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Civil Twilight

by Jason Heroux

Yesterday went for a walk in the dark.

It won’t ever return. I don’t know where

I’ve gone, it said. Its voice traveled far

as light from a star. It took years to hear.


The past is no longer what or how

it was. The fallen snow can’t say why it fell.

Our silent bell has forgotten its sound.

Lost river, we followed your flow


now show us where we go from here.

Feel free, tired day, to rest your head,

the sky will darken wondering


what’s next. In this blue hour

of sundown, civil twilight, remind us

to witness tonight the light that’s left.

About this Poem

Jason Heroux would have read his new poem “Civil Twilight” at the 2021 Mayor’s annual New Year’s Levee, had that not been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For each year of their appointment the Poet Laureate for the City of Kingston writes one new original poem that addresses or reflects one or more aspects of life in the City. At the 2020 Levee Jason read his poem “New Year”, and in 2019 he read his “I Woke Up In My City”.

Jason’s most recent collection of poetry at KFPL is his 2016 Hard Work Cheering Up Sad Machines. You can find more of his poetry and his fiction in the KFPL catalogue.

About the Poetry Blackboard

The Poetry Blackboard showcases poems curated by Kingston's Poet Laureate and written by Kingston poets. There's a new poem every month, written by poets living and dead, historical and contemporary, published and unpublished, adults and children, giving full range to the cultural voice of Kingston. Started in 2015 by Helen Humphreys, the Poetry Blackboard has been continued since 2019 by Jason Heroux.

We wish to thank Helen Humphreys, Kingston's second Poet Laureate, for her generous support of emerging and established poets in Kingston through library programming and our Poetry Blackboard project. Throughout her four years as Poet Laureate, Helen curated a digital collection of poetry to showcase the talents of local creators of all ages, both historic and contemporary. Helen also offered several opportunities for emerging poets to develop their craft, offering group workshops and one-on-one mentorship. Her active engagement with the library and community has been greatly appreciated.

In 2019 we welcomed the incoming Poet Laureate, Jason Heroux, who continues to curate the Poetry Blackboard and to develop new community programming.

Previously Published Poems