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Wednesday, January 12, 2011


by David Chorlton

A mountain turns its face away from Mexico
in the morning mist
and the border disappears.
Silence in English
cannot be distinguished
from silence in Spanish. Jaguars return
to occupy lost territory,
the map cracks along a seam of frost
and snowflakes fall
like shreds of torn visa applications.
The only written language
is that of deer tracks on the softly dusted
ground. Any word
becomes a cloud as soon
as it is spoken, footsteps are the sound of shoes
breathing, crystals over the heart
are a guard’s badge, and woodsmoke
rises like grey flags
above lonely houses where all night
fire keeps watch. A few branches
are scratched into the atmosphere; otherwise
white is layered over white, page
upon page of blank paper
granting free passage until peace melts.

David Chorlton travels when he can to his favourite landscapes in the south of Arizona where he and his wife enjoy the wildlife and trails.