David Chorlton

David Chorlton: une courte biographie. 

Extrait d’une communication donnée au colloque Tools of the Sacred, Techniques of the Secular: Awakening, Epiphany, Apocalypse, and Doubt in English-Language Verse, Université libre de Bruxelles, 4-7 mai 2010.

David Chorlton’s poetry captures snapshots of hidden treasures located in the American Southwest. In this desert of rock and still life, the voice of the poet transcends reality and urges the audience to imagine their personal lives freed from stereotypes, media imprecations and marketing trends.

The American Southwest provides room for thought to the secular prophet. Despite his mistrust of dogma and ideology, Chorlton’s poems are a celebration of the imperious need to relate to a creative and spiritual power that challenges man’s flaws and misdemeanors. Chorlton’s resistance to materialism stems from the desire to reach out to his fellow men and enlighten their spirits. The violence expressed by Chorlton, born in Austria, raised in Manchester, and Phoenix resident since 1978, perpetuates the religious tradition of misunderstood prophets, whose voices sometimes get lost in the desert.

Predictions by David Chorlton

There will be ice on the moonlight

in the country of wolves

when they rush from the cover

of the trees.

There will be dust on the riverbed

at summer’s end, just before

the swallows disappear.

There will  be schedules left at bus stops

and old shoes in the road.

There will be blind men

asking directions

and brides dressed in white

selling confessions.

There will be a time  of plenty

and another  of even more.

There will be  a time of need and nobody

will know the difference.

There will be deserts  so beautiful

on the night the cereus bloom

even the lost traveler

will lie down among the thorns

glad to be alive.


Prayer Flags

from Places You Can’t Reach, Pudding House Publications, 2006.


A string of five colours on the front porch

declare a fragile peace

in an election year.

They talk brightly;

green for the forest, yellow for the desert,

blue for the sky, red for the sun

and white  for silent introspection.

I’m not a Buddhist, but I listen

to the wind. I don’t meditate,

but stare out of the window

to give my nerves a rest

from the interminable campaign.

The flags are a Himalayan breath

of snow and occupation

in a city in the desert.

They have no ambition; they don’t argue;

they have nothing to invest

in the market.

They are the last resort

of a stranger tired of hostility,

five broken syllables

stolen from somebody else’s language

to say what can’t be said in English,

that power  is wanting nothing

that takes another’s life.

Flagstaff, près du campus universitaire, 2011, copyright Nausica Zaballos.

Flagstaff, près du campus universitaire, 2011, copyright Nausica Zaballos.






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