The Spirit Sky – a poem by David Chorlton

The Spirit Sky
The dark half falls off a hummingbird’s wing;
the light half shines through its eye.
A hawk flies out
from its nest in the sun
and the weather sends a shower
of mourning doves.
                               Every bird’s
a piece of sky come down to Earth
and morning opens wide
the window. The mountain tumbles through,
pulling moods behind it
from the gleam of optimism at
a cloud’s golden edge
to the doubt in a rumor of storms.
There’s a blue desert
beyond vision’s reach.
Fiery first light
burns in the east: a quiet prelude
whose fanfare is glitter
rising from the far
            Over city, over
wooded lands and shining cottonwoods
and where the hills
cannot rise any higher
clouds begin building
their layers of shadow and rain
above the Gray Hawk’s cry
that pierces the air
with a monsoon breeze combing
his feathers and an itch
in the claw that holds
to a bough.
building. Cymbals flash
light and sound together
for as long as the universe
grants rain to the land.
                                    Along the road
across open country
that offers itself to heat and
infinity, the view takes flight
and goes on and on to sunset
when history rises from the canyon
red as the rock of its walls
and for minutes every day
the dusk transmits the signal
No surrender!
                  Afternoon’s last lizard
climbs the backyard wall
up and ever closer to the clouds
that mass above the rooftops
as continents of steam and light
with foothold enough
                                  to grip
when the tail turns into lightning.
A thirsty mountain
rolls over in its sleep
and the animals who live there
begin their nighttime wanderings
flash by flash
                     with the bones
inside them shining. Even on
a quiet street there’s drama in the moment
a lonely heart knocks twice
at evening’s door
in hopes of finding solace there
when the spirit’s glow holds on
to the ridgeline as long as it can
before the great horned call
speaks soul to soul
and night has a wingspread as wide
as the world.
in the tame world: no borders
in the mind. Instructions arrive
from a storehouse of dreams
and when
                the storm begins to gallop
word comes from above
that thunder is the sky praying.

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. His newest collection of poems is Poetry Mountain from Cholla Needles Arts and Literary Library in southern California.

1 Comment

  1. ajwal328 says:

    A desert psalm. Thanks, David.


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