A priest undoes his belt.
Twenty years later,
I compare his gentleness
to a Tibetan sky burial.
But there was only one vulture
skeletonising the cadaver
on a barren slope.
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, ...
We invent the colour ‘blue’
and say the sky is blue.
An older language
Soggy Winter has become Spring’s fullness.
Pungent cascades of melaleuca:
frothy white, yellow, pink.
Do we feel small sounds
all around? A waft of midges
in sun-shafts; the just-here-ness
We participate in the ...
One who performs divination by dissecting faeces
We poke apart devil scats.
Clotted fur, bone fragments, gristle,
possible scraps of crushed mollusc.
Devils lope across roads less and less.
That which people called a growl
was possibly vernacular for ‘How?’
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 itsel ...
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 ...... (read more)