Un Ballo in Maschera

At this point in the opera
Renato stabs the king. The sky is open
while the wind sings all the way
down the mountain and along
the street. With so much suspicion in the air
it’s difficult
to tell the betrayed
from the betrayer or the flicker from
the woodpecker hanging
by a claw to the feeder. Why is everything
so complicated?
With the monarch
in disguise, how long will it be
before the votes have all
been counted?
It’s cold. It’s grey. One minute the music
is a comedy, the next
a weeping chorus and the sun
is just another goldfinch singing
from behind a cloud.

David Chorlton is a longtime resident of the desert zone in the Southwest, a landscape he is very attached to. Before Arizona he lived in England and Austria, and he has finally seen publication of a book decades in the making: The Long White Glove from New Meridian Arts. Nothing to do with poetry, rather a true crime story from 1960s Vienna. Read other articles by David.