Keith Armstrong

In the Department of Poetry

Our paths may cross again, they may not.

But I wish you success for the future.

I don’t think you are a person who is easily

defeated through life as you are by nature

a peacock which shows at times its beautiful feathers.

Margaretha den Broeden

In the Department of Poetry something is stirring:

it is a rare bird shitting on a heap of certificates.

He bears the beautiful plumage of a rebel,

flying through the rigid corridors,

the stifling pall of academic twaddle.

He pecks at the Masters’ eggheads,

scratches pretty patterns along the cold walls of poetic power.

He cares not a jot for their fancy Awards,

their sycophantic perambulations,

degrees of literary incest.

These trophies for nepotism pass this peculiar bird by

as he soars


above the paper quadrangle,

circling over the dying Heads of Culture,

singing sweet revolutionary songs,

showing off

his brilliant wings

that fly him

into the ecstasy

of a poem.

Keith Armstrong © 2008

Marsden Rock

Sensational Rock,

swimming in light.

Bird-cries clinging to ancient ledges,

Kittiwakes smashing against time.

What tales you could tell.

Your face is so moody,

flickers with breezes,

crumbles in a hot afternoon.

Climbing your powdery steps,

we look down on the sea

thrashing at you.

We join a choir of birds at your peak,

cry out to the skyin good spirits.

Nesting for the sake of it,

our lyrics are remnants on the shore.

We keep chipping away,

do we not?

We slip

through the pebbles,


with babies.

We leave our mark,

a grain

on the ancient landscape.

We go.

We dance like the sunlight

on your scarred body:





Keith Armstrong © 2008