Friday 31 March 2023

Five Poems by David Chorlton




A woodpecker knocks on the door of the world

in rhythm

                with lost typewriters

asking the eternal question Why?

No answer from the sky.

Let me in, let me in; he’s a hammer

and a heartbeat with a single tempo

mind and already an echo

of himself

               as he picks his spot

and nails fate to the wall.


Paw Prints


The raccoon who comes in the night

inspects the foundations

of life, liberty and the pursuit

of happiness until the secret hour

when he leaves a paw print

on the window ledge

and slips through the space between two

AM and three

                     with stars in his coat. He doesn’t

have a word for trash, and none

for loneliness. He follows

where the moon leads and knows his place

on Earth is two parts darkness, one

the silver trail that leads

                                      to backyard bins

filled with the discarded wrappings

of chocolate bars and hope.


Moth on a Summer Night


The sky left a fingerprint

on the water in a bird bath

and it floated all night

on the moon’s reflection.

Who knows

                   who came to drink? Who saw

darkness walking through

the bushes? Who ran

back into the burrow lined with old

remembrances? The Screech owl


          And carries off its secrets

to the nest of no return.

The day’s first touch lifts

wings back to the light

and the moth

                    is resurrected

as a flake of mercy flying.



The Feathered Call


A teacup full of silence

on the nightstand, the hawk asleep with one

eye open, the blue

recycling bin full with all

that needs recycling

                                and a great horned

memory on its way

to where the news goes when

a broadcast ends. Stars float

on the nearby pond

                               while the owl’s soft

notes glide over water

as it takes a mouse’s curly soul

to line its nest. The night

puts on its darkest coat.





A friendly man out walking

through his local park

responding to a stranger’s greeting lifts

his cap revealing the dents

on his skull as he smiles to say

he’s well. It’s been

                             a dizzy time although

he stands up straight and in

the course of conversation points

toward the sky in thanks

for how he feels today. The mockingbirds

are busy not believing

in any god who doesn’t fly, but who’s

to say how healing

                             or insects fit to eat

arrive on Earth. Inquire of the mountain.

Let the rain decide. When someone

starts with the answer

there’s no need to ask.

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. He lives near the large patch of desert that runs through Phoenix and shares its wildlife with the urban area. His newest collections of poems are Unmapped Worlds from FutureCycle, and Poetry Mountain from Cholla Needles Arts and Literary Library in Joshua Tree, CA.

1 comment:

  1. ‘Woodpecker’ stopped me in my tracks. Thank you.


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