Ashokan Farewell

by Jeffrey Burghauser (January 2019)

There is a God Above Us Both (Young Hunting IV), Julyan Davis


Moonlight hits the leaves with the weightless

Precision of some thin, sinuous

Dulcimer hammers. Continuous

Firmament (dateless, gateless, fateless)

Asks the fiddler to upward ease

A tune, and he feels that allotted

Searing heave set into the knotted

Ribbon of his neck. Eternity’s

Flesh, seeming to loosen, counterscores

Into áutolysisíal rifts—

Or it will until the daylight lifts

Like a quilt of blinded warblers.


My body climbs the air. Or it might.

Tender Appalachia, goodnight.



Ashokan Farewell is the title of a 1982 neo-traditional Appalachian tune by Jay Ungar.





Jeffrey Burghauser is an English teacher in Columbus, Ohio. He was educated at SUNY-Buffalo, the University of Leeds, and currently studies the five-string banjo with a focus on pre-WWII picking styles. A former artist-in-residence at the Arad Arts Project (Israel), his poems have previously appeared (or are forthcoming) in Appalachian Journal, Lehrhaus, New English Review, and Iceview (Iceland).

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast

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