Bio Note: I have been in Phoenix since 1978 and feel especially glad this year that we have a real monsoon. The weather has become a player in several of my poems that observe nature as it exists for me in this part of the city, close to a large desert mountain park from which some interesting birds and animals emerge to grace the urban setting. In poetry, I have two new books: The Inner Mountain from Cholla Needles Press, which has paintings and poems relating to our South Mountain, and Unmapped Worlds from FutureCycle Press with some older and once unfairly neglected poems newly collected.
Memory as an Abandoned Mine
It’s a hundred year climb from the foothills to the mine where a warning is posted not to pass the columbine that lean across the entrance where the darkness floats on water going deep inside to where a Hermit Thrush sings year after melancholy year, but so beautifully even the bears stop to listen when they come down from the sunlit ferns. Comes the tapping of the hammer, still trapped, comes a whiskey scented curse, and here, at the threshold of the past, the Streak-backed Oriole returning to the light, feathers a shade of flame not even a century could dim.
Round and About
Through a window dark on one side and light on the other, an hour before the sky’s first blush, a screech owl’s call is half sound, half sleep, as it repeats and bounces on a slender branch. While the Earth moves one degree toward dawn, the mountain is open for its coyotes’ return, and here comes the first of them taking silky steps along the wash with the moon in his teeth. * There’s lightning in the fallen leaves and a lizard in the cloud welling up behind the mountain in a sky washed clean by rain. A green light has come shining ground up in the desert and thrashers worm the urban grass while above the golf course pond dragonflies hang on fine threads spun from a million silent years. * An inked veil swirls around the street lamps pulled by the tip of a nighthawk’s pointed wing.
©2021 David Chorlton
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