Birds hurl themselves at the leaping Tyne; I catch them through the evening window. It is cold for the time. My throat is stuffy with poems left unsaid. Weary troubadour I am, swimming with visions of ancient European tours. Now I have landed, with my seagull wings, in Haydon Bridge to honour a famous son. I am lodged in the Anchor Hotel, another lonely night of a whirlwind life: lorries howl around me and I can hear a village trembling in the blinding dark. Restlessly at anchor, I cannot sleep for the ghost of John Martin lighting up my room with dynamic visions and the thunderous clatter of his wild dreams. Stuck in the rut of my own poetry, I force myself to sleep, bobbing by the river, under the fantastic sky. The community lights shine on my imagination, and the screams of swifts make a life worthwhile.
(Words: Keith Armstrong / Tune: 'How Can Thou Gang Away and Leave Me?’ - Trad. arr. Ann Sessoms)