WORD SHARING!

WORD SHARING!

23.5.11

poetry sup!



THOSE PORTHOLE BLUES AGAIN

It’s Tuesday again
and the sun in the Stella is shining.
Yellow dust fills
the dappled Porthole
with a Golden Fleece
and the jazz, hot jazz,
belts out
raging
from this pulsating lounge.
The saints and ghosts of ancient seamen
go marching in.
Let the liquid trumpet
pour out,
my legs slide to the floor
with the trombone lilt.
Cry me this river,
lurch for the ferry.
I will ping the dart
of a blue note
through your soul.
I am only a poet,
a saxophone with words,
an improvising shantyman
thanking the landlord
for still serving me:
despite all
this poetry slurping,
this lovely drivel
dribbling
from my wicked Geordie tongue.

JUNGLE DAYS

Stirrings in the North Shields Jungle,
blood on the pub door.
Tigers in among the working lasses,
captains in glasses
passed out on the floor.
She’s got a price on the sole of her red shoes,
someone’s flogging fish in a corner.
What’s a sailor boy to do
with a sexy Chirton mermaid?
Her hair is long with mystery,
she’s got a dirty history.
Parrot in the corner’s
telling filthy tales.
Women come and go,
seeking out Shields romeos.
Down one
and bed one,
it’s a rough old thing;
this dive
writhing
with bought flesh;
this music in the blubber,
I can hear a baby cry.
Fishing boats leave in morning,
pile of broken hearts behind them:
harbour beauty,
harbour lovely dreams;
they will cover up the hardness,
soften her tough lips.
Bite on baccy,
snort your snuff,
she might just strut
some stuff for you.
Make you spurt
out of Tynemouth,
into the arms of the strapping sea.

WORK FOR A POET

From The Wooden Doll,
I clock a ferry
cutting through The Tyne.
It speaks of distance,
smacks of seagulls
soaring over fresh fish,
the chips off the Old Shields’ block.
From this unique pub window,
you can smell Scandinavia,
hear Grieg whistle a folk tune
in the same breath as Lindisfarne.
A boat tugs at my roots,
brings out the wordy sailor in me.
I am a poetry boozer,
a staggering ship,
slopping my beer all over the Quay.
Why me?
Why am I the one
who draws the bird
stuck on Stan Laurel’s head?
I will scribble down another pint.
Tomorrow I will leave
for Oslo,
to find
more work for a poet,
and a different kind of drunk.

MOUTHS OF TYNE

This poet’s wild imagination
is open all hours.
Fired by the flash of barmaids
I have worshipped,
I crawl the Shields bars,
seeking memories
of old sailors.
Thrashing through The Jungle
of sun-kissed lounges,
I look for a date
with a Tyneside Dolly,
trawl through the faded papers
for a glimpse of a dashing blade.
My thirsty history is in these pubs,
seeping through The Porthole,
swimming with the Low Lights blues.
My tongue is wagging with excitement,
I am the talk of the Tyne,
one of the many mouths
of this swilling river
in our blood.



KEITH ARMSTRONG

21.5.11

photo: tony whittle

17.5.11

Garden of Remembrance, Dublin


This garden is dedicated to the memory of all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom.


WE SAW A VISION (a poem by Liam Mac Uistin)

In the darkness of despair we saw a vision, We lit the light of hope and it was not extinguished,
In the desert of discouragement we saw a vision, We planted the tree of value and it blossomed,
In the winter of the bondage we saw a vision, We melted the snow of lethargy and the river of resurrection flowed from it.

We sent our vision aswim like a swan on the river.

The vision became a reality. Winter became summer. Bondage became freedom. And this we left to you as your inheritance.

O generation of freedom remember us, the generation of the vision.

16.5.11

the light in the centurion


















'THE LIGHT IN THE CENTURION'

FREE FULL COLOUR BROCHURE (2000 PRINT RUN) TO CELEBRATE THE CENTURION AND ITS HISTORY

FEATURING SPECIALLY COMMISSIONED POETRY FROM KEITH ARMSTRONG

PHOTOS: PETER DIXON & TONY WHITTLE

LAUNCH EVENT

THURSDAY 19TH MAY 5.30PM THE CENTURION

FEATURING SPECIALLY COMMISSIONED POETRY FROM KEITH ARMSTRONG

WITH ANN SESSOMS ON NORTHUMBRIAN PIPES AND SONGS BY GARY MILLER


PS Enjoyed your reading in the Centurion, esp the "Sing" poem.
I think the combo of the occasion and having to project over the bar
into the big space was great ... your voice really rang out!!

TREVOR

15.5.11

CITY POET




(for Ronald Ohlsen & Rense Sinkgraven, City Poets of Groningen)


I am this blue barge,

the pancake ship,

the casino of flashing neon.

I am the light in a fish’s eyes,

the icy herring down the throat.


I am the City Poet.


I am the unknown lanes we stalk along,

a red shirt,

the stripper of paint.

I am death waiting at the railway station,

a Duvel in the old buffet.


I am the City Poet.


I am a museum of children,

an Irish pub out of place,

the ancient bard etching odes.

I am the word stuck in your head,

the drugs from last night.


I am the City Poet.


I am the next call,

the starlings wheeling in the dusk,

the darkness she brought you.

I am the sober priest in the drunk’s tower,

the bus stop you kissed her at.


I am the City Poet.


I am a walking cinema,

the empty library,

the last one for the road.

I am the finger in her pants,

a frightening glance of yourself.


I am the City Poet.


I am this laughing church,

this gas factory,

the football game from hell.

I am a cracking goal,

the free man in a prison.


I am the City Poet.


I am a scream in a dull meeting,

the chairman of the bored,

the councillor for happiness.

I am a stinking canal,

the giggle in her blouse.


I am the City Poet.


I am a yellow train,

a flash across the countryside,

the bearer of state grants.

I am a brilliant dustman,

a spade amongst hearts.


I am the City Poet.


I am a word swimmer,

a shipbuilder who rhymes,

the planner of good times.

I am an evil messenger,

the dart in his face.


I am the City Poet.


I am these streets,

a fag in the pewking gutter,

the ministry of obscure diseases.

I am your filthy town,

the tears in your homesick eyes.


I am the City Poet.




KEITH ARMSTRONG

the jingling geordie

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