Newcastle upon Tyne
The Tyne throws us the town when
the pier embraces us. Cranes and forgotten
dockyards shore up the horizon.
The ship throbs through a contented snooze.
Stuffed men breakfast on beer,
women like buffalo stare into unfulfilled dreams.
The casino blows their chances time and again.
Escape the weather in shopping paradises,
visit Grainger Market to buy what you already have.
In the pub nobody’s a stranger,
the solid smell of boundless boozing,
we toast to good fortune and sorrow shared.
Give me a drink, shatter the glasses,
scream the punters awake, knock down the town
with tender phrases, make me feel secure.
When your home has become a road
what then is still a safe place to sleep?
Only memory provides a comfy bed.
The boat ploughs the dark waters.
Newcastle waves its dirty grey plumes.
There’s bingo for the hopeless.
[translation Willem Groenewegen, 2007]
Posted by keith armstrong at 12:06 pm