States of Poetry Tasmania - Series Two • 19 April 2018
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).
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 i ... (read more)
We invent the colour ‘blue’and say the sky is blue.An older languagesees everythingas sacrament. Soggy Winter has become Spring’s fullness.Pungent cascades of melaleuca:frothy white, yellow, pink. Do we feel small soundsall around? A waft of midgesin sun-shafts; the just-here-nessof lichen. We participate in the weakness, in the power, of the Vast.|Black-faced cuckoo-shrike tilts her head ... (read more)
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 growlwas possibly vernacular for ‘How?’ James Charlton ... (read more)
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 OMof the living, the dead, the light itself. Black coffee of a still pool.Mossies busy themselves.Fu ... (read more)