Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009








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Poems by Neal Mason


Neal Mason became a freelance writer in 1988. His plays have been broadcast on radio, and his short stories broadcast and published in magazines, but poetry is his prime concern. His poems have appeared in Poetry Review, Encounter, Poetry Wales, The Anglo-Welsh Review and other leading literary magazines. Eight of the poems in this volume were represented in Peterloo Preview 2 (1990). He was born in Middlesex and educated in Norfolk.

Many of the poems in this first full collection are, as the title suggests, concerned with the past and the ways in which we uncover it, integrating it into our lives. Through the medium of such palpable objects as a Bronze Age board game, a Roman sandal and a 2,000 B.C. terracotta mouse, the author reveals common human bonds and a conjunction between an almost ungraspable past and the present. But there is nothing dusty about Neal Mason’s first collection – it is full of wit and contemporary human relevance.


Roman Sandal

When your midnight came
you left
no fancy slipper to fashion
comfortable tales; only this
buckled leather
scuffed and kicked off
last thing at night.

I stop
as though tripped,
straggling thongs
arranged in ornamental sand,
two thousand years
between one step
and the next.

The indentation
of a toe. Silly
to be alarmed
by scraps of mouldy leather,
wrinkled and worn,
about size nine, yet
how perfectly it fits.

Mirrored in the case
like a buyer in a shoe shop
I read of workers
brushing carefully at your heels,
my track shoes faster
by an inch or two
when unearthed in the dig.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: detail from an amphora from Kamiros, Rhodes by the painter of the running man c.540 B.C. (Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum).
Publication: SPRING 1991 (56 pages laminated paperback)