Encelia farinose in Spring

First to crawl out from underneath winter
a lizard shines
against the morning grass
as he moves from shade to shade
and a flash
to match that on his scales
cuts into the heights
where the mountain has arched
its back to bear
the season’s weight. An oriole
flies out of the sun
to the ocotillo’s many arms, lingering
between its kiss-red blooms
while the ridgeline sways
a little above and beyond
the day’s imagination
and beginning at the yellow
Brittlebush in flower
the sunlight climbs
until it hardens into rock.

David Chorlton lives in Phoenix and enjoys a view of the desert mountain that occupies its space surrounded by the city. He has had an unusual year in which watching the local wildlife has been a help in his recovery. Read other articles by David.