This is where I was joined to the world,
this is where I first appeared
and took to walking
along the sun-baked pavements
on the route of the 15 bus.
I joined
with the Heaton race,
found a sense of place 
out of my mother's arms
and up Sackville Road
to Ravenswood.
Junctions rushed towards me,
engines of progress,
steam days in the 52B shed.
Magical machines
flew past me
along the quarter mile sidings
in the coaly night
as the local cats screamed
and young dogs yelped.
It was my time
to run with my youth
and someone threw me 
a book to disappear in,
something to engage
my history with,
streets lining up
for exploration;
feeding off
Chillingham Road, 
getting lost
in the Scala,
eyes swirling
with street life, 
the Whitefield Terrace colours
of another teeming Heaton day.
There I was
chucking snowballs
at trains,
skimming along rails,
for girls on the ice.
We pranced together,
joined gangs of trees
in the Park,
threw ourselves
into the smoke from chimneys,
dreamed through the nights
of black locomotives,
joining us to London
and Edinburgh,
taking us out
of ourselves.
We don’t forget
those junctions
that linked us
to the wealth
of a history shimmering
in the back lanes  
and in the leaves
dancing in sunlight 
in Jesmond Dene,
running across Armstrong Bridge
to greet 
our futures. 


The trains
speed through
your memories:
the old lady waiting
with a pram,
the boy in black and white.
Days in the Heaton sun
swept aside
in the rush
to rationalise.
I was that boy,
still am,
on the platform
looking for the words
to express
true feelings
for my home;
drifting in the smoke,
derelict clouds
along First Avenue
and out of sight
into local photographs.


the jingling geordie

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