The Arroyo

Watercolour by David Chorlton

Memory’s a honeycomb
in the arroyo, all sweetness with a sting
as it winds
with crumbling walls
and a thread of sky. The way in
is a stone, the way out
a pair of wings. The mountain opens
to receive it; shadow and light
moving rock aside
as it follows
a course mapped once in the stars
where past and present
cast a single shadow.

David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems have appeared in many publications online and in print, and 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, Unmapped Worlds, featuring older poems that had suffered neglect, is out from FutureCycle Press. He recently took up watercoloring again, after twenty dry years. Read other articles by David.