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

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

20.10.12

KICKING OFF WITH A BANG!



KICKING OFF WITH A BANG!

A MANIFESTO FOR NORTHUMBRIA - 

OFFICIAL LAUNCH AT THE OLD GEORGE, CLOTH MARKET, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE. ADMISSION  FREE. MONDAY 5TH NOVEMBER 7.30PM.

READINGS FROM THE NEW MANIFESTO BY DR KEITH ARMSTRONG & BRIAN HALL.

WITH NORTH EAST CULTURAL POETRY BY DR ARMSTRONG.

ANN SESSOMS ON NORTHUMBRIAN PIPES AND FOLK SONGS BY 'KIDDAR'S LUCK'.

TEL. NORTHERN VOICES COMMUNITY PROJECTS 0191 2529531 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.





BONFIRES


Something is burning inside me;
you could call it my heart
but it's much more precise than that, it's a bonfire;
crackling sticks of shy words.


Crossing the country last week,
I saw them,
jumbled up heaps of poems
assembling,
rioting bundles of wood,
alone in October-dry fields.


Tonight, sitting here,
with only you in my eyes,
dazed by the intense glare, I devise
a scheme to link bonfires across the land,
to burn down the walls between our hands,


if only to set your face alight,
if only to see one Guy Fawkes Day
your dreamy children smile.




KEITH ARMSTRONG




TELL ME LIES ABOUT NORTHUMBERLAND
(in honour of Adrian Mitchell)

Say this land is ours, 
these pipe-tunes do not cry. 
The birds all sing in dialect,
old miners breathe like dukes.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

Tell me it isn’t feudal,
that castles were built for us.
We never touch the forelock,
bend to scrape up dust.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

Your pretty girls don’t stink of slaughter,
your eyes don’t blur with myth.
You’re as equal as a duchess,
saints never smell of piss.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

Your roots are in this valley,
you were never from doon south.
You never hide your birthplace,
you’re a real poet of the north.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

The churches are not crumbling,
the congregations glow with hope.
We are different from the foreigner,
our poetry rhymes with wine. 

Tell me lies about Northumberland. 

There is no landed gentry,
no homes locals can’t afford.
There’s no army on the moors,
the Romans freed us all.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

That the hurt is in the past,
the future holds no war.
Home rule is at our fingertips,
the Coquet swims with love.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.  

‘The Garden’ is our children’s,
Hotspur spurs us on.
The seagulls are not soaked in oil,
the cows are not diseased.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

This Kingdom is United,
‘Culture’ is our God. 
Everyone’s a Basil Bunting freak,
there’s music everywhere.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

We will have our independence,
we’ll get the Gospels back.
We live off museums and tourists,
we don’t need boats or trades.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

We’re in charge of our own futures,
we have north east citizens here.
In this autonomous republic,
we’re free as dicky birds.

So shut your eyes.

And tell me lies 

about Northumberland.




KEITH ARMSTRONG



SONG FOR NORTHUMBERLAND


Drifting in moonlight,
the dunes sing their songs.
Wings of old battles
fly all night long.
Cry of the seagulls,
curse of the ghosts;
aches of dead warriors
scar this old coast.

Hover the kestrel,
sing out the lark,
we will be free in our time.
This air is our breath,
this sea is our thirst
and our dreams are sailing home.

Wandering through castles,
their walls are our lungs.
Seaching for freedom
in country homes.
Forbears and old cares
blown in the wind;
pull of loved harbours
draws our boats in.

Surge of the salmon
and urge of the sea
leaps in our local blood.
Peel of the bluebells
and ring of bold tunes
reel in all those grey years.

Slopes of the Cheviots,
caress of the waves.
Shipwrecks and driftwood
float in our heads.
Pele-stones and carved bones
hide in these hills,
roots of new stories
in ancient tales.

Dew on our lips
and beer on the breath,
drinking the countryside in.
Bread of the landscape
and wine of this earth,
flows on these river beds.

Drifting in moonlight,
the dunes sing their songs.
Wings of old battles
fly all night long.
Cry of the seagulls,
curse of the ghosts;
aches of dead warriors
scar this old coast.

Hover the kestrel,
sing out the lark,
we will be free in our time.
This air is our breath,
this sea is our thirst
and our dreams are sailing home.



KEITH ARMSTRONG



ALSO FORTHCOMING:
Wednesday January 16th 2013 7.30pm.
Northern Voices Community Projects Annual Award event. Presentation of annual Northern Voices Community Projects Joseph Skipsey Award - and commemoration of the Hartley Pit Disaster with poems and songs. This event will also mark the 45th anniversary of the death of Newcastle writer Jack Common and the 110th of his birth, with readings from his works, poems and songs by local folk group 'Kiddar's Luck'.

Tuesday September 3rd 2013 7.30pm.
Northern Voices Community Projects. A special event to mark the 110th anniversary of the death of pitman poet Joseph Skipsey (1832-1903) with songs and readings.
Events held at Mining Institute, Westgate Road, Newcastle

the jingling geordie

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