David Chorlton

Paintings Chronicles: Poems from Arizona History Photos from southern Arizona In Costa Rica Photographs from winter and springtime The Kafka Within, an essay Books Creature comforts: our companions Fires of Change Pictures and Words from around Arizona Translations

Here is a mixed bag of poems, paintings, and photographs of favourite places and creatures, wild and not-so-wild. Let's begin with bats and progress from there.


The Bat God

With wings of silk and a velvet mask
he hangs in a recess
until the dark is thick enough to stir

then the blood flows faster
to his ears
and they open to receive the music
made by stars. He’s a memory

that can’t find a way
back into the mind. Imagine a wolf’s heart

shrunken to fit
inside a tiny breast; imagine
a flame as a tooth. When you wake up
in the small hours

thirsty for light
and reach for the switch he’ll be there,
he’ll be silence

with an edge so sharp
it cuts. Imagine navigating
fear with a map you can touch
but not see; imagine

your reflection flying
from the mirror

and never coming back.


( This poem appears in The Devil's Sonata, also in Selected Poems. Please direct any questions or interest in either the paintings or books to: DavidChorlton@centurylink.net )




The bats came from Madera Canyon and Paradise in the Chiricahas, where the rattlesnake and hummingbird spent time too. Also featured are Nora, Amadeus, and Sassi, as well as Samantha waking up. The Elegant trogon was in Cave Creek Canyon, the Cardinal at Boyce Thompson Arbaretum, and the wolf at the Southwest Wildlife facility.