UK

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

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.

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.

Door to Door Poetry

english-blue-door-1195070-639x916Image Credit: Valentine Jori

After the successful discovery of Poetry in the Waiting Room comes the news that poetry is now available door to door in the UK.

This story appeared while I was watching the BEEB (BBC) Breakfast News and featured performance poet, Rowan McCabe, who claims to be the world’s first door to door poet.

Rowan asks people if they would like a poem written for them and then performs the poem for them on their doorsteps, or in their homes, all free of charge.

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper he said the aim of his project is to connect with people who might never have considered poetry before and open a debate about connecting with strangers.

Below is the video of the news bulletin.

If you want to read more about this, you can visit his door to door poetry website at www.doortodoorpoetry.com

What do you think of this? Do you have any similar initiatives where you live?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Haiku in Winter

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Picture Credit: Carsten Huels

How did that happen?

It only seemed a moment ago, when I was walking through decaying leaves and pondering the poetic joys of Autumn when Winter arrives.

Here in the UK we have had a colder start to Winter than in past years. Temperatures have reached minus 9 degrees centigrade, in some areas, and snow has fallen in the North of England. It looks like a cold one and I’m happy, as I can hibernate in the poetry den for three months and get ahead with the poetry and writing.

Winter has provided the inspiration for many poets and poems and haiku is a genre of poetry where the theme of Winter is prominent. I have been reading a lot of haiku recently and there are perfect examples of haiku both, traditional and modern, inspired by the winter months.

Three of the masters of the haiku tradition Bashō, Buson and Issa all took inspiration from Winter and reading their work takes you to the heart and moment of the season. This haiku by Bashō (translated by Robert Hass) provides a perfect example.

Winter solitude-
in a world of one colour
the sound of wind.

From a more modern perspective Ruth Yarrow’s haiku captures the childhood joy that

US Election 2016: A Brit’s View

trumped

Random Acts of Poetry Day

random-acts-of-poetry-day

Today is Random Acts of Poetry Day.

Random Acts of Poetry Day is celebrated on the first Wednesday of each October. The day centres on “painting poetry in the public square.” You can chalk your poem on a pavement or wall (legally of course); leave a poem for someone in an unexpected place – a train seat, at a bus stop, or under a pillow for a loved one.

I have written a little ditty for a local café where I often sit, watch, ponder and write a lot of my poetry. They have kindly agreed to display the piece inside the café. If I manage to get technical, and work out how to use my new camera, I will post them up here at a later date.

Tomorrow, in the UK, is also National Poetry Day. National poetry day has engaged millions of people since 1994 with live events and web based activities. Each year has a theme and the theme for 2016 is messages.

In order to celebrate both day days I would like to offer the poem, in this posts header, as a message and a big thank you to all the people who read, like, comment, swear and smile at Inside the Mind of Davy D.

Each day you leave me in awe with the quality of the poetry you write and I am privileged to be part of your poetry and writing blogging community.

To all you wonderful poets out there, happy random acts of poetry day.

Poetry Treasures in a Car Boot

poetry-treasure-in-a-car-boot

I love car boot sales.

English dictionaries generally define the car boot sale as “an event in a public place where people sell their unwanted possessions, often from the back of their cars.”

Yes, that’s correct. People empty their unwanted rubbish from their house, load it into the back of their cars, drive to a big field, where they pay to park, then sell the rubbish to people who flock to buy it. What could be more English?

The car boot sale originated in Canada and was brought to the UK by an English priest in the 1970s. He experienced a car boot sale whilst visiting North America and saw it as a great way to raise money for his church.

Since then the car boot sale has become a bit of an institution in the UK and, during the summer months, I like nothing better than wandering around car boot sales in search of poetic treasures.

Trawling the boot sales, I will uncover something providing an idea or prompt for a poem. An old magazine, an old picture, an overheard story detailing where a family heirloom originated, followed by the pain and sorrow in having to part with it.

On my last visit to one, a few weeks ago, I discovered a poetry book titled