Taking a lonely flight to Stuttgart,
To fly the flag all on my own,
Without my poetic twin,
My true noetic kin;
Yet feeling your earthbound spirit, Keith,
Full of northern soul,
Soaring through the clouds with me,
So I would not be alone.
Eating obligatory asparagus,
Courtesy of Christoph,
While my mind recalled vague poems,
With the punctuation missed off.
First-time views from castle walls,
Lizards dancing on hot stones,
I was feeling the foundations
Of this country’s solid bones.
Trudging miles in the pissing rain,
Guitar in hand, bold thoughts in head,
Along the route of the Steinlachallee,
Where the river winds a tuneful thread;
To Freies Radio Wüste Well,
Ninety-six point six,
On the edge of town,
Way out in the sticks.
Thinking, this would be a lovely walk
On a glorious sunny day;
And though these shoes aren’t made for walking,
I’d not have it any other way.
My shirt is soaked with rain and sweat
But I’ve made it here at last,
Now my songs and croaking throat ring out
During Matzel Xander’s broadcast.
Strolling by the Neckar,
Rowboats gliding gently by,
Reminds me of the Wear,
Beneath a Durham sky.
Letting the lilting birdsong
Carry me away,
Until a jolly punter’s dulcet tones
Catch me in mid-sway.
Ah, that would be Klaus Hipp,
The delightful ’Neckar Caruso’,
Prompting his passengers in mid-punt
To crave just one Cornetto.
Romantic ice-cream thoughts,
To the tune of ‘O Sole Mio’,
Licking nuts and chocolate chips,
To Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto’.
Standing by the statue
of composer Friedrich Silcher,
Taking instructions by osmosis
for the story of a Miller.
Thinking about the book
I was so wanting to write,
To lay to rest the last eight months,
In a tunnel without light.
Sitting under the ash tree,
Munching a vegan baguette,
Outside Café Im Hirsch,
With Carolyn and Margit.
Then drinking in the Boulanger
With Tibor, Frank and Mike;
Discussing the Lindisfarne Gospels
And thirty years of the Miners’ Strike.
Taking a coffee with Otto Buchegger,
Outside Café Primer Express.
Watching the Tübingen girls go by,
Daydreaming about sex.
Then talking of Vienna,
And how we both love it so,
And wishing I could relive
Memories of long ago.
Then it’s back to the airport;
Time to say goodbye,
To friendships I’ve rekindled
Beneath a Swabian sky.
But I know it’s just a short while,
Until I come back again;
Singing arm in arm with Keithyboy,
Our Tübingen refrain.
© 2000 Whippet Records
Copyright Control MCPS/PRS
Word Sharing (A Literary Anthology)
Tübingen Universitåtsstadt (2017)