Perfectbound Paperback, 68 pages, $13.95
In his twelfth full-length poetry collection, popular elder poet David Chorlton presents us with thirty-one new poems that reflect the natural and human aspects of the world “in a bird’s eye.” His keen observational sensitivities are everywhere apparent in these poems. In imagery gleaned primarily from the Southwestern region, Chorlton presents us with a naturalistic morality. Although his diction leans to the lean-side, his sense of musicality is sonorous and melodic. Chorlton was born in Austria and traveled extensively throughout Northern Europe in his youth. Marriage brought him to Arizona, where he has embraced the wildlife, geography and people of that region. A subtle level of social criticism winds its way through these poems. Chorlton often juxtapositions natural images with cultural images. The symbol of a bird on a wire aptly represents his poetic persona, which is in the vein of a Gary Snyder or W. S. Merwin.
“Each time I have heard David Chorlton read his poems in public or have read one of his books, I am shown new ways to pay attention to the particulars of the natural world around us, even in city environments. A mighty dust storm appears like “a field / standing on edge / and moving toward us,” while against the onslaught of reports of “bombings and despair,” the poet appreciates the reappearance of a bird not seen for a season. In fact, birds seem to be Chorlton’s salvation from the mundane, as he deftly catches their flashing lightness in tight, lyrical lines.” — David Ray