Still enjoying and discovering Arizona after forty-one years here, my observations of what surrounds us often begin a sequence of connections that end up as poetry. My newest book is Reading T. S. Eliot to a Bird, from Hoot 'n Waddle here in Phoenix. The natural world has come to occupy much of my thinking, and it is the focus of that collection.
Poem for the Beginning of Time
. . . had preceded the moment. In
the absence of gods it fell
to chance and darkness; there was
no plan, no where. And the distance
came close, and it opened, and
water reached for shores to contain it.
Against a backdrop of many-coloured nebulae
rocks without mercy collide
and from the cacophony, through a luminous
blue, a dacnis flies
with its red eye and scarlet thighs
glowing and a song
repeating a note determined
to last beyond the crash
Dust had nowhere to settle.
The motes floated, each with its own
little sparkle and hue. They comprised
a continent in anticipation
of its planet.
Caribou follow by instinct
a route across space
yet unmarked. Plovers
in all their varieties from Golden
to Snowy, are drawn by a force
stronger than light.
for migration are already marked,
waiting for land to form around them.
In the wake of an ice white flash
in the wake
of the stillness the grinding began
from which mountains
Between snowlight and starlight
wolves race to a world
where the rain
already falls on the snail
and the whale
in the water calls
out to the places language
Through the fires erupting and ocean beds
buckling, the frost on the backs
of massive creatures who wandered
until the ground opened beneath them,
and the coming of the margay, ocelot, osprey
and kite, there were prophets
who said that . . .
© 2019 David Chorlton
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