POEM Philip Burton

NWR Issue 109

Two Piano Tuners

The clown who longs to play Hamlet
understands the piano tuner who

not only masters the instrument’s
temperament – from inside out – but ends

the repair with a grand performance
of Islamey’s Oriental Fantasy

and a shrug to the dumb-struck owner.
Other tuners get their kicks from dissonance –

a perverse thrill in finding G# a semitone out.
They build a database of delinquent notes

to share with like-minds at trade conventions
and shun playing any tune at all.

Philip Burton was runner-up last year in the Ilkley Literature Festival poetry competition, judged by Gillian Clarke. He also recently won both the Sentinel (August) Literary Quarterly poetry competition, and the 2014 Teignmouth Poetry Festival competition. His poems have appeared in anthologies for adults and children, and journals including PN review, Stand and Smiths Knoll.


previous poem: The Centre
next poem: Star Tin Ga Cha: Fission Fragments


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