Day into Night

Sphinx Moth in a Storm (Acrylic by David Chorlton)

A slow rain falls
from a soft, grey sky. The Gilded Flicker
on the back lawn digs
with his beak. A sphinx moth
works the lantana, and hummingbirds
drink insects from the air
so newly moistened. It’s a quiet
afternoon. The war
far away is declared to be over, with many
lost and so little
accomplished. But there’s a broadcast
of old and calming music
on the radio, a breeze
to stir the palm fronds, plus a promise
from the rain gods that tonight
will bring us more monsoon
and the lost river that flows
between the stars will find
its way home. It will happen
when the mountain rolls over in its sleep
and a flash appears
where a match is struck against the sky.

David Chorlton is a European who became a longtime resident of Phoenix and has developed an interest in the wildlife of the West. He has a recent book with watercolors and poems featuring the local birds, The Flying Desert. Read other articles by David.