I have lived in Phoenix since 1978 when I moved from Vienna, Austria. Born in Austria, I grew up in Manchester, close to rain and the northern English industrial zone. In my early 20s I went to live in Vienna and from there enjoyed many trips around Europe, often as an artist working in watercolor. My poems have appeared in Slipstream, Skidrow Penthouse, and Poem, among others, and my Selected Poems appeared in 2014 from FutureCycle Press.
Editor's Note: In his submission letter, David said this: "We generally have a quiet time and go to the south of the state [Arizona] for a few days at turn of the year. That region is often the scene of my poems. "Pimeria Alta" is one such poem, although it reflects back to the time the priests were new to this area."
Once upon a barren time a priest stood on the desert
with his arms set wide and crucified
on the light that streamed around him
and married the land to the one from which he had come.
He made of the sun a ring
to slip onto the fingers of ocotillo.
Then he knelt to pray
and darkness fell as a cloak on his back
as the bats streamed forth to drink from flowers
open for one night, throughout which
the scent was miraculous.
In the country of thorns
he lay down to sleep with a stone for a pillow
and dreamed a church to life
on dusty foundations with ornaments like snakes
climbing the altars. When mourning doves sounded the onset
of day, he drank from a pitcher of shadows
until it was dry as the earth
©2015 David Chorlton