Thursday, 26 May 2016


The police are appealing for information on people who are seen to be acting oddly
(You know the type)
People who:

make love in business hours,
sing in the Bank,
dance to work,
stand naked in the dole queue.
touch the person in the next seat,
sit in the wrong corners,
stand on seats,
stand in the stands,
steal so they don't starve,
shout angrily at the rich,
break down and twitch in public,
burn money,
kiss coloureds,
fight racists,
swim in the Tyne,
drown in the Tyne,
get drunk at the wrong time,
sleep when they should be awake,
undress when they should be dressing,
eat when they should be drinking,
drink when they should be eating,
wear no underclothes under their uniform,
refuse to wear a uniform,
call a weed a flower,
listen to bird song,
drive to drink,
grow hair and grow young,
try to fly,
laugh too much &
make beautiful and useless things
(That type of person)

Keith Armstrong

Wednesday, 18 May 2016


The sun on Danby Gardens
smells of roast beef,
tastes of my youth.
The flying cinders of a steam train
spark in my dreams.
Across the old field,
a miner breaks his back
and lovers roll in the ditches,
off beaten tracks.
Off Bigges Main,
my grandad taps his stick,
reaches for the braille of long-dead strikes.
The nights
fair draw in
and I recall Joyce Esthella Antoinette Giles
and her legs that reached for miles,
tripping over the stiles 
in red high heels.
It was her and blonde Annie Walker
who took me in the stacks
and taught me how to read
the signs
that led inside their thighs.
Those Ravenswood girls
would dance into your life
and dance though all the snow drops
of those freezing winters,
in the playground of young scars.
And I remember freckled Pete
who taught me Jazz,
who pointed me to Charlie Parker
and the edgy bitterness of Brown Ale.
Mrs Todd next door
was forever sweeping
leaves along the garden path
her fallen husband loved to tread.
Such days:
the smoke of A4 Pacifics in the aftermath of war,
the trail of local history on the birthmarked street.
And I have loved you all my life
and will no doubt die in Danby Gardens
where all my poems were born,
just after midnight.


Monday, 2 May 2016



Follow the Sun is a new project for this year's Heritage Open Days (September 8th to 11th 2016) to mark the bicentenary of George Stephenson's sundial at Dial Cottage, Killingworth.
Northern Voices Community Projects, with the support of North Tyneside Council, is encouraging local writers, artists, musicians and schoolchildren to come up with poems, songs, stories and artwork to celebrate the sundial. A booklet of the written material and artwork, together with an historical background, will be launched on September 9th in Killingworth with readings of poems and stories and performances of the songs.
Please send your poems, stories, songs and artwork on this theme to NVCP: