Jon Bratton's

Angel of the North Poems

but, first...

I've been writing verses
For 60 years...phew!
And d'yer know why I did it?
T'was especially for you

Jon Bratton

Angel of the North poems
What's happened to the Summer?
It's such a bloomin' shame
It's never stopped peein' doon
Since that Angel came

It's not global warming
Let's dispel those fears
The waater faallin' doon on us
Is little Angel tears

'Cos they're aall up there blubbin'
Their image is doon the pan
Folks were dyin' te get to heaven
Now nebody wants te gan

When a bairn now draws an angel
Ye knaa what yer get
Not a nice heavenly body
But a rusty jumbo jet

Lookin' like it's been landed
By a pilot from ower the toon
Who didn't knaa the proper way
And just revorsed it doon

I can see it clearly from wor hoose
Which isn't very nice
Whaat wi' that and the neighbour's clapped oot car
It's knocked thoosands off the price

Folk taalk of it's mystic powers
Just give it's feet a rub
One local wifie did it
And now she's in the club

A lottery grant paid for it
So aah shouldn't moan and shout
It may be an ugly rusty thing
But still... it cost us nowt

Personally, I can't abide it
But hinnies, let's be fair
Love it or loathe it
We aall knaa it's there

Gateshead Angel poem by Jon Bratton c 1998

More Angel of the North Poems and Songs

The Angel of the North was 10 years old on 15th February 2008
To celebrate, these Gateshead Angel poems have been gathered here
Featuring Angel of the North poems variously described as Angel of the North poetry, Angel of the North verses, odes, poems about the Angel of the North

This photo is included because I'm proud of it although I'm not sure I can claim any credit. I just pointed my iPhone in the general direction and got this pic of my four year old grandson, James, running around The Angel of the North, which some say is the best but certainly it is the most viewed piece of public art in the World

General Angel Poems


Angel of the North poems
-poem #2

Proudly standing, all alone
The man of steel, heart of stone
Performing daily duties, rain or fair
Learning secrets that he will not share
Life's cries echo round his steely ears
He sheds no tears
For he is just the angel man

He sees the wild boy of the street
Bedding down about his feet
Observes through eyes that are quite blind
The rapid way the boy declined
And sees the boy, at 24, grown old
But he stays cold
For he is just the angel man

Gazing up at our statue
You said you had met someone new
Leave me now, and see me plead
Prick my finger, see me bleed
I have feelings... and a heart that's breaking
For I am not a man of steel

He has seen love build and grow
Then dissolve like thawing snow
Standing there, unrelentlessly
Frozen secrets, guarded jealously
There's a tear on his cheek through watching pain
Or is it rain?
Falling on the angel man

Angel of the North poem by Jon Bratton c 1973 then called Man of Stone (Adapted 1998)


Angel of the North poems-
poem #3

What would Adam make of you pet, set
With feet in concrete, ribbed wings braced against wind.
I can see Eve, Moses and all the Apostles heads against sky, craning
stretched necks at the size of you, coppered, blazing in the sun.
We're tellin' them, all of us,
the ghosts beneath earthbound roots, picks still in hands,
bosses and salt skinned shipmen, women who wailed at the sea.
Tellin' Mary and all that lot in the stable,
Tellin' Judas and McCarthy,
Tellin' Kennedy and Shepherds on the old old hills
Tellin' them that we ain't done yet.

You're a messenger all right pet, I bet
Your voice of steel heralding a new milennium
starts such noise and singing in all of God's choirs, praising as
your head towers with the rest of you, chained, fearless in the rain.
We're yellin' at them, all of us,
The soot choked grandas, spines curved from crawling,
Lasses and leather skinned wives, kids who don't cry in a fight.
Yellin' that we're here and we're stronger
Yellin' futures and fortune,
Yellin' birth and don't forget us on the old old hills
Yellin' through the rain, soaking wet.

The Romans footfall echo on your ribs pet, let
History call to travellers, passing on the ancient road.
Can you feel Jesus, Ghandi and all of the Prophets, screaming
God voiced through the strength of you, challenging, shining in the dark.
They're sellin' the message, all of them.
The age old saints and the new born saviours,
Children and those not born, boys who run with forever.
Sellin' them the story of survival,
Sellin' faith and eternity
Sellin' diamonds of courage from the old old hills.
Sellin' all the truth they can get.

I'm glad you're an angel pet, yet
You're human, feet in the clay, head in clouds.
I can hear people, multitudes, all of humanity, coming
Toward the bronzed light of you, watching, lighting up the world.
I know, you're tellin' us, all of us
From the first to the last and to those still to come,
Warriors and sleeping peacemakers, lovers who cry at the dawn.
Tellin' two thousand years and just beginning
Tellin' love and forgiveness
Tellin' Jesus' wisdom from those old old hills
Tellin' peace that we all can get.

Angel of the North Poem by Jackie Gleeson
originally written for St Mary's Church, Wallsend


Angel of the North poems-
-poem #4

I Married the Angel of the North
by Peter Mortimer

I married the Angel of the North.
I led it down no church aisle
no church aisle could content it.
There was no top hat or rice
no tin cans rattling after honeymoon cars
no cutting a three-tiered cake.
But I said to the Angel, "I do"
and the Angel said "I do", too.
I kissed it lightly though it has no lips
I put an arm round a small part
of its rusting legs. I ran my finger
down its ribbed feet.
I know the Angel can't embrace me
can't wrap those flattened wings around me
can't move its muscular legs to clasp me.
I know its sexual organs don't really exist
and I can't tell if it has breasts.
I know it can't spend all day with me
mooning and spooning and making daisy chains.
I know it can't stand on the cruise ship deck
under a hanging lantern moon, and whisper
this moment should last forever.
I know the Angel lives on its small hilltop.
I know I can never own the Angel
but I love the Angel of the North
and have married it.
Because this is a marriage that can last
and the Angel will never leave me.
Other people may marry the Angel as well.
This causes me no problems.

I stand by the Angel of the North
hear its wings sing the wind.
The Angel knows nothing of the old songs
its face turned away from memory.
Its metal head holds no images
of cloth caps, mufflers, dolly tubs,
the dark choking pit
or men welded to a tanker's hull.

I have married the Angel of the North
because it is bigger than me
because its roots are 100ft deep in northern soil
because it is always in when I call
because it is always in flight when I call
because it sees horizons the rest of us don't
because in my waking dreams
the imagined wush-wushing
of those great boat-paddle wings
pushes the slowing blood
through all our northern weins.

Angel of the North poem by Peter Mortimer

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