Poetic Motivations:69

Poetic Motivations-69

The Silent Volunteers

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D recorded on the 13th of November 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

In this show, we remember an important part of the British Armies effort in the First World War, the Horse, and look at the poem, The Silent Volunteers (To the horses that have fallen), written by Lieutenant Leonard Fleming. We also discuss the legendary First World War horse, Warrior, who was the focus of the book, film and stage play, Warhorse.

If you are having difficulty accessing the recording, a text version of the poem is provided after the sound bar.

To hear this week’s offering please press the arrow to the left of the sound bar below.


The Silent Volunteers (To the horses that have fallen)

No less, real heroes than the men who died
Are you who helped the frenzied ranks to win;
Galloping heroes – silently – side by side,
Models of discipline.

You, too, had pals from whom you had to part –
Pals rather young to fight, or else too old –
And though the parting hurt your honest heart,
You kept your grief untold.

Thus in the parting have you proved your worth,
As you have proved it time and time again;
You, the most human animal on earth –
Nobler perhaps than men.

Nobler, perhaps, because in all you did –
In all you suffered you could not know why;
Only, you guessed – and did as you were bid –
Just galloped on – to die.

Unflinchingly you faced the screaming shell
And charged and charged, until the ground was gained
Then falling mangled – suffered simple hell –
And never once complained.

There, where your life blood spilled around you fast –
Lying unheeded by the surging van,
You closed your great big patient eyes at last.
And died – a gentleman.

Lieutenant Leonard Fleming, Queen Victoria’s Rifles.

One Day?

One Day-

God is an Apple

God is an Apple

A Man for Everything


Image Credit: Freeimages.com

don’t know

if my Dad knew,

when he went to work

earning an honest coin

the house became

a refuge

for men.

where mum

got the energy

heaven knows?

from dawn to dusk

they came

wave after wave

Coal Man

Lemonade Man

Egg Man (Goo Goo Goo Joob)

Bread Man

Meat Man

Rent Man

Insurance Man

and the men who

you never had a clue

what they did man.

when the pit closed

Dad became

the stay at home man

and mum left with

the Money Man.

© Davy D 2017


A big thank you to Nigel over at Voices Of A Hidden Self and his excellent poem, A Town Called Guiseley. Both being Northerners, and of a similar age, his poem, and our subsequent conversation, brought back memories of  the days when there was a man for everything. Please visit Nigel’s blog and read and listen to his wonderful poetry. You will not be disappointed.



Poetic Motivations:68

Poetic Motivations-68



Penny For The Guy

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this weeks edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 6th of November 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

To celebrate Bonfire Night, in the UK, we look at Davy D’s poem and the fading tradition of Penny for the Guy, where effigies of Guy Fawkes were paraded around the streets for money. The Guy then being burned on top of a bonfire, on the 5th of November, in honour of the failed plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.

If you are having difficulty accessing the recording, a text version of Davy D’s poem is provided after the sound bar.

To hear this weeks show, please press the arrow on the left of the sound bar below.


Penny for the Guy

getting going was
always the hard bit,
all of us round at Baldies.
he had the poshest house,
the fattest dad.

every year it was the same,
on the floor arguing.
would his backside look big in this?
what’s the best stuffing
Mail, Mirror, Sun?

I don’t know how it happened
amongst the tantrums,
amongst the “I’m off to join another gang.”
but, somehow,
over days,
he appeared;
more like Worzel Gummidge
than Guy Fawkes,
if I’m honest.

for the next two weeks
he became part of the gang.
sleeping in each of our bedrooms,
listening in on our intimate secrets.

from inside a wheelbarrow
he earned his keep
ferried through lane and street

“Penny for the Guy” – our battle-cry

I remember one year
he earned enough
to buy the five of us
a pennorth of chips each,
and a piece of haddock.

how did we repay him?
stuck him on top of a bonfire,
burned him,
to honour some bloke who
tried to blow up Parliament.

he was indestructible.
came back every year,
until Old Misery from the
Council said he was illegal.

Old Misery would never know
it was his string vest and Y-Fronts
accompanying Guy on
his last journey.

I’m sure I saw a smile,
through those final flames.

© Davy D 2017



The Swimmer

The Swimmer

Image Credit: Freeimages.com


he cuts the water with imperfect form.

not text book, arms overreach on entry.

without fin or scale he seems

designed to live in water, kick





coming up for air every sixth stroke,

chlorinated water hardly moving.

around the pool, his feat ignored;

the crowd preferring to immerse

themselves in Kardashian dreams.


maybe one day he will grow wings and

fly, then they will sit up and take notice.


© Davy D 2017