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1.8.15

FRIENDS OF ST MARY'S ISLAND






































Around the low water mark,
kelp beds grow.
Network of rockpools,
boulder shore.

Long-legged bar-tailed godwit,
expert
at finding
mud and sand-living worms.

Seabed of rocky reefs,
shipwrecks dived within and around.
Wrasse and lumpsucker.
Seashore Code.

Remembered rambles,
geology jaunts.
Soft coral communities.
Relic dunes.




KEITH ARMSTRONG

27.7.15

THE WHITE HORSE OF KILBURN
































‘They come from near and far to sit upon his eye
And stand upon his back on the hill so steep and high.’ (Thomas Goodrick)

Flying out of John Hodgson’s brilliant mind,
inspired by Harrison Weir’s artistic pen,
it took Tom Taylor to land you here 
in the ancient limestone 
of wind-mocked Roulston Scar Cliff.
Thirty two laboured to craft you,
driven by the very Soul of Creation.

They gave you the gift of witness from this hill
and you have seen an awful lot
and are not left alone.
Your fine legs are pinned
to the side of Yorkshire
and these Tykes have mounted and whitewashed you,
drawn on you out of loneliness,
abused 
and treasured you.

The rough days have flitted across your face
and the sun caressed your back.
Lovers have tried you on for size
and the skies have opened over you.

What wars, what landscaped wounds,
have passed you by.

Soldiers of God have marched on below you:
to stop your great heart hurting,
they hid you from the Nazis,
covered up your hail-lashed feelings.

Still, we will look after you,
knowing that you live on for future boys and girls
while we turn to rubble in Kilburn churchyard,
our eyes burn out,
our pulsing hearts close.

White Horse,
White Days
and Nights,
White Yorkshire Rose
in a colourful world:
this great steed belongs to all the Universe.

I do believe that 
John saw that. 
And we will continue
to feed this Horse’s lovely spirit
and, through its grace,
grow beautiful
ourselves.



KEITH ARMSTRONG

21.7.15

LIKE THE SPANISH CITY

































LIKE THE SPANISH CITY

The days have gone;
the laughter and shrieks
blown away.
We have all grown up,
left old Catalonian dreams 
and the blazing seaside bullfights.
We are dazed,
phased out.
Spaces where we courted
bulldozed
to make way
for the tack of tomorrow;
the hope in the sea breeze;
the distant echo of castanets
and voices scraping
in a dusty rotunda.
I remember where I kissed you,
where I lost you.
It was in Spain, wasn’t it?
Or was it down the Esplanade
on a wet Sunday in July?
Either way,
we are still
twinned with sunny Whitley Bay,
and flaming Barcelona too;
and our lives
will dance in fading photographs
from the pleasure dome,
whenever we leave home.



KEITH ARMSTRONG




























GARCIA LORCA IN WHITLEY BAY

I’ve come to devour your mouth
and dry you off by the hair
into the seashells of daybreak.’
(Federico Garcia Lorca)

In the rotunda,
your voice lashes out at war.
You 
sing 
on the crests of the girls,
streaming up the Esplanade.
You
scream under a parasol of gulls,
skimming through the fairground,
on a mission to strangle
flying fish.
Haunting poetry 
in the dead ghost train,
the palms of the fortune-tellers, 
dust.

Lorca in a broken-down ghost town,
scattering your petals:
Garcia up against the wall
of last night,
eyes shot;
blood from the evening sky,
dripping down an ice cream cone,
down a sweet lass’s blouse.

Saw you on the Metro, Federico,
saw you in Woolworth’s.
Saw you in the crematorium,
on Feather’s caravan site.
Saw you drown
in a sea of lyrical beauty.

Lorca,
like Community,
you are gone;
ideals
torn into coastal shreds.

Still shells 
glisten,
lips on the beach
ready
for kissing again
ready
for the re-launch
of childish dreams,                                                                 
sticky 
with candy floss                                                                                                                    
and cuckoo spit.
                                                                                                  



KEITH ARMSTRONG



The Spanish City, Whitley Bay.



                                                                                                                    


14.7.15

KEITH ARMSTRONG ON TOUR



























Here's a random list of all the places where I've performed my poetry over the years!:



ROUND BRITAIN & IRELAND

Cheltenham
Glossop
Manchester
Liverpool
Sheffield
Bolton
York
Leeds
Harrogate
Lincoln
Lancaster
Leicester
Leigh
Burnley
Shrewsbury
Boston
Kidderminster
Bristol
London (Greenwich) (Little Turnstile, Holborn)
Loughborough
Preston
Alnwick
Berwick
Spittal
Wooler
Alnmouth
Beadnell
Bamburgh
Newbiggin
Morpeth
Castle Eden
Blyth
Middlesbrough
Stockton
Kilburn
Richmond (Yorkshire)
Penrith
Carlisle
Lockerbie
Kendal
Preston
Stourbridge
Hexham
Haydon Bridge
Haltwhistle
North Shields
South Shields
Tynemouth
Whitley Bay
Killingworth
Cramlington
Percy Main
Gateshead
Blaydon
Peterlee
Easington
South Hetton
Seaham
Hartlepool
Darlington 
Durham
Newcastle upon Tyne
Byker
Loughborough
Leicester
Louth
Houghton le Spring
Sunderland
Washington
Chester le Street
Kendal
Ledbury
Bradford
Edinburgh
Aberdeen
Norham
Druridge Bay
Cullercoats
Wallsend
Newburn
Jesmond
Heaton
Scotswood
Gosforth
Kenton
Seahouses
Bridgnorth
Telford
Liverpool
Tamworth
Hebburn
Jarrow
South Hetton
Stanley
Consett
Pelton Fell
Trimdon
Spennymoor
Fishburn
Thornley
Crook
Willington
BishopAuckland
No Place

Douglas, Isle of Man


Limerick 
Dublin
Cork
Galway
Fermoy
Kinvara

Belfast


DUTCH TOURING

Amsterdam

Delft

Leeuwarden

Den Helder

The Hague

Rotterdam

Maastricht

Venlo

Katwijk

Groningen

Haren

Utrecht

Breda

Eindhoven

Hilversum

Tilburg


GERMAN TOURING

Hamburg

Stuttgart

Trier

Frankfurt

Neckartenzlingen

Freudenstadt

Melchingen

Lauffen

Nordenham

Tuebingen

Reutlingen

Kiel

Oldenberg

Stockach



ELSEWHERE IN EUROPE

Moscow,
Leningrad,
Rustavi, Tblisi (Georgia)
Molle, Sweden
Elsinore, Denmark
Amiens, Strasbourg, France
Prague
Gothenburg


Reykjavik


CULTURAL VISITS

Poland - Warsaw, Zakopane, Wroclaw, Poznan, Crakow, Lublin
Luxemburg
Salzburg
Milan
Germany - East and West Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, Meissen, Spremberg, Lake Constance, Luebeck, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Munich, Garmisch 
France - Paris, Halluin, Lille, Ivry-sur-Seine
Bulgaria - Varna, Sofia, Rila, Tvardica
Greece - Thessaloniki, Volos, Argalasti, Delphi 
Oslo

WORLD

Kenya  - Nairobi, Naivasha, Nakuru, Mombasa,
Cuba - Havana, Santiago da Cuba, Matanzas, Varederos
Kingston, Jamaica

the jingling geordie

My Photo
whitley bay, tyne and wear, United Kingdom
poet and raconteur