'So Many Throats' by James Charlton | States of Poetry Tasmania - Series Two

There is speech everywhere:
the inaudible conversation of orchids;
the quiet breathings of ironbark forest.

Birds bring energy from the sky.
A bronzewing murmurs a low OM.
She intones the OM alone, as we all must,

and clatters when she takes leave.
The OM attunes itself to inner ears;
the unfathomable OM
of the living, the dead, the light itself.

Black coffee of a still pool.
Mossies busy themselves.
Full blaze of Spring.

Crows do not announce their cleverness,
but caw with desolate caw.
So many throats precede our own.

This morning, scratchy intonations
of a butcherbird, still learning its name.

James Charlton

James Charlton

James Charlton

James Charlton graduated from the University of Tasmania, and from Flinders University and the University of Cambridge. He was Poetry Editor of Island magazine and Advisory Editor for Australasia of Chautauqua Literary Journal, published in upstate New York. Charlton earned his PhD from the University of Tasmania and his MA from the University of Cambridge. He is a poet and theological writer with an interest in transformative spiritual knowledge and experience, across traditions. His latest book, from Bloomsbury Publishing, is Non-dualism in Eckhart, Julian of Norwich and Traherne (2012).