Peterloo Poets published three volumes of Brian Waltham’s poems: Music for Brass, 1990, Masterclass, 1994, and The Soldier on the Pier, 2002. A further collection of unpublished poems, The Hang Of It, was brought out in 2011 by Line Press, edited by Caroline Cooper, with the help of John Mole and Will Wain. If you would like to enquire about purchasing The Hang Of It, or any other of Brian’s titles please contact us here [link shortly].

The poems below are all from The Hang Of It, 2011.

Wimbledon and…

One moment Mr Becker.

Will the dark-haired girl

In the white blouse and red scarf,

Apparently on her own, second row in

The north stand, four from the end,

Please go urgently to Flat 3A,

Fourteenth floor, Jubilee Tower,

East Bexley, where a viewer who

Has seen her only for a moment

Knows that he would never

Get tired of her face.

Thank you Mr Becker.

Forty love……..


Ah but there are days that come

Fresh from under stars so close and

Clear that you want to stoop;

Days that hug enough of dew

Never to be knowing and old,

That keep the tang of wet in roots

And wisdom gets no further than

A droplet in a nettle, teaching

The sun about colour.

Then, as morning stays early, there

Can be the very near, catching the

Run of an ant on a wall, or this

Intimate breath of moss or that

Spider tying a can to a tap.

Then, as the roof-tiles prink out

Their wiry lichen, the clouds

Argue about shape and how many

Shadows to let race across the

Hillside maize.

Then, still new, it is old as grass,

Old as the first rain, old as the

First creatures, new as wonder.


For Caroline

For all the talk of magic

And once-only music,

I reached your shore

With stuff not fit to land.

The truth is not storms or greatness,

But a hull that would always

Finish in the sand.

Not Odysseus, but a

Bankrupt from rotting quays,

Sewage-silt, sargasso weed,

Come to find your rock and

Yarn about the murderous seas.