Field Trip to Oak Flat

An ice wind blows across
mesquite and manzanilla
tearing the eyes
of those who wait for birds
to thaw from the trees.
Sunlight reaches down

between rocks to where
grasses are a mist of warmth
and beneath them

deeper than cold
or heat, the tunnels converge
through which darkness
travels at the speed of light

and a gopher’s
are the eyes of the Earth.

By David Chorlton

Gopher peering out of tunnel hole

David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems have appeared in many publications on- and off-line, and reflect his affection for the natural world, as well as occasional bewilderment at aspects of human behavior. His newest collection of poems is Bird on a Wire from Presa Press, and late in 2017 The Bitter Oleander Press will publish Shatter the Bell in my Ear, his translations of poems by Austrian poet Christine Lavant.

Photo by James McKay

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