Saturday, August 27, 2022

Two Poems by David Chorlton


The sky takes off its night mask.
Early walkers open wide their doors
and bring the pavements back to life
step by careful step
with a new day tugging
at its leash.  Going all to pieces says
the neighbor lady and Hell
is the end of the street.  She's eighty-six and spent
last night dancing to forget
the state the country's in.  She woke up
with inflation on her mind and began
worrying where she left off before
sleep about people pouring across
the border.  She never looks up
at the mountain with its rippling spine
that was here before this was
a country.  She insists that everything 
was better before special effects
took over movies, and she smiles a friendly smile
to say and there are so many
shootings now, everyone should have a gun
while she taps her head to indicate the problem's
only crazy people. And remember 
it wasn't only Bogart: everybody
smoked in movies then.

Street Hawk

The fates left him
a city to live in.  Oh, he perches
in the highest tree at sunrise
to survey the wide green fairways and sharpen
his gaze on the whetstone
awakening grass becomes
then fans the primaries with centuries
of open land trailing
from his tail, but the ground beneath him now
has a human face.  He's making a landscape
out of asphalt
and turns the placid sky
into a storm
when his wings are wide and he slices
through an urban flock
with history's wind
in his bones.

David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978.  His poems have appeared in many publications online and in print, and often reflect his affection for the natural world, as well as occasional bewilderment at aspects of human behavior.  His newest collection of poems is Unmapped Worlds from FutureCycle, and The Bitter Oleander Press published Shatter the Bell in my Ear, his translations of poems by Austrian poet Christine Lavant.

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