Two Poems by James Walton

These bridges, too far

My friend and my enemy
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

Days flip verso
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.

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