MUSIC FOR BRASS
Poems by Brian Waltham
Music For Brass is a first collection by retired maritime lawyer, Brian Waltham. Twelve of the poems in this volume appeared in Peterloo Preview 1 (1988) and received the following review notice:
’Waltham’s sardonic, disenchanted sense of absurdity, of opportunities missed, of being in the right place at the wrong middle-aged time, is reminiscent of the later Louis MacNeice. The tone is one of edgy regret, a nervous reflexive humour which refuses to become mellow.’
John Mole, Encounter
We’re a quiet lot,
Cunning at exit from a bed, knowing
Blindfold where the furniture is,
Good at doors and floorboards,
Abseiling the stairs, heating like
Night-nurses our four o’clock cuppers.
Cat-burglars in our own rooms, we
Skirt the moonlit sideboard, hear
An ambulance two miles away or a
Bird that’s got the time wrong or the
Maddening snores of the righteous.
A prey to all that is terminal, we
Study the hills and plains of a
Crumb on the kitchen table, we grasp
Einstein, re-fight Waterloo and lose,
Count the next ten breaths, become
Inoperable, lie in the oven-bound coffin,
Decide not to buy a new pair of shoes.
For all this we have nothing to show,
No wounds, nothing to say this side
Of dreaming, that side of waking:
A mild attack of death, of no interest
To the reborn others who grind coffee
And are ready for the day.
MUSIC FOR BRASS
Price £7.95 per copy post free (£5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover drawings: by Elizabeth Stuart Smith. © Elizabeth Stuart Smith 1990. (From a sequence of 11 drawings titled Music for Brass).
Publication: AUTUMN 1990 (64 pages laminated paperback)