James Walton. Poet of the week.


James Walton is a Gippsland poet published in newspapers, journals and anthologies. Short listed twice for the ACU National Literature Prize, a double prize winner in the MPU International Poetry Prize, and Specially Commended in The Welsh Poetry Competition – his collection ‘The Leviathan’s Apprentice’ was published in 2015.

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Timekeeper’s Vigil

 

sand holds memory deep

impressions solid or grainy

separatedness

where bare footed joy

or the heel of empire

is finally stranded

out of time and place

interred the mighty the poor

this final peace

smooth and wet and dry and coarse

soldier crabs push history out

mould their harder treasures

against the corrugated tide weave

toes stumble there

hands juggle salty hope

the bay breathes in and out

scraping fingers rake

over the blackboard of living

to cross wrists with Odysseus

in homespun returns

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unsafe by handwritten dawn

 

where eloping ocean

and sky touch

beneath salt water

sampling light

as blown smoke rings

budding turtles rise

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A Wonthaggi Coal Miner’s Daughter Says

 

see that’s a hog deer print

pointing holding in a slight crouch

going down to the falls

in a hardwood plantation

how can I tell her

that no tracking can save us

there is this little while

of a freedom seen in nesting birds

or that cray sliding away

off a banking crest to deeper clime

standing up holstering her safety on

puts a finger to a lip then mine

hand against my mansplaining chest

says she doesn’t follow to shoot

but likes to know where things are heading

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Vicissitudes

 

terminus

 

my sagging backside

has found true south

a magnetic polarity

that cannot be denied

 

circumnavigated

 

or waved away in disbelief

here all facts are self evident

medicine wanders

a nomad’s hessian philosophy

 

incontrovertible

 

honest as breaking glass

gravity in landscape

drags petals from stalks

allows hover in falling

 

peculiarcharm

 

lingering effervescence

so hungry in passing

arranges this nimble parasol

to shade an eventual rise

 

transcendence

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Stalag Cassette of Early Onset Blues

 

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It’s the goose hiss at the flap of recall

that’ll get you every time

rummaging the hidden stream through an ice hole

surprising in the catch of a mermaid

umbraged scales pouting reflections

of all your unknown galaxies

over taking double lines from a zipper

forgotten in the hurry of almost again

 

So many words won’t make it either

crouching in the equation’s pose

along the reedy channel failing to connect

head bobbing in the searching spotlights

the blend in clothes lack a decent maker

stuck in the claggy designs

of ruffling memento story lines

remember cellophane corrodes in the dispenser

 

Gummies over ruins the first piece

proper stamp hinges are too expensive

how struggling fish wobble for cognition

in a throat choking on lost friends

pondering escape through the crocodile’s tail

laughing out loud trousers on before shoes

the watch tower shooter has had all day to practice

not reckoning the infrangible as the consonants arrive

 

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