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Tuesday, March 01, 2011


by David Chorlton

With one world moving gently along my street
and sounds from another coming from the radio
I watch the man from the next block tap
his way along with a cane
as he takes his gentle walk
and listen to the latest revolution’s
move by move report
complete with body count and expert analysis.
The sunlight today is diluted.
Shadows blur at their edges.
A Cooper’s hawk slides on the air
a wingbeat above the roof as the Inca doves
and pigeons disappear with a drumming. A book
I was reading blurs too, where Juarez,
Mexico, becomes a portent of the world
the impoverished inherit then pass on to everyone else.
Images begin to act at cross purposes: the cat
sitting peacefully next to the porch flowers,
aerial assaults on the assembled
protesters; the cover illustration with a searchlight
illuminating a corpse; the open case
to a recently played recording
of viol music; a painted landscape with a sky
slashed open by a storm. Piracy;
collective bargaining denied; a rambling speech
of resistance; Purcell’s Fantasia from 1680 -
why can’t I concentrate? This is the twenty-first
century and we aren’t supposed to. We’re
called on to connect the details: cheap labour
to CD players; foreign policy to dictators
to their overthrow; the animals we can save
to the ones who are eaten to the ease
with which a life can be taken to the words
used in describing the act. Cutting throats
to cutting corporate taxes. Powerlessness
to the beauty in old music.

David Chorlton's poems have appeared recently online at Stride Magazine (UK), The Blue Guitar (Arizona), and Pemmican. Chiron Review, Poem, and Pembroke Review will feature more in print soon.