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Sunday, April 22, 2007


by David Chorlton

Today the rivers flex their muscles
and the heart beneath the ice cap beats
in steady rhythm. Great apes swing
on vines suspended from the sky.
A heron’s wings span centuries
and on the savannah the shadows
form a sanctuary beneath each spreading tree.
Snow bites into the saddle
of a swaybacked mountain where ferns
grow as light and aspens
lean into the sun. This is the day the whales
heave their massive dreams
through the surface of the ocean
and this is the night the nectar bats
dust their faces with sweet pollen.
A fox with a spark at the tip of each hair
sprints through the mist in a blue valley
and the sloth on its bough
in the rain sleeps undisturbed
while we stop the clocks to look
at the world as it could have been.

David Chorlton lived in England and Austria before moving to the desert Southwest in 1978. After overcoming a bias against "nature poetry" he has come to explore the landscape and its ihabitants more often in his work. His book Waiting for the Quetzal (March Street Press) includes references to Arizona, the Arctic, and Costa Rica. Later this year Future Cycle will publish The Porous Desert.