Davy D and Howard Bond with this week’s Poetic Beats. Winter is the theme for this episode.

Inside the Mind of Davy D

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.


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…

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Poetry in Motion

Motion is My Muse

A big thank you to Christine for stepping in at short notice last week. I loved her poem, On Becoming A Writer. It got to the heart and soul of what writing means and the blocks and thoughts we all face as writers.

Today, I want to explore the processes we employ as poets. When you write poetry do you need to find space and silence? Do your best poetic thoughts come in the morning, or do they hide until the Backside of the Night? For me, I need to be moving when creating thoughts and ideas for poems. Once I have a seed I have to take it out for a walk. It sounds crazy, but I have discovered walking and poetry go hand I hand when it comes to creativity and focus.

Over the years I have developed a writing routine that involves waking up in the morning and going out for a five-mile hike. When I start walking I have an idea or concept for a new poem, or an existing poem going through the draft stage. By the time I have completed the walk the idea, or draft, has been taken through the wringer and either polished or ditched.

There is a science behind this. When we partake in an activity, like walking, the unconscious part of the brain takes control of the movement element and frees the conscious part of the brain to work and focus on other things. Poetry provides a natural focus when walking, as both activities share a steady, continuous and rhythmic pattern.

The following haibun, Motion is My Muse, came to fruition whilst thinking about motion and poetry (and surrendered after numerous long walking treks).


Stillness irks her. Like a naughty child, she pesters around the armchair blowing “chase me” into my ear. As usual, I succumb. In a prolonged moment, walking boots replace slippers; warm home comforts meet with a cold slap. At first the atmosphere is hostile, but she begins to weave her magic pointing to Red Kites etched on Cumulonimbus; a distant woodpecker hammering through moving trees. She runs into empty rooms, turning on lights and painting “I LOVE YOU” on vacant walls. We embrace and my reason for being, flows.

With every step
She leads the pen to places
Where dreams are hidden


Do you have any poems or poetry inspired by your writing practice? Does reading today’s post bring to mind any poetic thoughts? We would love to hear them in the café.

What is Poetry?

What is poetry blog

We got a good vibe going in the café last week with the question, Are you a Poet? , and I was amazed and loved reading the poetic responses. This week I am going to try and keep the vibe going by taking things a step further back and asking, “What is Poetry?

I posed the question on my personal blog nearly a year ago and it is still the most read and commented on post. Despite all the responses I am still no further forward in being able to define what poetry is.

Standard dictionary definitions show poetry as;

1. The art or craft of writing verse.
2. Literature written in meter; verse.
3. Prose that resembles a poem in some respect, as in form or sound.
4. Poetic qualities, spirit or feeling in anything.

Does this take us any further forward? Maybe the suggestion around poetic qualities, spirit or feeling in anything, might start to scratch the surface.

Whilst I was pondering the question I read a poem, I burn gold, by the excellent poet yassy, and her lines, in my opinion, get closer to the answer.

“ I read my soul
I pluck verses
From the depths of my soul
I become poetry
and poetry becomes me…”

It is possible there is no definite answer and poetry is whatever it wants to be. In the spirit of last weeks poetic dance in the café, I offer the following thought and poem, in that poetry can never be defined;  we can only offer metaphor in our pursuit of the answer – a bit like chasing butterflies.

Chasing Butterflies

An array of Cabbage White and
Red Admiral bask on lavender,
Teasing a pen to paper.

Cupped hands chase air – the
Butterfly nurtured to move
Beyond arms reach, leaving
A brain derelict for description.

All that’s left
Are vague shadows and
Scribbles on a half empty page.

What is poetry to you? I am looking forward to you bringing your thoughts and poetry to the café.

Are You a Poet?


I really enjoyed last week’s fun in the café and thanks to you all for taking part and attempting to write the world’s shortest poem. I don’t know if any of them will overtake “Fleas” in the Guinness Book of Records, but a high five to everyone for joining in, you are all winners.

This week I am asking the question “Are you a poet?”

It seems a strange question to ask considering most people reading this post write poetry, but is the art of being a poet more than just that. The thought and question arose whilst I was conducting research for some blog posts and stumbled across a discussion asking whether the title of poet should be restricted.

There were some contrasting views, with one stating anyone calling themselves a poet should be distrusted as, “poet is a title necessarily bestowed on you by others.” Some participants suggested you should only use the term if you were a poet and wrote poetry as a full-time occupation.

Most English dictionaries describe a poet as someone who writes poetry, but is it as simple as that? For example, do you need to have had poetry published, or written a poetry book or won a poetry competition, before you can allude to the title?

In my younger days, I was once told by a teacher to beware of anyone who called themselves an expert or guru as anyone, labelling themselves as such, had stopped learning. Again, it was a title to be bestowed by others. Is it the same for poets? Can someone who recklessly uses the term poet be at risk of arrest from the Poetry Police, or is being a poet something to be shouted from the rooftops?

Are you happy to call yourself a poet, or would you rather let others use the title on your behalf?

Why not grab a coffee and air your thoughts in the café.

Can You Write the World’s Shortest Poem?


We have had a couple of in depth poetry discussions over the last couple of weeks and a big thank you for taking part in the conversations. Today I thought I would bring a lighter air and a bit of fun to the Café and have a little poetry competition.

Earlier this week I had been doing some reading and came across what is claimed to be the world’s shortest poem. It is titled, Lines on the Antiquity of Microbes, or Fleas as it is more commonly known. The poem is a couplet written by Strickland Gillilan.

Had e’m

Ogden Nash wrote a poem in a similar vein called Further Reflections on Parsley.

Is Gharsley

In 1975 boxer Muhammed Ali was giving a speech at Harvard University and discussing poetry on stage with journalist George Plimpton. When asked for the shortest poem of all time, Plimpton recited “Fleas” and Ali responded, “I’ve got one: Me? Whee!”

The challenge in the café today, is can you write the world’s shortest poem? I don’t know what rules apply but let’s keep the Poetry Police on their toes and have a no rules competition. Here’s my offering to start (in the style of Spike Milligan.)


The prize is a big high five from the baristas. The floor is yours.

Chasing After The Moment

An Hour With Jake

I want to bring a conversation to the Café today after a seed was planted from last week’s post, Is a Poem Ever Finished? The seed is around capturing a moment in our poetry.

As I started to write this post, the first rain in over three weeks began to fall in the English village where I live. It was a moment worthy of words, as the heatwave had started to impact and we needed rain. No sooner as pen had hit paper then the rain disappeared and the sun reappeared, the moment was gone. It made me think, do we ever capture and experience the moment in our poetry, or is all we can ever do is describe a reflection or a piece of our own history?

The French philosopher, Henri Bergson, said, “The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth, all sensation is already a memory.” I think he has a point because no sooner as I try to think about a moment, it has gone and is confined to memory. Have a go for yourself.

The thought has hurt my head so much I wrote the following poem;

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.

i’m exhausted.

Have you ever captured the moment in your poetry, or wrote about a lifetime trying? I’d love to hear about it. Let’s get the conversation going, the coffee is brewing.

Is a Poem Ever Finished?

Is a poem ever finished blog

This week I have been revisiting and reworking some old poetry. The poems are a collection written about 20 years ago, tucked away in a drawer and discovered during a clear out of the poetry den.

Reading old poems is a bit like looking at old photographs, a snap shot of a point in time, captured in words. They represent our thoughts and emotions in the moment and although we draft and mould them, are they ever finished?

If we revisit an old poem are we writing a new piece of poetry, reflecting new thoughts and new feelings, or are we just updating the poetry to mirror the place where we currently stand in our lives.? There are so many questions this process raises, I even wonder whether all we ever do through life is write one continuous poem.

Mr. S, the Go Dog Go Café patron, wrote the following piece, Bury, which brings to the fore even more thoughts on the question.

In my drawer, buried
Poems. Pompeians under
Ash, waiting, preserved,
Re-forged by fire. Open
My drawer with a pick
Like an archeologist
Discover how, why
What happened, happened
Maybe bury some
Again. Yes, please, bury
Again. Ash in my drawer.

Do you think a poem is ever finished? Why not grab a coffee and let’s sit down and have a chat.

Dedication to the Go Dog Go Café

Dedication to the GDGC

I want to start today’s post by saying a big thank you to everyone who joined in the “Why do you write poetry?” conversation started in the café last week. It was interesting to read about the different reasons and motivations as to why you write poetry.  Please feel free to continue and add to the conversation.

Having these chats are a big part of the vibe in the café and I hope to bring some more poetic topics to your tables in the coming weeks. If you have any ideas designed to get the conversation flowing then please let me know in the comments section and I will write something around them.

Today, I am handing the floor to Eugenia from ThusNSuch who was inspired to write Ode to a Poet, dedicated to the motivation and inspiration circulating around the Go Dog Go Café. Thank you Eugenia, and here is her dedication.

Ode To A Poet

A touch of imagination
A bit of inspiration
A tad of ideation
Sparking creation
A spot of time to spend
A message to send
A thought to lend
A chance to pretend
A mind puzzle to link
A snapshot to think
There is no brink
We must spill our ink

What thoughts or poetry has the café inspired in you so far? We would love to hear them.

Why Do You Write Poetry?

Why Do You Write Poetry_

There is an eclectic mix of writers coming into the café since its opening. One of the jobs of the Baristas, as well as serving great coffee and cakes, is to find out more about the people creating the vibes. Today I want to delve a little deeper and am asking the question, “why do you write poetry?”

Shakespeare, according to some sources, wrote part of his poetry to supplement his income when plague closed the London theatres and stopped the performances of his plays. William Wordsworth’s poetry grew from his love and obsession with his childhood and nature.

When I ponder the question, it is difficult to place the answer in a few words so I wrote this piece to express my thoughts.

Fragments are scattered across the glass table,
Their fragility enticing order.
There are no completed pictures
For guidance, only part read
Manuals cluttering dusty shelves.

No one has worked out the
Exact number of pieces and
Most attempts to fathom are fleeting.

Those remaining, experience
The slice of the scalpel, opening
To the core and laying
Them bare to investment.

When the puzzle is solved,
Poetry dies.

Why do you write poetry? Let’s get a conversation going in the café. We would love to read your thoughts.

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 today I am in the Go Dog Go Café immersing myself in 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.

Do you have a favourite poet or poem that provides an escape for you? We would love to hear about them.

Or better still – let’s get a café haiku going.

Coffee with Basho –
Traveller’s tales replenish
A weary spirit

Over to you.