Hang Out Thursday

Hanging Out With Red Kites

Red Kite Radio

This week has been a surreal week and I have been hanging out with Red Kites; not the feathered versions but the great team who have just launched our new local radio station, Red Kite Radio.

The radio station launched on Sunday the 18th of June 2017 and I was honoured to be the first ever guest on Red Kite Radio reading live my poem (pictured above), dedicated to the new station.  Below is evidence of the big day (just in case the Poetry Police are monitoring) and for Mrs.D who says I have the perfect face for radio.

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Davy D points poignantly at a wall.

Every Monday starting from July 3rd 2017 I will be on the Howard Bond show between 3.20pm and 3.30pm talking about poetry, reading some of my poetry and poetry written by local writers, as well as some of the more famous and well known poems.

This has kick started a project to include recordings of some of my longer poems and excerpts from the radio bits on the blog, which will also be starting on Inside the Mind of Davy D in July.

You can find Red Kite Radio locally in the UK on 107.2 FM and the station will be available on the internet soon.

In readiness for my first appearance I’m off to buy a Cravat and a Persian Cat.

Coffee With Basho

Coffee with Basho

When times are tough or when things start to darken your soul, do you have a favourite poem or poet you like to retreat to? The work of Japanese Haiku Master, Basho, provides a bolthole for me on such occasions, and recent events in the UK have led me to revisit his poetry.

In his sketch, The Records of a Travel- Worn Satchel, Basho advocated “all who achieve greatness in art possess one thing in common………. they are one with nature.” He spent his time travelling alone around Japan and getting closer to nature. He found the solitude (shabi) helped to block out distraction and enabled him to find lightness (karumi) and a spirit of poverty (wabi) to write his haiku.

Reading Basho takes you into the heart of nature, blocks out the distractions provided by a world seemingly hell bent on destroying itself. Sometimes the noise from current events provides a disconnect from our reason for being. Reconnecting with Basho has reconnected me with nature. I have experienced again, the feel of wet grass on bare feet, watched bees dancing amongst the lavender, listened to the blackbird announcing the dawn.

Basho’s work reminds us that the awe and simplicity of nature will always shine a light in the darkness.

What poems or poets provide an escape for you? I would love to hear about them.

Why not pop over to the Go Dog Go Café. I’ve taken Basho’s poetry over there and there’s coffee and a café haiku going on.

The Poetry of Politics

The Poetry in Politics

Today is General Election Day in the UK and I have chosen to hang out with a poem, “Dreams nudge the conscious mind awake”  by  Stephen Francis.

I first read the poem a week ago, having made a conscious decision to not vote in this Election.

Politics in the UK is in the gutter. Politicians isolated from the people they are elected to govern, more focused on generating soundbites than listening to the electorate. The debates have been dirty, managed by Spin Doctors and Public Relation Gurus. Facts, and the actual state of the country, no longer take centre stage.

Stephen’s poem fired something inside as the words and thoughts from his poetry  followed me. He talks of “missing something you need to see”; “tasting a moment for what it needs to show,” and “we face a choice.”

His poetry made me search my conscience  and challenge my apathy. Looking into the darkness, I have become angered again with the social injustices taking place in the UK; angry, at how a select few have taken control of a system now focused on profit not fairness; angry, whilst citizens and visitors to the UK are slaughtered and a Government continues to lie; angry, I allowed myself to drift into a notion of doing nothing.

“Dreams nudge the conscious mind awake” and today I vote.

Here is Stephen’s poem (reproduced with kind permission).

Dreams nudge the conscious mind awake.
You are missing something you need to see
Says the image fleeting, too quick, too slight.
Grab hold of the ether and swallow it.
Taste for a moment what it needs to show.

Two doors have opened: one to lightness
The other, darkness. Not the quiet chirp
Of crickets mating darkness. Not the stillness
Under faintest of lights sprinkling down
Like confectionary sugar to sweeten life

darkness. No, this second door has opened to
Darkness demanding: Make a choice! Decide now!
Now! The crickets and stars await in these hours
Stillness sparking poetic riddles. We face a choice
Between Light and Darkness. Like the winter

Hanging Out With The Reluctant Poet

The Reluctant Poet

Across a café  table,

In the Backside of the Night,

A Reluctant Poet

Whispers  into the ears

Of his Calliope,

“Today was a good day.”

She strokes his soul

And draws his pen

Across her heart.

“How many today Charles?”

“One maybe two.

Even with their

Uneven edges

They bring spirit

Into the stillness.”

How could they not

Be tempted ?

In the echo of a dawn

Both drift into the day,

Leaving etched napkins scattered.

 

The Reluctant Poet  is one of the marvellous souls in the WordPress writing

community. Charles (Chuck) devotes much time shining a light on other poets and

writers, bringing them to notice within this vibrant movement being shaped.

Please pay him a visit and read his poetry. It will bring peace to your heart.

Where Poppies Blow

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Photo Image: Davy D

Imagine, if the poem you are writing now was to be the last one you ever wrote.

This is a thought playing on my mind after finishing an excellent book, “Where Poppies Blow – The British Soldier, Nature, The Great War” by John Lewis-Stempel.  I have brought this thought and the book to the Go Dog Go Treetop Café to ponder over a cup of tea.

Where Poppies Blow is not a collection of poetry per se, but a record of British soldier’s experiences in the First World War, provided by letters and poetry they wrote during the period. Against a background of carnage and destruction, the book portrays how the soldiers were still able to find beauty in nature and the animals they encountered in the battlefields.

From the splendour of the Skylark, set against an early morning sunrise, to their relationship with the horses and dogs following them into battle, the archive of writing shows that even in the darkest situations there is still a glimpse of hope and poetry to be found.

For many of the soldiers the letters and poetry were the last things they ever wrote and, with what they were experiencing around them, death was probably at the forefront of their mind.

Earlier in the week I read an interview with writer and poet Gina Gallyot by Mandibelle 16. One of the things jumping out at me from the interview was part of Gina’s response to one of the questions, “but write as if it is the last essay or poem you will ever get to write.”

Together, the book and the interview do make me mindful, one day, the poem I am writing may be my last.  In a positive way they are reminders to continue to immerse myself in the writing experience.

So, from this week’s hangout I leave you with a wonderful book and the thought that life can be fleeting; enjoy each breath and write like it was the last thing you may ever write.

What are your thoughts on this? The teas are on me.

Hanging Out at Roland’s Ragbag

Roland's Ragbag

It’s been a funny time since moving on from the Go Dog Go Treetop Café. If you didn’t know, there is a General Election going on in the UK next month and the British media is full of Pompous Pontificating Politicians and their Blustering Soundbites (sounds like a pop group from the 1970’s).

Needing a break from this I headed off down to the banks of the River Thames to spend some time in a quintessential English Café and a Cream Tea at Roland’s Ragbag.

I have been frequenting the Ragbag for nearly a year now and sat on the terrace, watching boats gliding down the river, reminds me why I come here.

Roland’s Ragbag opened in July 2016 and the proprietor Mr. Roland Keld provides “A Melange, a Miscellany, a Mishmash – of memories, reflections and comment. There is always a warm welcome awaiting and T.S. Eliot’s quote above the door, “These fragments I have shored. Against my ruins.” give a flavour of what to expect.

Inside, the walls are adorned with wonderful drawings and paintings. Two of my favourites, Ebb Tide and The Patchwork Pachyderm, reflect the eclectic atmosphere of the establishment.

The tables are covered with magazines containing personal insights from Roland’s travel of the globe, complete with drawings and photos to match. From the Artic to Venice, and beyond, his literary descriptions jiggle the wanderer in you.

For the poetry connoisseur, there are poetic forms of every description on the menu and one to suit every mood. Whether you want to laugh or cry, it’s all there for you to order.

If you get a chance please pop in to Roland’s Ragbag and say hello to Roland, there is warmth and inspiration in abundance.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out the room at the back. Mr. R. has a library  to die for.

That reminds me.  I need to pop into the neighbourhood library, there’s a book I need to read. I’ll tell you all about it next week.

Hang Out Thursdays

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I enjoyed hanging out so much at the Go Dog Go Treetop Café last week that I have decided to have a good explore of the neighbourhood and see what other quality establishments I can entice you with.

Each Thursday I will tickle your taste buds with insights into these wonderful hangouts, and throw in an occasional book from the poetry shelves of the local library. There may even be an opportunity to interview some of the proprietors and share some of the hottest poems hitting the headlines.

So, it’s backpack on and I’m heading on over to Roland’s Ragbag. Please take time out to pop over to the hangout next Thursday and find out about another hot place in town.

I may even throw in a free T shirt.

Hanging Out at the Go Dog Go Treetop Café

Go Dog Go Treetop Cafe

Great news.

There’s a new online café open, the Go Dog Go Treetop Café.

Last week I took the opportunity to drop in and experience the ambiance. The proprietor, Sailorpoet, (or Mr.S as I affectionately call him) has a warm welcome waiting for all visitors and, as well as some cheeky lattes, you may bump into some excellent poets, poetry and maybe a chance for a collaboration or two.

Describing the focus of the café Mr.S said “ I think of coffee shops as places that people go to be social with friends, to meetup with like-minded creative types, or a place shy or introverted people gather in hopes of overcoming their mortal fears and speaking to some interesting stranger across a room.”

During my time there we talked about a poem I had recently written, Seashell, and got into a little poetic jousting in which the following emerged.