Birding in a Violent Time

The first one was a flash
of red and green.
That was years ago
and each time afterwards
was just as bright.
So much has happened
since: insurrections,
war, somebody so desperate
to be heard he fired
a hundred rounds.
And always the news
broadcast during
a drive to quiet sycamores
until listening
made no difference. Trogon.
Chat. An unarmed man
shot dead. Phoebe.
Sniper attack.
Beardless-Tyrannulet. Heron.
Hawks circling above
the rough asymmetrical
mountain ranges. Wide
open space in a concealed
carry world. Yellowthroat.
Kingbird. Syria.
Iraq. Dallas. Cuckoo. Shock
becomes too common
to be shocking. Listen:
sunlight in the trees
turns into song and chatter.

David Chorlton looks forward to getting back into the nearby desert park as springtime progresses. That park proved interesting enough to him to base a short book of poems and paintings last year, The Inner Mountain (published by Cholla Needles in Joshua Tree, CA). The coyotes come down to the streets in his neighborhood and move with style! Read other articles by David.