When the Desert is a Mountain

The sky is alive.
Mouse bones and fur by the path
mark where the owl came down
last night. Today
is a saguaro fallen
after rain dug out its roots. A harrier
spreads its slow wings wide
as it clears the stony ground and flies
into a mesquite. Hides there.
in rhythm with the mountain’s pulse.
Watches. A shadow
falls from a dark hearted cloud,
slides down the mountain’s
southern slope
to an arroyo that just swallows it, one
thorny gulp
and gone! The many shades of rock
disguised as light
make the dip and sway
from ridgeline to the foothills
into a clock
by which the time of day is visible
to every wren and hawk
that ever nested in the sun.
There goes desert climbing
to the clouds. In spring it’s patience
in bloom. Winding trails,
coyote tracks,
summer’s edges burnt.
The silhouetted hummingbird a detail
still in focus when
cowboy light begins and dusk

becomes a smoky whisper in the west.  

David Chorlton
Picture Rupert Loydell






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