Riparian Bird Count

A hawk’s cry rubs against the light
that falls between cottonwoods
and the smoky tangle
left behind by falling color
where winter branches
are scratched into air.

The nest of last year’s raptor
loosens on a bough
that hangs from the sun.

Willow leaves float on the mud scent
rising from a stream
running between sunlight and mistletoe
while Hermit thrushes toss
shadows from their backs

and high up where the wind
is dry and rustles crowns
are bluebirds
freshly dusted from the sky.

By David Chorlton

 sun glowing through the bare branches with hawk overhead

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 most recent book, A Field Guide to Fire, was his contribution to the Fires of Change exhibition shown in Flagstaff and Tucson in Arizona. Click HERE to visit his web site.

Photo by Michele Cornelius

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