Image by David Chorlton

Another Sunday best spent
indoors with a view
of the clouds building up and putting on
a monsoon face
only to empty their pockets
and dissolve. They have become
deceptive, not unlike the scordatura
tuning in baroque music
that produced the unexpected
as a storm cloud might when
it rests on the mountain ridge and opens
up to let the sun
shine through.
The news sounds
mistuned too, with a woman out hiking
who never returned
when the sun was taken in
for questioning. And discordant notes
sounded from the complex where
an apartment must have
been to blame for provoking the shooter.
There are dragonflies
over the grass
in the wash and helicopters
out on another mountain rescue
where a man was said to experience
an altered level of consciousness.
It took him, no doubt,
as close to the sky
as a desert mystic who would
sit while the heat
refocused whatever passed
through his mind. Thirty-one days
with one hundred-and-ten or above degrees
have passed through the city
and the weather forecast has begun to sound
like a sports event
with records to be broken.
But here’s a selection of sonatas
with tension embedded
in the music, strings in tune with the soul,
and being seldom heard
they come to the ear as refreshing
as a shower would feel right now.
The summer we have
isn’t the one the months were scored for,
but some of nature’s harmony
remains: last week
a Black-headed Grosbeak
stopped off from migration
in the backyard, and for a few
colorful seconds a Western Tanager
flashed and was gone as quickly as a bow
drawn across the strings
plays an unexpected chord
and the rest
is dry lightning.

About the Poem

Apologies if this poem echoes the last one I submitted but it comes as a bookend of sorts as our overheated period continues and the length of our heatwave has become the story in a week when the president visits our state.

About the Author

David Chorlton often watches the sun rise above the far end of his street. He has lived in Phoenix since 1978 without feeling too pressured by the heat, but this year he stays indoors with his poetry and other interests after midday.

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