Guy Fawkes

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