jingle jingle!

jingle jingle!

12.1.16

CONSTANCE










































‘Hours, more brief than the kiss
Of a beam on the lake that is mourning,
Than the song of a bird on the wing,
Which drops down like pearls from above .....’

Annette von Droste-Hulshoff (1797-1848)



I have lakes for eyes today
on a ferry across memory.
I am reaching for friends,
skirting boundaries.
My arms thrash in wild waves.
In this moody vista
of wet dreams
and legends,
the horseman rides
his panting steed
across the ice of cold lake kisses,
not knowing, in all this darkness,
just how close he is
to a plunging death.
The swirling weeds,
that wrap themselves
around our shaking bodies,
are full of drowned days
and gulped-down sunshine.

Look! These Alps are clouds today,
and the mountains pile up in the sky.
The line is thin between
fantastic vision
and suicide.
Another sip and I’ll slash my wrists,
gash the sky with blood,
dash poems on a promenade
awash with tourist trash
and the curse of cash.

Knowing looks
she gives me,
does this mighty Constance.
She gleams with sunlight
and sadness,
her red wave hits the mountain’s edge.
I want to get to know her more,
to sail in her dreamy looks
and thunderous smiles.
What tales she echoes,
what amazing craft
she sinks.
The breath of Europe
is recorded in the Bodensee’s sighing:
the wars and agonised cries,
the shrieks of pleasure-boats,
the dying of pointless ideals.
Her castles and churches bear testimony
to all the joy and futility,
the spasms of birth,
the ruination of fine folk.

And so my good friends
let us sip the scent off our brimful Lake
to forget where we’re going
for at least one long breath.
Life can be good at this moment.
It will come on to rain
but the Swabian Sea
will float with stars.
The flaming blood of her heart
will break through a thousand gates.
And our songs will live
when we are gone,
and some will tremble at them
who felt like us.





KEITH ARMSTRONG

Lake Constance

the jingling geordie

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