The Clock of Moss
The Clock of Moss is a work of the Southwest, which Crews introduces to us in its ancient setting, land that “has altered …[but] it seems never altered.” The first section of the book, “In the Explorer’s Hand,” introduces the natural world and the human communities of the land, from Penitentes to farmers to Native Americans. The poems arrive through a range of characters and the landscapes they inhabit—characters who would be at home in the work of Faulkner or O’Connor except, as one of them says, “…naked with a / bandolier and a six-shooter/ You would know it was out/ West.” First published in 1983, The Clock of Moss chronicles the changing of the Southwest and the often difficult journeys of its people.
The full text of Judson Crew’s The Clock of Moss is stored at Albertson Library at Boise State University, and can be downloaded here. You may also purchase a copy of the book.
It was assumed a God-head
Decided to get involved
to intervene. It was two Indians
And a white man. And a child
from nobody knew where-from
There was a rainbow that circled
the whole sun. No rain
Between a white man and two
Indians and a child—their old car
That broke down, radiator boiling
two flat tires, a busted axle
A rattlesnake bit three of them.
When they found the little girl
Tania was sleeping, her braids
in tangles, her britches soiled
Copyright © 1983 by Judson Crews