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The Insomniacs, by David Chorlton

The Insomniacs copyright  © 1994 by David Chorlton

Poet Bio
    David Chorlton

Sample Poems
   Wedding in a Lost Republic

Poet Bio

David Chorlton David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in Manchester, England, and later went to live in Vienna, where he stayed until 1978. Since then, he has lived in Phoenix, AZ, learned a lot about the desert, and become involved in peace and related issues. He divides time between writing and painting, has shown his water colors in Austria and the United States, and frequently reads his poetry in performances together with his wife, Roberta, who plays violin and medieval fiddle.

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Wedding in a Lost Republic

In a country so small, it has no east
and no west, only
a mountainous north and
a south where the land
is as flat as the lakes
and harsh winds clear the air,
a northern groom
has chosen a bride from the marshes.

They meet by the chickens
in a village with no roads,
where the ruins of a church are overgrown
and a coat of streaming hair

is the local costume. Clearing
vines from a Byzantine door
they step into the moonbeams
illuminating the dirt
floor. By shadow and stone

they are joined. The exiled
king would trade his medals
for the ground on which they kneel.

© 1994 David Chorlton

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Slumped in their uniforms,
railway workers spit
the last of their coffee into trash
bins and check time
on the station clock.
Outside, the fog is burning

away, soon to leave
a clear view down the tracks
to the wooded hills
with villages strung
along the branchline, where soldiers

on their backs in a goodsyard
look up at the reeling clouds
while they wait for their train
and are dizzied by the light.
The ground beneath them

is their wings
as they rise on an updraught
and hum with the flies.

© 1994 David Chorlton

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For a handful of soil, the pilgrims
come from arroyos
filled with light, believing
that to kiss the shrine
brokers a deal with fertility,
their journeys mint a valid coin
and when electricity fails,
martyrs endure. Faith

is their resistance
to the new disease that grows
from a grain of sand
to a mesquite tree in the victim's lungs.
As they pray,

old cars rusting in the grass
take to the roads again
and their headlamps lure
roadkill back to life.
© 1994 David Chorlton

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