Almanac Poetry: ‘I play the perfect cover drive’ – James Walton


I play the perfect cover drive


Easing on to my back foot

Saturday early early Summer, elevenish

a sound of cork like popping

the axe fall of linseeded willow

throughout the mowing suburbs


My spine straight as a lithe picket

Plane trees shady stalled on shutter

a mottled reminisce of Cazneaux

our border/kelpie Sophie

trotting back the drooly ball


Her jet coat a reel

in stoppled light from Van Gogh’s head

a thwack in the fence holding on

the still of tactile breeze

my children, SHOT, WANKER,


can we have LUNCH



Published in James’ book Snail Mail Cursive, Ginninderra Press 2023

Copies can be purchased Here.




More from James Walton can be read Here.



More poetry from Almanac Poetry can be read HERE


If you would like to receive the Almanac Music and Poetry newsletter we will add you to the list. Please email us: [email protected]



To return to the  home page click HERE


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.


Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE


About James Walton

James Walton is published in many anthologies, journals, and newspapers. He has been shortlisted for the ACU National Poetry Prize, the MPU International Poetry Prize, The James Tate Prize, and the Ada Cambridge Prize. Five collections of his poetry have been published. He was nominated for ‘The Best of the Net’ 2019, and was a Pushcart Prize 2021 nominee. He is a winner of the Raw Art Review Chapbook Prize. His fifth poetry collection, Snail Mail Cursive, was published by Ginninderra Press in January 2023. He now resides in Wonthaggi, Australia, in an Edwardian house which was once a small maternity hospital.


  1. Bill Wootton says

    Crisp sounds captured here, James and sharp images. That Cazneaux redgum in the Flinders Ranges looks like a ripper. Cazneaux, I just found, was Dick Smith’s grandfather.

  2. Really, well that is fascinating, and what a small world it is!

  3. At its most elegant cricket has some beautiful moments but I reckon the exquisitely timed cover drive might be the best of these.

    After a concert at the Thebby a mate met Nick Cave out the front and realising he probably only had opportunity for one question asked the great goth, ‘Who do you reckon was the better cover driver, G. Chappell or D. Gower?’

    ‘Axe fall’ is a superb image, thanks James.

  4. James Walton says

    Thanks Mickey. Great story, but what was the answer?

  5. Yes, sorry James. GS Chappell. He may have already do so, but I reckon, just like Paul Kelly, Nick Cave would write a brilliant essay on cricket.

  6. Roger Lowrey says

    No quarrels with either of them but, with the risk of starting an avalanche of other posts, I respectfully suggest Zaheer Abbas and VVS Laxman as other classy wristy contenders.

    My apologies to FA editors if this creates a pile on!


Leave a Comment