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

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

23.4.14

OLD NEWCASTLE
































CASTLE KEEP


Keep, 
this history by the river.
Keep, 
the stairway to the past.
Keep,
the memories singing folk songs.
Keep,
the cobbles wet with blood.
Keep,
those ballads down the centuries.
Keep,
the ancient voices in your head.
Keep, 
these stones alive with music.
Keep,
the wind howling in the brick.
Keep
the days that speed our lives. 
Keep,
the rails to guide you there.
Keep,
the people that you meet.
Keep, 
the children's faces dancing. 
Keep,
the devil in your fleeting eyes.
Keep,
the bridges multiplying.
Keep,
the moon upon the Tyne.
Keep,
the flag of lovers flying.
Keep,
your feet still 
Geordie hinny.


KEITH ARMSTRONG


BLACK GATE


Black Gate,
an oxter of history,
reaches for me
with a stubby finger,
invites me into Old Newcastle,
its vital cast
of craggy characters,
Garth urchins,
dancing blades
and reeling lasses.
Black Gate,
I can read
the lines 
on your brow,
the very grit
on your timelined walls,
the furrowed path
down the Geordie lane
where Alexander Stephenson stoops
to let me in
and the merchant Patrick Black
still trades in memories.
Once 
there was a tavern
inside you,
that’s why 
the bricks cackle
and the windows creak
with the crack of old ale
and the redundant patter
of publican John Pickell. 
Black Gate,
you could say
my childhood is in your stones,
my mother and father figures,
my river
of drifting years,
waiting to greet me.
Hoist up your drawbridge,
in the startling chill 
of a Tyne dawn,
this boy is with you
and with himself
in this home city
of old bones,
new blood
and dripping dreams.



KEITH ARMSTRONG

*The Black Gate is named after the seventeenth century tenant, merchant Patrick Black

the jingling geordie

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