Central Station

A Light for Newcastle



Alight here for Newcastle,

mind the edges      the gap

between here and there.

Enter the hum of motion,

the click-clicking of heels on stone.

A whistle whistles off The Highland Chieftan,

she’s going home.

The Aberdonian and Lord Mayor

of Newcastle wait in turn.

Are we no’ there yet?

            It’s late, late, late, wail the seagulls.

The roof speaks,

      keep your personal longings close,

      say goodbye to brothers and mothers.


Maybe I’ll meet you under the railway clock,

tell you about the black dog I saw who tried to catch

the rising moon as it skiffed across the surface

of the sea at Alnmouth, or how the homeless man

played Für Elise and Moonlight Sonata

on the old piano in the portico, near the ticket machines.

It was in all the papers,

      A rough sleeper sheltered from the heavy rain and dreamt his fingers alight.



Jo Brooks was born in Glasgow but has lived for many years on the Northumberland coast. Her poetry collections include themes of the natural world and landscape; Scots dialect and identity; uncertainty, love and loss. Her current thesis explores the relationship between poetry, the creative process, psychoanalysis, listening and voice.