The Crowning

The afternoon moves at the stop-start-stop
again pace of the mail van
with its messages from long-lost friends
and freshly minted bills to answer
by the next hundred-degree day
which, don’t worry, is coming as soon
as the mockingbirds find shade from which
to sing and coyotes climb
a red carpet to the stars. It’s a fine day
for a coronation, for turning back
the clock a few
hundred years, for juggling orbs
and scepters. Heavy is the head
that wears a crown, but graceful are
the wings that hold a hawk close
to the sky. Here are two in matching rhythm
balancing on light. It’s an old,
old tradition, this measuring a life
from on high and taking it by stealth but
quickly to be merciful. The people
love a fine display with rich
cloths and brocade, and don’t we all
have spirits that require
a little help in rising high enough for us
to feel ourselves part cloud,
part glory, and part
raptor. It’s better not to count the cost
of all this splendor, sit back
and let the moment float away to where
it soon will be a memory. Perfection moves
at a human pace, breath by choreographed
breath, while grace accompanies
survival where the world
stayed wild. Word has it
there are protests. Word has it that on trails
not far away the rattlesnakes
are coiled, waiting for history
to wake up.

About the Poem

Far away and out of its time the Coronation becomes the focus of many international television stations, including here in Arizona. I invariably find more interest in the outdoor activities of local wildlife!

About the Author

David Chorlton grew up in Manchester, England, lived for several years in Austria (the country of his birth), and moved to Phoenix in 1978. Since then he has written mainly poetry but a non-fiction long-term project was recently published: The Long White Glove from New Meridian Arts. It is the true crime story of a miscarriage of justice in the 1960s against a family member of the author’s.

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