MISSION ACCOMPLISHED IN TUEBINGEN

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED IN TUEBINGEN

27.2.16

COMMUNICATION


Sunday.
October.
Leaves race wind.
Darkness creeps in
closer.
Bigg Market.
Cruel autumn mist.
A passion filled throat
croaks:
“The only difference between a man and a horse
is a man eats porridge and a horse eats oats.”
The Catholic Evidence Guild.
A wiry woman sways on soap.
Streetlights,
playing about her face,
highlights each contour of her chiselled skin.
She spits out fire and breathes in smoke.

Cut.

Two blocks away our poets meet,
uneasily pace the stage.
Raking over the cinders of their published works,
they search for warmth in the drunken past.

Communication or division?
Coordination or collision?

Poets are feeding tonight,
driftwood from bed-sitter lands,
whispering lines behind locked doors:
shadows,
frightened creatures,
caves.

Frightened?
Why be frightened?

Deck out our billboards with your raging verse,
swamp our switchboards with your anxious calls.
No more of this scribbling in the dark.
You might as well be locked in prison,
as choked in the cells of your own derision.

Communication or division?
Coordination or collision?

Travelling home by train,
two twitching mates
waggle their sensitised fingers and laugh.

Communication or division?
Coordination or collision?



KEITH ARMSTRONG

21.2.16

THE FLAIR OF CENTURIES

 photos by otto buchegger

 



























As an owl flits across
Herrenbergerstrasse roofs,
we all must know
of the shadows of
many lost hopes and careers.
There is no plaque to commemorate
the victims
of all those great and intellectual battles.
Their talents have leaked away
in the midst of a lifetime’s pleasures,
in this market place
of all the Swabian Muses.

O the Ammer and the Neckar
ripple with fallen petals
and you can hear the strains
of the Rauberlied
drifting towards you
along rivers of song.
It’s a riot for bread and grain,
even the Professors get paid in crumbs,
above the heads of their hungry students.
And all the old comedians
chortle in their granaries,
as Camerarius discovers the sex of plants
and our Fuchs christens a flower.

Walk the Platanenallee and listen
to Silcher’s tunes in the trees.
Trace Hauff’s tales in the wood
and Uhland’s poems on the water.

It is the flair of centuries
of intellectual uplifting:
it is the scent of Tuebingen’s fuchsias
bursting open
your heart.





KEITH ARMSTRONG

19.2.16

AMSTERDAMMER
















You looked so sexy on your bicycle.
Blonde hair, flying
in the Prinsengracht breeze,
swept past me
as you darted on
to make your life
full of wonder.
Riding towards a child,
you left me
to find myself
another brown bar
and all the doomed
consolation
of another afternoon’s
sensual
intoxication.
KEITH ARMSTRONG

15.2.16

Keith Armstrong - My Father Worked on Ships

Keith Armstrong - My Father Worked on Ships: Well Versed is edited by Jody Porter

9.2.16

FOR PAUL




 


























I saw you
creeping
round Baudelaire’s grave.
You were on a pilgrimage from Blyth.
I saw your face in Montparnasse,
blending with a swarm of irises.
You needed to get away from the grime,
to bathe in flowers of evil,
to wash your pale white body
in the Paris crowds,
broaden your worried brow.
Your young poems already rot
in the cemetery of poets
and yet you still churn out the stuff
as if your little voice meant something.
There is no going back
to that fateful day
when our eyes met by chance,
neighbours brought together by France
and the great mind of Charles.
He lay there,
pecked at by the grip of time,
in agony,
drugged by a quickfire nib,
injected with the poison of love
and the wit of drunkenness;
and I saw you,
before I even met you,
and I knew that one day we would fly
to a liberated Prague together,
to taste the freedom of the streets
and the lightning lash of fate.



Keith Armstrong

6.2.16

FOR ROBERT MY GOOD FRIEND

























Solidarity
was the word I was looking for
down the lanes of Temple Bar
between the tourist spots
and the poetry slots of all Ireland.
And at last I found it
in Charlie St George’s bar
clashing glasses of Guinness with you
Robert my good friend,
blessing the magical days
when we were born
to share our dribbling verses,
our hard-earned lines,
between ourselves
but above all with others
of our gentle persuasion
whether here in Limerick’s rain-soaked lanes
with Richard Harris
or in Newcastle’s Bridge Hotel
with William Blake
over the cobbles of our dreams
to airport lounges
and soaring planes,
just anywhere at all
to fly our poems.
For this I thank you Robert,
for staying with me,
for offering strong friendship
when all the world is falling apart around us.
Let us celebrate love again
in a pint of plain
and poetry in our memorable smiles
this day by the glorious Shannon
and in the sunlight of the River Tyne.




KEITH ARMSTRONG

the jingling geordie

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