(Water colour by David Chorlton)

Happy hour at the local bar. Four forty-seven
on the mountain where
the coyotes are stirring. Rush hour
on the freeway. Nostalgia has replaced the light
along the peaks. The sun
has an appointment with darkness.
It’s closing time
on Earth. But don’t despair:
consider the words of the Soviet composer,
who said it was impossible
to find books on God or holy
music where she lived; the libraries
were a wasteland and
anyone in search of truth could find it
only looking inward at themselves.
How lucky
we were in having to excavate
even our souls! The mountain turns to shadow
against the flowing stars. Just a glimmer
remains along the ridgeline
and an owl’s velvet call
sheathes its hungry talons.

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.