Voices on the Wind Evening Voices
Madera Canyon, Noon to Dusk by David Chorlton The trail’s edge softens in the lupine’s velvet leaves. After the hairpin turn a drumming in the pines begins. To laze at noon here is to lie back and gaze between snags and passing clouds as the sky tilts wayward from the swaying peaks while two Hairy woodpeckers cavort in black and white on a long oak’s arm. Jays fly past a wind-polished sycamore and a juniper stripped of its scales. Their calls catch on the broken limbs of an ash tree rising from the granite chill at streamside where a boulder moves an inch in a hundred years and new growth appears from a fallen, hollowed trunk still clinging by a root to the universe. After the junco leaves its rock and daylight follows the stream down canyon to disperse in the bajada, turkeys make their way across the road in patient strides and continue to the far bank to line up beside the creek each waiting its turn to spread wings for the seconds it takes to leave the earth and roost between stars in a greening sycamore.