Poems by James Walton

“Bovine Musings”
            By James Walton

Cows mull the willow’s succulent secrets
they gather there in steamy wine bottle shade
murmuring in colours of cave paintings,

sharing lost tongues and hand gestures
shaking horns that no longer seek the hunter
chewing legends and talking over times,

of better hay when the clover came so swiftly
after the ice age of barren ancestry left them
domestic in the contained horizons of paddocks,

Sephardic eyes so generous looking over my shoulder
coming out of an evening of hills
seeing me for the primitive carnivore I am.

“Rocky and Bullwinkle”
            By James Walton

A big buck was at the letter box today
my velvetine ruminant postman

sited perfectly between his antlers
a hill’s tears flowed out of a muddy landslip

his jaw moved side to side
a hoof nudged out at quizzical flies

I’d walked down the drive
and I stopped dead still

to give him time to make the decision
whether to pass on the delivery

or rearrange my uncervine features

“Surprised bravo by dawn”
            By James Walton

A rabbit sang outside my window
of the high plains
now chocolate with resowing
at first I thought this not possible

(the rabbit singing I mean)

but a rusty kettle will still boil
even while leaking
the jarrah bench top bronzing
unbuckled by non solar warmth

(the panes broken anyway)

motionless as a captive Durer etching
every muscle outlined
each hair an unruffled mystery
of scattered natural in-breeding

(the myxo eye a little off putting)

a song of ancient lands divided
of travels and pursuit
the piping squealing rising alone
into a wondering day edged open

(the moon in a sirsee falling)

breaking kindling into warmth
misty valley stirring
words failed for timely response
the chance missed for encore

(quiet as the space between pulses).

“Stick insect lessons”
            By James Walton

just bark today
look really close
this bread knife being

notchy serrations
fissures persisting
bent lines of sightings

cry for the butterfly
all dewy beauty
one day’s flutter

yesterday a crease
hardwood ungrowing
in veranda surroundings

breathing a quietude
not always visible
but here ever present

“A gleam in resolution”
            By James Walton

late, late evening

I’ve cleaned the trough
of branches and leaves

up to my elbows
the soot of lived things

fresh water hisses
dances a spilled travel

horses prance over
curious as the way of cats

I turn around

let them drink of nonchalance
a colt snuzzles my neck

places a chin on my shoulder
reaching an arm back

scratching his cheekbone
watching the red moon winking rise

one lateral to the setting sun
each of us thinking

on this day that was

- James Walton was a librarian, a farm labourer, and mostly a public sector union official. He is published in many anthologies, journals, and newspapers. He has been shortlisted for the ACU National Literature Prize, the MPU International Prize, The William Wantling Prize, the James Tate Prize, and is a winner of the Raw Art Review Chapbook Competition. His poetry collections include ‘The Leviathan’s Apprentice’ 2015 Publish and Print U.K., ‘Walking Through Fences’ 2018 ASM & Cerberus Press, ‘Unstill Mosaics’ Busybird 2019, and ‘Abandoned Soliloquies’ Uncollected Press 2019.

Copyright©2020 by James Walton. All Rights Reserved.