Howard Bond

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.

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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

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.

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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.

A Carol From Flanders

Poetic Beats

Welcome to the final Poetic Beats of 2017 with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 18th of December 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

In this programme we look at the poem, A Carol From Flanders, by Frederick Niven, focusing on the Christmas truce which occurred along the Western Front in the First World War. The poem is a reminder that, whatever is happening in the world, there is still a window for joy and hope.

Poetic Beats will be taking a break for the holiday season and Poetic Beats posts will resume on Friday the 12th of January 2018. Thank you for all the time and support you have given to this project in 2017 and we look forward to sharing more poetry and inspiration with you in 2018.

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

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

 

A Carol From Flanders

 

In Flanders on the Christmas morn

The trenched foemen lay,

the German and the Briton born,

And it was Christmas Day.

 

The red sun rose on fields accurst,

The gray fog fled away;

But neither cared to fire the first,

For it was Christmas Day!

 

They called from each to each across

The hideous disarray,

For terrible has been their loss:

“Oh, this is Christmas Day!”

 

Their rifles all they set aside,

One impulse to obey;

‘Twas just the men on either side,

Just men and Christmas Day.

 

They dug the graves for all their dead

And over them did pray:

And Englishmen and Germans said:

“How strange a Christmas Day!”

 

Between the trenches then they met,

Shook hands, and e’en did play

At games on which their hearts were set

On happy Christmas Day.

 

Not all the emperors and kings,

Financiers and they

Who rule us could prevent these things

For it was Christmas Day.

 

Oh ye who read this truthful rime

From Flanders, kneel and say:

God speed the time when every day

Shall be as Christmas Day.

 

Frederick Niven

 

The Darkling Thrush

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 11th of December 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

In this edition we read and examine what is considered one of the greatest Winter poems, The Darkling Thrush, by Thomas Hardy. Hardy was a prolific poet, writing over 1000 poems, but did not publish his first collection until nearly sixty years of age. This after his last novel, Jude The Obscure, received bad reviews, and he decided to concentrate solely on poetry.

If you have difficulty accessing the recording, a text version of the poem is 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 Darkling Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

Thomas Hardy

Winter

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 4th of December 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

Winter (at least the calendar Winter) has arrived in the UK. In today’s programme we read and discuss Davy D’s poem Winter, as well at looking at five amazing facts about Winter and snow that you may not have heard.

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

To hear this episode please press the arrow to the left of the sound bar.

 

Winter

She dropped in last night.
It had been a while.
I missed her at first,
too busy slaying dragons
in the Kingdom of Nod.

Her calling card of white blankets and
grey sky fire the child in me.
Visions of snowball fights
And snowmen draw me outside.

Her icy breath coats
My throat and nostrils.
In the surrounding silence
She pulls me to the floor,
Arms and legs move like Angels.

We play for hours,
sliding, cavorting,
until her burning touch
forces me away.

Green pools appear
on her silken dress.
She starts to withdraw.
Frantic, I grab what remains.

© Davy D 2017

Goodbye Autumn: Hello Winter

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D recorded on the 27th of November 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

With Autumn coming to and end in the UK and Winter approaching, we look at the poem Autumn Violets, by Christina Rossetti. The poem reflects on how everything has its place, with Violets being flowers of the Spring.

Christina Rossetti is regarded as one of the greatest English poets of the 19th Century. Her most famous poem, A Christmas Carol, will be sung all over the world throughout Christmas. Placed to music by Gustav Holst in 1906, the song version was titled, In the Bleak Midwinter.

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

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Autumn Violets

 

Keep love for youth, and violets for the spring:

Or if these bloom when worn-out autumn grieves,

Let them lie hid in double shade of leaves,

Their own, and others dropped down withering;

For violets suit when home birds build and sing,

Not when the outbound bird a passage cleaves;

Not with dry stubble of mown harvest sheaves,

But when the green world buds to blossoming.

Keep violets for the spring, and love for youth,

Love that should dwell with beauty, mirth, and hope:

Or if a later sadder love be born,

Let this not look for grace beyond its scope,

But give itself, nor plead for answering truth—

A grateful Ruth tho’ gleaning scanty corn.

 

Christina Georgina Rossetti:

Laundering

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D recorded on the 20th of November 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

In this weeks show we look at Davy D’s poem, Laundering, and consider the similarities between ironing and writing poetry. There is also some delving into the criminal world, which provides the title for the poem.

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 episode please press the arrow to the left of the sound bar below.

 

Laundering.

Subtle shifting from the laundry basket

interrupts the flow. Soon, steam eats crease

leaving behind perfect fabric. Cotton

has the same soft touch as paper, movements

between iron and pen geometric

and mirrored. Despite the complexity

ironing and poetry move in a

similar vein of line and precision.

Both processes designed to bring pleasure

to those willing to dabble in Dark Art.

 

© Davy D 2017

 

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.

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;
looking
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.

fortunately,
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

Spirits of the Dead

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 30th of October 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

On the eve of Halloween, we read and discussed the poem, Spirits of the Dead, by Edgar Allen Poe, as well as delving into the origins of the festival. You will be surprised to hear what Halloween may bring you if you live in Ireland.

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

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Spirits of the Dead

I
Thy soul shall find itself alone
’Mid dark thoughts of the gray tombstone—
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.

II
Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness—for then
The spirits of the dead who stood
In life before thee are again
In death around thee—and their will
Shall overshadow thee: be still.

III
The night, tho’ clear, shall frown—
And the stars shall look not down
From their high thrones in the heaven,
With light like Hope to mortals given—
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever.

IV
Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
Now are visions ne’er to vanish;
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more—like dew-drop from the grass.

V
The breeze—the breath of God—is still—
And the mist upon the hill,
Shadowy—shadowy—yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token—
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!

Edgar Allan Poe