The Ramingo’s Porch – Four Poems by James Walton

Jim portrait head.jpg

I could not remember the name of Twister

the wind is in from Antarctica
banging the sheet metal of night

I threw a ball up into the sky
watched the inevitable fall

of civilisations through clouds
where mercury boiled

but turned on an alchemist’s anvil
filling teeth in truth composite

an afterthought in rain
lapsed for thawed pretensions

the way a tree believes an absolute
in the felling bounce of one hand

ambidextrous for any reverberation
as mesmerising as the smell of leather

balanced precariously between
the shot tower’s dust

and the bend to another colour
over the tight rope of a stranger’s inscribe

where I swear you were carrying
the swirl of a mandala

softly as a shell less egg


Free Fall

I lost you where I found you
in the barely furnished hallway
where you practised a headstand
waiting for the lift bell to signify arrival
or departure where I found you

in those nights you tasted of ocean
and somehow coriander
as you pushed yourself above me
out of those blurry ends of winter
where I found and then lost you

we skydived from this world
in a free fall of sex and language
broke formation losing grip
landing in a vacant corridor
where I lost you where I found you


Frog Love

Now so still
the pond of our bed
entwined corn fronds

before in the graceful night
I dragged a star down
planted where your head rests

years grow backwards


Jigsaw on Ginsberg’s table

between concrete pavers        planted in my spine
browsers gather       snuffling      a sage scent bereft of fabric
bewilders      still they muzzle       trowels and prodders excavate
a mortician’s smile        dust ruminates      settling on old partings
where Learys road     the dead circle      roundabout no exit
whorls     I used to have a hat     taken by street gangs
hanging graffiti     waiting for my luggage     any remembrance
for ticket numbers     has faded with the print     on the Beat’s


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. He has been shortlisted for the ACU National Literature Prize, the MPU International Prize, and the James Tate Prize. His poetry collections include The Leviathan’s Apprentice, Walking Through Fences, and Unstill Mosaics (forthcoming). He is now old enough to be almost invisible. He lives in Australia.


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