Summer’s Clouds

When July turns dark
memories collect above mountains
once claimed for certain gods

and later

fought for, blessed, mined, and settled
before the settlers departed and the mines closed,
leaving the peaks to the wind
and the creeks to be filled
by snowmelt and monsoons.


lean back against the thunder,
lightning picks a dry spot
to ignite, a deluge
washes every trace away
of an afternoon’s tranquility
and the vultures come down early
from their airy circles
in the sun.

Each storm contains

an echo of the one before,
tracing back through summers
to a time no language
existed to describe the violent sky
as it flashed and rivers

flowed from it

straight to Earth.

By David Chorlton

Storm over Grand Canyon Arizona, USA

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 Claudio Del Luongo

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