Keith Armstrong

 

 

William Blake in the Bridge Hotel

 

A few pints of Deuchars and my spirit is soaring.

The child dances out of me,

goes running down to the Tyne,

while the little man in me wrestles with a lass

and William Blake beams all his innocence in my glass.

And the old experience sweats from a castle’s bricks

as another local prophet takes a jump off the bridge.

 

It’s the spirit of Pat Foley and the ancient brigade

on the loose down the Quayside stairs

in a futile search,

just a step in the past,

for one last revolutionary song.

 

All the jars we have supped

in the hope of a change;

all the flirting and courting and chancing downstream;

all the words in the air and the luck pissed away.

It seems we oldies are running back

screaming to the Bewick days,

when a man could down a politicised quip

and craft a civilised chat

before he fed the birds

in the Churchyard.

 

The cultural ships are fair steaming in

but it’s all stripped of meaning -

the Councillors wade

in the shallow end.

 

O Blake! buy me a pint in the Bridge again,

let it shiver with sunlight

through all the stained windows,

make my wit sparkle

and my knees buckle.

 

Set me free of this stifling age

when the bland are back in charge.

Let us grow our golden hair wild once more

and roar like Tygers

down Dog Leap Stairs.

 

 

Keith Armstrong © 2019