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Saturday, January 09, 2021


by David Chorlton

Arizona is reporting the highest rate of new coronavirus cases in the United States, as the state’s governor continues to resist calls to install strong restrictive measures. With an average of 118.3 new cases per 100,000 people, Arizona has become what health officials call the latest “hotspot of the world” because of soaring case loads. —The Guardian, January 7, 2021

Through the cold and shaded
lantana comes a rush
and a buzz from
the hummingbirds
who flash their purple in the grey
morning. The thrasher
recently arrived with  a scimitar
beak moves back
and forth between the seed block and
the water while once
the Cooper’s Hawk has been
and gone from the back
wall the African
lovebirds brighten
the air with their hungry calls. The other
news is all
dark suits and hospital
corridors, interrupted by happiness
staged to sell
new cars in a time of travelling
nowhere. Ten
thousand new cases today
in the state. Meanwhile
at the pond the Vermilion
Flycatcher works
the perimeter, and Northern Shovelers
mix with the Buffleheads and Pied-
billed Grebes. Sharp-witted
and shy, the coyote
down to drink
melts his frozen pose and slips
through an open gate,
wearing each moment’s light
as a changing disguise.

David Chorlton has lived for many years in Phoenix, close now to the city's large desert mountain park. He will have a new book of older poems published this year by FutureCycle Press, Unmapped Worlds.