jingle jingle!

jingle jingle!

31.1.13

BACK TO TUEBINGEN MARCH 18TH-22ND!






















THE FLAIR OF CENTURIES

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

27.1.13

OH FARE YE WELL OLD RABY STREET



























(in memory of Jack Routledge, folk singer)

In ‘The Phoenix’,
you belted out
your heart again
for us,
playing on those bones,
the minutes beating on your bodrahn,
and your lungs full to bursting
with the music
of days long gone:
‘the wash house
standing in the rain,
the smell of washing
through a broken pane.’

I thought you were a brick,
safe as houses,
but you crumbled,
just like your beloved Byker Bank,
broken.

Sinking the darkness of a Guinness,
I listen to a tape of you
that night in Lauffen,
your voice filling the pub,
and I can see
the sweat dripping from you,
all those sung memories
shared with us,
flowing 
like the Tyne.

We grew apart, I know,
but, friend Jack, now that you have gone,
I’ll treasure even more
the times we socked it 
to ‘em all
those nights merry
with my sweet poetry,
and brilliant
with your sweet songs.


                                   
KEITH ARMSTRONG


Your description fits him to a 'T' - his clear voice, lungs bursting, beads of perspiration, he put everything into his singing - oh, and not to mention his playing of the bones !!  Such memories stay with us.


With thanks and all good wishes - Ken Hudson
                           - Lower Wyke, West Yorkshire

19.1.13

another grand neet @ newcastle's mining institute







'The work, all the way from creativity in your writing across to encouraging others, organising events, and so on, in relation to North East culture is immense, in my humble view. This proud region would be very weakened if people like you did not put so much effort and time and talent into all its various aspects of life, not least its history.' (Brian Hall).






17.1.13

AWARD WINNERS


There are 2 winners of the Northern Voices Community Projects Joseph Skipsey Award this year:


Rachel Cochrane - Stocksfield based writer and dramatist and the brains behind the Listen Up North website. Her energy and motivation and the help she has given to the region's writers is phenomenal. This award is well earned and overdue.

Dave Alton - Burnley born Dave has battled away with his poetry for years on Tyneside, his adopted community, and he deserves wider recognition for this efforts. His work is rooted in the traditional folk songs and ballads of the region. With Keith Armstrong he helped establish the innovative Poetry Tyneside blog. Now that he has moved to Barnsley, he will be very much the instigator of Northern Voices Community Projects' enterprises in the Yorkshire area, developing exchange links with Tyneside, as well as maintaining his own commitment to the north east.



Further information: NVCP tel 0191 2529531


13.1.13

BURNS NIGHT!



Burns Night with The Black Light Engine Room!!!
Friday, 25 January 2013
19:00 until 23:00

Celebrate Burns Night with BLER by coming along with your poems and getting legless!

Featuring the legendary Keith Armstrong!! Sara Dennis!! Midway Arcadia!!

Blast into the New Year with the Best! £3 entry. 

O'Connells,
29-41 Bedford Street, TS1 2LL Middlesbrough

12.1.13

ELEPHANTS IN TUEBINGEN



























Such a postwar circus, 
swill of pigs and drawn out cold war,
the bleeding never stops.
Under the straw,
the claw of a miserable history
grabs down the years
at the young who are innocent
of all the butchery and whoredom.
Imperial Germany is a fagged out colonial office,
a sweating prison
of bashed up ideals,
a broken clock
covered in ticks and leeches.

The animals have escaped
and invade the Market Place.
Elephants sup at Neptune’s old fountain,
spurt out the foam of stagnant days, 
trunks curling to taste the Neckar water.

This Tuebingen is a surreal pantomime:
barmaids swing from ceilings,
policemen hang from their teeth.
Frau Binder throws them buns.

And our Max Planck is a dream inventor.
Some boffin of his crosses a peach with a tulip,
the genetics of a bayonet in a breast.
The menagerie moves on to the Castle,
a giraffe nibbles at a church.
The sun gnaws at the clouds.

Like a clown,
I leap to down beer.
And a hideously sweet lady cracks a whip
and flashes her milky thigh at me.
It is no good.
I cannot raise a glassy smile anymore.
This circus is a tragedy.
The animals are sad 
and rotten
with the stink of carnage,
seeping 
from your television screens.



KEITH ARMSTRONG

11.1.13

Poetry in Leeds

27th February - Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre (HEART) Ltd, Bennett Road, Leeds LS6 3HN  7.30pm.  A reading featuring three Ward Wood poets – Keith Armstrong, David Cooke and Joy Howard.

the jingling geordie

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