The sky surrounds me.
Why have I walked so tall?
I rest my weary head
on this cold mountain,
milky pastures
wrapped around the hills
like scarves.

Snow falls in my hair,
melts into dandruff.
I am combing this mountainside for you
Richard Strauss
of the long locks,
whose private house dreams down below,
beneath the looming avalanche of Alps.

I have flown this far to touch you,
to scrape a hill with a fingernail,
to walk barefoot on Bavaria.

The military bands still bury the dead.
A raucous bell around your neck,
The music is not pretty.
It howls from the Russian front
and splinters the bones of a Garmisch churchyard.
And now, through the eyes of the Zugspitze, I watch
fresh battles conducted on your beloved soil,
GIs skiing patterns of another war.

In this time, I lie naked all night,
all ears to your drifting music
as it whistles across the valley,
telling the grumbling peasants that
you too were really a lonely man

who kissed the snow,
and Adolf’s freezing hand.

Keith Armstrong

(Published in Blue Max Review 2012)

the jingling geordie

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