Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY SEVEN – Peter Armstrong

from The Gallery of Miraculous Foresight

The Meeting of  Trump and May
(Winslow Homer)

Tennessee headwaters, or Ohio’s
or Shenandoah’s, poised to see the South
trigger terrible fratricide

where, look, the trail-finders, the flag-raisers,
the draughtpersons of the great divides
approach each other from the encircling woods;
he with his arms thrown up, as if
astonished that some near relation
should attempt this same wilderness
(see how the forest stretches,
how unscalable the mountains are); she
inclines her head – in deference
or as one discovered guiltily
in an illicit love.

Tiny, both of them; colossal these falls,
the forests overhanging them, the mountains
that would be a wall to lesser wills,
the sky, perilously boundariless
where any migrant species might obtain,
singing other dialects, as if
this were the day of Pentecost, or worse



Peter Armstrong was born in Blaydon on Tyne, 1957; educated locally; awarded an Eric Gregory prize 1984; trained as psychiatric nurse; specialised as cognitive therapist, supervisor & trainer; now retired from NHS & working independently. Poems appear in Ten North Eastern Poets (Bloodaxe 1980). Collections: Risings (Enitharmon 1988); The Red Funnelled Boat (Picador 1998); The Capital of Nowhere (Picador 2003); Madame Noire (Shoestring pamphlet 2008); The Book of Ogham (Shoestring 2012).

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