These bridges, too far
are buried together
where the peat is frozen as glass
over by Bartlet’s Outlet
the falls we played beneath
a chandelier of tears
side by side
the child and the adult
grow under the mound
patted gently with spades
of rifles loaded from Sundays
an armistice culls the night
its preparatory days
wound through this shared village
life in a slow yeast
our days broken and unsealed
drafty windows blown out
of the class room photos doors ajar.
Jazz Festival Inverloch, Labour Day Weekend
a large bass floating,
scored over the inlet breeze
pianists compete for what’s left of cool.
Notes are transfused eternal,
the flamenco trio has a new language
George Michael to a different beat.
The sky draws sail boards in bluesy clefs
the old blokes banter in sets,
so familiar they change key with a look
marry Rodrigo in Autumn Leaves,
tapping feet counting in vintages.
Torch singers coy the crowd,
drummers get their solos
saxophones blow a curing mist.
Buskers play kiss chasey for a place,
strangers smile a harmony.
A day is gifted on to another
all silky wrapping smooth as sway.
James Walton was a librarian, a farm labourer, a cattle breeder, and mostly a public-sector union official. He is published in many anthologies, journals, and newspapers.