Saturday, 23 July 2016


I am now at the stage of shutting doors, against

Rainfall and nightmare; doors, left carelessly half ajar.

At the half-way stage of rusted wheels and wires,

Entanglement of sharp thorn- branches, closing off

Invisible roads, obscure signposts, of what

Once was, but cannot be born again now.

I bend down to pick up scattered dusty shards,

Tea-cups, torn papers, full ash trays left on a small

Table, and carpeted corridors, empty of unexpected

Visitors, who seldom knock, but enter now,

Or leave early if they do, without pebbled words

In their mouths, or acknowledgement in glazed eyes.

I am now at the time of carefully locking windows,

And doors at night, before mounting stairs,

To sleep, or else to lie with scratched open eyes,

Staring at dark walls, blank ceiling, or shut windows;

I am an insomniac, turning like dark waves,

The noise of waters, against a dark shore.

When at last, asleep, I recall – myself, alone

Outspread like water or a bent flower.

Where the sun takes off her shoes and walks

Among trees, splashing like wind or rain;

And the moon removes her clothes and sings

Like a nightingale, lost among green branches,

The moon’s body is made of mother of pearl

She shines like a candle-lit human skull;

I want to embrace her naked as wind,

I want to embrace her as a sultry wind

In Spain does, among chill cherry trees,

Or distant hills of mist before ashen nightfall.

Alan C. Brown

Thursday, 14 July 2016


(for Helmut Bügl)

On this evening flight,
necks stuck out,
we dart in formation
to a Stuttgart dream.
Complete strangers,
we share a common French wine
to celebrate clouds.
With your rough words,
you ask me what I do.
“Write poetry”, I say,
and sign away a verse or two for you,
hovering in mid-air, between snow and sun.
“And you?” “I breed pigs I do”,
flying home from a swine seminar in Montreal.
To prove it, you sign me a photo of six of your litter,
the Swabian breed of Helmut Bugl.
It’s a flying cultural exchange,
a rhyme for a slice of time.
The stars are sizzling in the thrilling sky
and, tonight, pigs might fly.
Tonight, pigs might fly.

Keith Armstrong

Monday, 4 July 2016