Experiencing the Now

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 15th January 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

In 1999, Eckhart Tolle wrote The Power of Now, a book from the spirituality genre that changed the way many people viewed how they lived their lives. In this episode of Poetic Beats we look at Davy D’s poem, Experiencing the Now, and hear how a chance meeting with a stranger in Central Park, New York, had a lasting effect on his life.

It you have difficulty listening to the programme, a text version of the poem is included after the sound bar.

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

 

 

Experiencing the Now.

i thought about the moment

then it was gone

i tried again, same result.

before i knew it i was

racing down the High Street

screaming, begging

for one moment

to stop

so i

could feel

and experience

its beauty.

each day the pattern repeats

8am – yoga

and repeats

12pm – pilates

and repeats

4pm – mindfulness

and repeats

8pm – meditation

 

i’m exhausted

 

© Davy D 2018

Told You Shakespeare Was Bad!

I Told You Shakespeare Was Bad (1)

Regular readers of Inside the Mind of Davy D know about the fractious relationship I have with William Shakespeare. As time has progressed I have learned to appreciate him a little more. The love deepened in October 2017 when it was revealed students at Cambridge University were having to be given warnings, alerting them some of his works, like Titus Adronicus and The Comedy Of Errors, could be upsetting; the warnings given to help protect student’s mental health. You can read contrasting reports from these links at The Guardian and Daily Mail.

Maybe I missed a trick, but wouldn’t someone have noticed, and discussed at length, the content of Shakespeare’s poetry and plays over the past 400 years. Cambridge University defended the action saying it wasn’t a general University policy, but it was down to the discretion of individual lecturers as to whether warnings were issued to students.

This is just one example of an over protection culture taking hold in the UK and every day is beginning to feel like the 1st of April. Watch any TV channel and you will see telephone numbers for helplines at the end of programmes for anything liable to offend any human sensibility. Although they have merit, are things becoming overprotective to the point where the realities of life are being hidden or at least distorted?

As a writer this has an impact. Working a path through this culture of over protection can restrict the writer’s freedom of expression, which in turn affects the writing and poetry. For example, a few weeks ago I was working on a piece of poetry reflecting something I experienced in my time as a Police Officer. Throughout the drafting process the questions of, Will this word or graphic description offend anyone? What if someone has had this kind of experience? Do I need to place a warning or alert at the start of the poem? played on my mind. In the end the poetry was so safe it was hardly worth the effort, as the emotion had bled out of it.

I am not talking here about poetry or writing which is offensive or hurtful to any group or individual, there are laws in both civil and criminal statutes taking care of those issues. I am focusing more on words which accurately portray and reflect the world we live in, and our opinions in how we navigate through it. I think most poets and writers are mindful of the effect their words will have with specific audiences and self-censor to a point, but sometimes hearing a view or opinion taking us out of our comfort zone can lead to more informed conversations.

As a poet and writer, what are your thoughts on writing in a culture of over protection? Maybe this is something relevant only to the UK and you live in a country where freedom of expression is exactly that. Or, is it the opposite where in the words of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington you, “publish and be damned.”

 

Northern Echoes

DSC00500 (1)Photo image: © Davy D 2018

 

Just one bar for the fire,

scones on her best china,

the willow pattern faded.

bairns outside, their faces

wiped by hanky and spit

still stood tall and proud

 

lost in her bleak cage

she laments on her freedom

but it never nears

 

A terrier by his side

the old lad sits there,

silently nursing pints,

an air of contentment,

and knowing awaits

behind cap shaded eyes.

 

scattered in the snug

faces worn in history

stare from faded walls

 

Cut short summer camps,

dad worried about money,

the feeling of adventure

in exotic lands 100 mile

from home, knowing that

we are poor but so happy.

 

sat under canvas

in our fairy-tale castle

we hide from dragons

 

© Nigel P Smith & Davy D 2018

 

A big thank you to Nigel over at Voices Of A Hidden Self for this collaboration. When I suggested this, he came up with an East v West format to combine our different styles of poetry. And when West (Cumbria)  meets East (Yorkshire), or a Marra dances with a Tyke, you get echoes from the North. 

 

Food Bank

Food Bank

Beak – A 16th Century English slang term referring to a Judge or Magistrate.

Poetic Motivations:75

Poetic Motivations_75

A big thank you to Nigel over at Voices Of A Hidden Self for this wonderful  quote.  Read his poem, I Watched You – the essence of love 1. It will inspire your thoughts and pen.

The Old Year

Poetic Beats

Welcome to the first Poetic Beats of 2018 with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 8th of January 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

Happy New Year to you all. In this edition we read the poem, The Old Year, by John Clare. At the time of the year when most people are looking forward and making New Year’s resolutions, today’s poem leaves a message that sometimes we should make some space to reflect and acknowledge the Old Year and the steps we have taken.

Due to some technical difficulties experienced in the studio the first line of the poem is missing from the recording.  You can read a text version of the poem provided after the sound bar.

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

 

 

The Old Year

The Old Year’s gone away

     To nothingness and night:

We cannot find him all the day

     Nor hear him in the night:

He left no footstep, mark or place

     In either shade or sun:

The last year he’d a neighbour’s face,

     In this he’s known by none.

 

All nothing everywhere:

     Mists we on mornings see

Have more of substance when they’re here

     And more of form than he.

He was a friend by every fire,

     In every cot and hall–

A guest to every heart’s desire,

     And now he’s nought at all.

 

Old papers thrown away,

     Old garments cast aside,

The talk of yesterday,

     Are things identified;

But time once torn away

     No voices can recall:

The eve of New Year’s Day

     Left the Old Year lost to all.

 

John Clare.

Run Your Own Race

Run Your Own Race

It is that time again when the inbox is full of tips and advice about setting goals and making New Year’s resolutions. The phrase for 2018 seems to be “Run Your Own Race” and this is a good starting point for the first Thursday Thoughts.

Life feels like it’s getting quicker and 2017 went in a flash. At times I felt like Usain Bolt (in mind, not in body.) One of my challenges in 2017 was to post on Inside the Mind of Davy D each Monday to Friday. Apart from one week I managed it, but I reached the finishing line a little exhausted and needing a strategy to run a different kind of race in 2018.

Two pieces of writing I read in the last week had an impact on me and provided some ideas on how my race in 2018 will look. Gina, over at Singledust, wrote an excellent post, What am I thankful for? giving time for reflection and recognising the good things we have in our lives. This made me realise sometimes we need to slow down and look back in the race to see how far we have come, applauding ourselves on the steps we have taken.

Fiona, on her Wordsworth Muse blog, wrote a beautiful poem titled Butterfly Daze.  One of the lines, “Because they have so little time to live,” reinforced the seed left by Gina and planted the thought maybe we need to have the occasional time out from the race, take a few deep breaths and spend time looking at our surroundings and getting to know more about the people we are racing with.

So, for 2018, I am taking off the sprinting spikes and putting on the carpet slippers and my race is going to be more of a ramble. I will still be posting Monday to Friday, but when I need to take a time out……… I will.

Some of you may have seen my Poetic Goals for 2018 and although they were a little tongue in cheek they express the notion of getting deeper into poetry. This means taking time to reflect and exploring my motivations and inspirations as a poet and experimenting with different styles of writing and poetry. It also involves getting to know more about the writers and poets in this excellent writing community, and finding others who can add to the conversation.

At times in 2017 it just felt like a brief hello and wave before racing off into the distance. The purpose of Thursday Thoughts is to try and address the imbalance and deepen and share the love we have for all things poetic.

Slowing down, more time for reflection, getting deeper into poetry and knowing you all better, the pulse rate is dropping already.  How will your writing race look in 2018?  It would be nice to read your thoughts.

 

Streets of London

Streets of London

image adapted from Canva.com

1.

Sat on a wet pavement, outside of St. James Park tube station, a young homeless girl pulls a shiny black coat button from a McDonald’s milk shake cup. She smiles and places it into her jeans pocket. It means more than the discarded loose change. It may change her luck.

 

2.

In court 4 at Tower Bridge Magistrates Court, Lawrence Jackson of 14 Acacia Drive, Rotherhithe, SE15 is disqualified for 3 years after being found guilty of dangerous driving. His defence of, “I had to drive on the pavement, as the road was full,” causes the Clerk of the Court to raise her left eyebrow.

 

3.

The body of a poet lies undiscovered in a basement flat in South Kensington. Nobody read his poetry, not even him.

 

4.

A single mum with three children takes them to the local playground. Despite the broken glass and discarded syringes the smiles, as they swing through the air and get dizzy on the roundabout, make her believe in the moment.

 

5.

Two billionaires shake hands over a £215 bottle of Chardonnay. Perched at a table in a Mayfair restaurant, they look over the City and in unison shout, “The streets of London, now belong to us.”

 

6.

On a nameless estate, on a nameless street, in a forgotten part of the capital, a mother cries for her son as his bodybag is loaded into an ambulance. For the immediate future he will be known only as victim number 87.

 

7.

Prime Minister’s Question Time, Westminster – In response to the question, from The Right Honourable Member from Lewisham East, re social issues in the capital, The Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Theresa May, states data, collected from reliable government agencies, indicate matters, in London, have never been better.

 

© Davy D 2018

 

 

The Space Between Trees

The Space Between Trees 2018

Poetic Motivations:74

Poetic Motivations_74