Vespers – a poem by David Chorlton

Vespers

A gilded moment passes
tree to tree along
the street before
light folds its wings
to roost. Behind the house
hummingbirds
sip the final glow
before an eyelid closes
on the mountain’s rim.
All the world is undergrowth
to the rodents waking
in the woodpile as
a chill rolls across
the grass and sparkles
on the tip of every blade.
The clock displays
coyote time as
the traffic sings its last
work chorus of the day.
It’s the devil’s cocktail
hour: he’s dropping
olives into a glass of fear
and sitting back
to see what night will bring.
And a prayer
against him runs its course
from lamp to lamp
where moths display
the old and secret texts
of ultimate deliverance
upon their wings.

 

David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems often reflect his affection for the natural world, as well as occasional bewilderment at aspects of human behavior. The Bitter Oleander Press published Shatter the Bell in my Ear, his translations of poems by Austrian poet Christine Lavant. A new book, Reading T. S. Eliot to a Bird, is out from Hoot ‘n Waddle, based in Phoenix.

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