hush, bunch together in their roosts
until last light surrenders to full dark,
when the forest erupts again, animals
shrilling their survival, and we humans
follow suit, duck into our so-called happy
hour, a refuge at the day’s end, a drink,
maybe a few, and when darkness falls,
better off to be without a poet at your elbow
to utter Remember when you gaze into the abyss,
the abyss gazes into you.

Barbara Ras is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Blues of Heaven, praised by Naomi Shihab Nye for its “vivid painterly wonderment.” Previous collections are Bite Every Sorrow, which won the Walt Whitman Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, One Hidden Stuff, and The Last Skin, which received the Texas Institute of Letters for Best Poetry Book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, Massachusetts Review, and other magazines, as well as in the online newsletters the “Sunday Paper” and “Brain Pickings.”  She has received awards from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, among others. Ras is the Founding Director Emerita of Trinity University Press. She lives in San Antonio.