BACK IN TUEBINGEN IN NOVEMBER FOR TUEBINGEN/DURHAM 30TH ANNIVERSARY ANTHOLOGY LAUNCH

BACK IN TUEBINGEN IN NOVEMBER FOR TUEBINGEN/DURHAM 30TH ANNIVERSARY ANTHOLOGY LAUNCH

13.5.11

FOR RUUD

















Everything

was straight in your face

on Rozen Dwars Straat.

Proud

to be Jordaanese,

you wore a flower

in your hair,

on a road full

of colour

and perfume.

On St. Nicholas’ Day,

they gave you a present

of football,

all the way

from the Sonny Boys

of Surinam

to the Meerboys

of Amsterdam.


‘Devil’s calves’,

your father had,

a shot

like thunder over the Rijkesmuseum

where your mother,

Ria Dil,

cleaned,

working the ‘Night Watch’

through the underground tunnels

of a World of Art,

with Rembrandt, Rubens and M.C. Escher

your Stars.

The colour of those galleries

lit your mind,

took you

to the Mayans of Peru,

the Ancient Egyptians,

and the Crazy Cosmonauts

of your bright imaginings

in Bilbao Square,

Amsterdam Old West.


At the J.J. van Noord School,

in the regimented drizzle,

you practiced

knocking down bricks

and teachers

with the ball:

it was Football,

just Football,

only Football for you,

dancing inside your head’s canals,

all the seconds

of each teeming day

on the Amstel trams.


Ruud,

I am ferrying

these lines for you

across the Seas my father sailed;

words from a Geordie Boy,

dug from black-and-white chares,

simply

to let you know

that I saw the child

in you,

the Wonder shine in you,

in the sultry dreadlocked darkness of your face.

And I saw you cry out

by the Tyne

for your roots:

for Jerry Haatrecht your best friend

and all the black players of ‘89

who died

on a DC-8

in Suriname

and still burn on

in you.





KEITH ARMSTRONG


the jingling geordie

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