Cleaning the gutters, advent

James Walton

each handful carries its own risks
from such fallow rusting 
wandering ashes meant for sea
kidnapped by an idling wind,

the journey of leaves delayed
in the stalled gravity of Autumn
beetle husks within dream 
roof nails departing purpose,

desiccated chicks abandoned
concerto de Aranjuez
through an open window
forehead above to weatherboard,

debris falling to obeisance
sideways gusts push for witness
an awkward stance in weather  
arms out and up a pelican,

of human clinging holding
to this chance of ballast
in a waning day’s prolapse
spreadeagled for seasons,

the weight of each step down
loam alive beneath cuticles
a dust of primary evidence
out of survival’s convenience,

the ladder eased a wingspan
this new station overhung
a light rain breathes ascent
everything renewed, again



James Walton is an Australian published in many anthologies, journals, and newspapers. He is the author of four widely acclaimed collections of poetry; The Leviathan’s Apprentice, Walking Through Fences, Unstill Mosaics, and Abandoned Soliloquies. His fifth collection will be released shortly. He has been shortlisted for the ACU National Poetry Prize, the MPU International Poetry Prize, the William Wankling Prize, and the Ada Cambridge Prize. He was nominated for ‘The Best of the Net’ 2019, and is a Pushcart Prize 2021 nominee.

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