Mandelstam in the Desert

                An unreliable year – and the centuries
                Surround me with fire.
                                                O. M.
You may speak freely when the cholla
are not listening.
                             The wildflower slopes are smiling
and the canyons keep all secrets
to themselves. There is an order here
more ancient than the law:
                                                   a brief frost,
winds that tear themselves apart
and bees who find a place to shelter.
Who will betray honey?
                                          Grant admission
to anyone escaping time,
give them a shadow to lie beneath
and make of exile
                                something grand.
Spare any compassion not needed
for yourself to dispense
                                              among the bobcats,
rattlesnakes and scorpions. When a sting
is one’s own it is beautiful.
                                                 A careless word
has space to fly and be forgotten here.
           let us bury the sun in the desert



David Chorlton




This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.