'Wonder' by James Charlton | States of Poetry Tasmania - Series Two

The failed money-fix of the 1980s:
dying tree plantations. Stark struts of fizzed-out financial hype.
The words ‘inherent value’ devolve into a distant dialect.

Yet some people retain three eyes.
They perceive the radiance of things.
Their eyes can tell you much within.

If they know the Australasian bittern,
or the pallid cuckoo’s elegant thievery,
they know beyond facts, words, concepts.

Who is it that hears behind the ear?
Who is it that sees behind the eye?
               (Kena Upanishad 1:1)

Weather-washed limbs scramble down to a lagoon’s hem.
On this side, a thin beach of pink granite grits.
Wading bird wades with punctuation.

Sheep were here once, spread thinly.
Scatter of bones, cartridge cases,
beer bottles.

Always a conjunction of ending with beginning.
Sigh of water easing from somewhere
to somewhere. Stunted tea-trees,
fretted bark.

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).

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