Birding in a Violent Time

The first one was a flash
of red and green.
That was years ago
and each time afterwards
was just as bright.
So much has happened
since: insurrections,
war, somebody so desperate
to be heard he fired
a hundred rounds.
And always the news
broadcast during
a drive to quiet sycamores
until listening
made no difference. Trogon.
Chat. An unarmed man
shot dead. Phoebe.
Sniper attack.
Beardless-Tyrannulet. Heron.
Hawks circling above
the rough asymmetrical
mountain ranges. Wide
open space in a concealed
carry world. Yellowthroat.
Kingbird. Syria.
Iraq. Dallas. Cuckoo. Shock
becomes too common
to be shocking. Listen:
sunlight in the trees
turns into song and chatter.

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 Selected Poems appeared from FutureCycle in 2014. Read other articles by David.

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