It could almost be a detail from Vermeeras could the catch-light of their helmetsdomed and gleaming, pictured hereamong the ravaged London streets:
two wardens, one with a decorated china jugand pouring tea out for the otherwho warms rough hands around his mugas if either might have asked Shall I be mother?
At any moment anything may happen -somebody’s world become a heap of stoneor something precious be forever broken,an orphaned child found wandering alone -
as it still happens, as we check the TV screenfor daily close-ups and a body countrather more Goya than Vermeer, obscenein every detail he’d record in paint.
This is what we witness, surrogate wardensof remote streets, far enough removedto keep watch from our homes and gardens,feeling our tender consciences reproved
by unknown victims of a different war,of ideologies beyond the reachor comprehension of this decent pairwho stand here in the street together, each
intent on what they celebrate, those smallresidual habits, tender domesticityincongruous and brief, a welcome intervalallowed for kindness, pouring a mug of tea.
was founded by Harry Chambers, still the Publishing Director, in 1976.
Its masthead is “poetry of quality by new or neglected poets”. Peterloo
publishes between 8 and 10 volumes of poetry a year, runs an annual
poetry competition – the 2008 competition will be the 24th – and, since
1999, an annual International Poetry Festival.
"From time to time
it has seemed to me that the Peterloo Poets series is a haven of poetic
sanity in a world of modish obfuscation."Michael Glover, British Book News