BACK IN TUEBINGEN IN NOVEMBER FOR ANTHOLOGY LAUNCH!

BACK IN TUEBINGEN IN NOVEMBER FOR ANTHOLOGY LAUNCH!

23.4.17

MARSDEN ROCK


MARSDEN ROCK







 










































































 MARSDEN ROCK


Sensational Rock,
swimming in light.
Bird cries clinging to ancient ledges,
Kittiwakes smashing against time.
What tales you could tell.

Your face is so moody,
flickers with breezes,
crumbles in a hot afternoon.

Climbing your powdery steps,
we look down on the sea
thrashing at you.

We join a choir of birds at your peak,
cry out to the sky
in good spirits.

Nesting for the sake of it,
our lyrics are remnants on the shore.

We keep chipping away,
do we not?

We slip
through the pebbles,
splashing
with babies.

We leave our mark,
a grain
on the ancient landscape.

We go.

We dance like the sunlight
on your scarred body:

tripping,
falling,
singing

away.




KEITH ARMSTRONG

20.4.17

HERMANN HESSE IN TUEBINGEN: THE YOUTH OF THE POET OF YOUTH - Die Jugend des Dichters der Jugend


































 








(Hermann Hesse in Tuebingen, 1895-1899)

The sunflower opens as does my heart,
Longing,
Expanding
In love and hope.
Spring, what is your intent?
When will my thirst be quenched? ...

(Eduard Moerike)

Today a prayer
in my nervous heart,
starting the tasks of the day
at 7am
with the edge of a warm coffee
on my silent tongue.
Through the window,
people’s bodies stir
leaves
and beating birds
swim in the fresh daylight

‘My growing wings should carry the songs’
on my way to work
in the beautiful city,
smitten with melancholy,
no spring in my shoes,
back to the yawning books,
back to the cellar of Hades.
7.30,
another stretch of a morning,
Carl August Sonnewald
and his Swabian breathing,
Henirich Hermes
and that cough thick with the phlegm 
of heavy tomes;
the ethic of work
rampant,
all-consuming,
eating away at joy,
sucking the melody
from the throats of songsters.

O painful youth
where will it all end?
Where in this cosmos
is the love?:
‘My gods are better and more faithful
than that Sunday God.’
I scramble up the hill 
for lunch
taking the air within Castle walls,
Father Goethe keeping me company,
clinging to the beauty
of butterflies
in the gardens,
something to hang onto
to get through the afternoon with
at the enduring bench,
overfowing with commerce
and the daily grind of monotonous money.

Sometimes
a swim in the Neckar
is the only way to cool off
and midnight walks on sleepless nights. 
Writing means singing,
poetry is song.
Chopin
ripples in the trees
along Herrenberger Strasse,
dances in Lauscher the Listener’s
lonely little room.
A sip of Frau Leopold’s bitter cider
makes me drowsy,
ready to cave in,
looking for love
in the strings
of a violin.
Student suicides,
funereal music 
waft by,
a fraternity carousing
in the dirty street.

Half the night,
I lie at the window
reading Moerike
and Novalis,
surrounded by books
all the time;
and that bastard Herr Christaller upstairs
whistling at night,
bumping about
in his boots.
Swabian stories
at the Swabian Clerks’ Club,
startling misadventures
and fairy tales
keeping me awake in bed,
unused kisses on my bachelor pillow,
moths of poems
taunting me
down centuries.
And Otto and Ludwig and Carlo, Oskar and Wilhelm,
‘Le Petit Cenacle’,
surrounding me at another Last Supper,
sinking in the beer-soaked words
of this pissing city.
Life is so lonely for us all in the end
with only the glint of a smile on the face of Helene
or the hint of a tune in a line
to redeem it:
the smile on a mother’s glad face,
the grace of a feather in sunlight.

I am looking for a lake
to rest my Romantic Songs by;
I am looking for a cab
out of town,
a way of leaving Tuebingen
without ever leaving it.
Step out of my way,
a writer is coming.
Let me reach for the sky
with the fountain pen 
of a spirited man,
grown beautuful
from the twitching bones
of shy youth.

One day the stars above 
Shall flow in golden wine, 
We will enjoy it all, 
And as stars we will shine.

(Novalis) 




KEITH ARMSTRONG




A perfect poem, Keith!!!
A new style! Please, more of those!
Jakub
A copy to my friends from all around the globe... Sweden, USA New Zealand, France, Germany (Mittlefranken und Aachen), Austria, Prague and Northumberland.





17.4.17

BYKER HILL




Poems by Keith Armstrong



FIRST PUBLISHED BY IRD ARTS CLUB 1972






byker

antique mart of memory’s remnants
glad bag of fading rags

bedraggled old flag

blowing in the wind over newcastle



    


we stand on street corners shivering in the winter
like birds sheltering from the wind

we do not rattle loose change in our pockets
only the nuts and bolts of poverty

we are splinters
ill-shaven
our clothes droop on us
using our bones for hangers

we avoid mirrors and images of ourselves in shields road doorways
we do not look through windows

we draw curtains of beer across our eyes
we sleep/place bets

every week on dole day hunger prods us awake

it is instinct

it is a fear of never waking






yesterday’s records in a raby street window
yesterday’s news
revolving today

pictures of byker trapped in a camera
yesterday’s photos
developed today

yesterday’s headlines
today’s wrapping paper

yesterday’s wars are bloodless today






snot drips nose
wailing ragman drags a foot
and sniffs


any old rags
any old rags


hair like straw
homespun
snot runs
licks cracked mouth


any old rags
any old rags

as raby street
               declines
          into
water


any old rags
any old rags





watson’s toffee factory
wrapped in mist
melts in the watering mouth of the dawn
another byker child is born

another byker son assumes
the dusty jacket of a byker man 





and this is the truth
the wind-ripped reality between the grave and the womb
the aimlessness
the weary broken people
shuffling through the measured lines of architects’ reports

the cripples
the dying streets
behind the brash and snatching shops
the coughing strays

this is all the small print
the drifting words
beneath the glossy covers

and this is mother byker now

a wasteland of schools
churches public houses
a frail old woman
her mouth and eyes bricked over
tilting

on her last legs





change
creeps like a lizard over the face of byker
dragging behind it its retinue of planners
                                                wreckers 
                                                builders and
                                                    visionaries

tomorrow
you will wake from your years of sleeping
and find what you knew to be yours being hauled away
over byker bridge on the backs of lorries
your yesterday
in clouds of dust





byker folk are living still
byker folk on byker hill
fading flowers on a window sill
byker folk
                hang
                        on

the jingling geordie

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