Mick Jagger’s Birthday

Image of the sunrise on my street by David Chorlton

A long first look
glides down the street toward Four Peaks
and the awakening sky. It’s a friendly
view; sun like a lost coin
coming home
but with a mean streak
starting early when the doves and thrashers
shake the darkness from their wings
and court the feeders
quickly so
as to disappear before
light begins to burn
and they all turn
into leaves until late
afternoon. It’s a good day
to walk early, past
the pond where Black-necked stilts have arrived
to cast elegant shadows
on the water, then to fill the indoors
with music for a Sunday: something medieval
to begin with,
then a celebration of Mick Jagger
turning eighty before
a klezmer version of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony
and his song about crossing
a field in the morning when the singer’s
rendition is a joyous one as
sunshine sets the world asparkle,
ours is a rattlesnake sky
coiled with heat that bites.
Some ice music
would be pleasant, or something Nordic
with the notes crossing snowdrifts
or even a recording
of tropical sounds
from a forest with rain
dancing and hammering the trees.
Four months have passed
since rain; the mountain as dry
as the street. As dry
for the finches
who have flown from Mahler’s song to the feeders
by late afternoon, as it is for
the rat at the water bowl, and why
deny a drink to the smallest
among us.
Mahler had a way
with suffering, he made it sound like Nature
and modified the pace
for every mood. The hummingbirds
are busy until dusk, sipping
sweetened time
from where it hangs at the porch.
So goes another afternoon,
following the fire truck
that parked a few houses away and left
without a word. Then Gustav’s big finales
like the sun going down
or sometimes with
the music fading into sleep. Happy birthday, Mick.

About the Poem

Here in Phoenix a hot summer spell is really hot and keeps us mostly indoors. While I watch the birds visiting the yard I use some of the time seeking out a variety of programs from radio abroad. In my case Austria and England where there are far-ranging music shows on radio via the internet. A distraction but not a complete cure for the temperatures outside!

About the Author

David grew up in a city that considered the high seventies to be a warm day. That was Manchester, England, and he has been in Phoenix long enough to know what a hot day really is! He has long been interested in very old and unusual music as well as loving Mahler’s music.

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