A Magician In Our Midst

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 The Bodleian bohemian
Turns my penny to a pound.
This stone frog trickster
Conjures magic all around.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 With garlic cloves and olive oil
our supper he does make.
Flavoured elderflower, licorice
And Kendal Mint Cake.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Wears shorts out of season
Jacket, hat and gloves.
Pedals green and pleasant country lanes
To long lost Cornish loves.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 The bicycle basket jumble king
His bookstall overflows.
The cast-off collector hawks
Pamphlets of radical prose.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Hes our special Nanny Grandad.
His Comfrey Ointment keeps us brave.
As we cushion raft around the house
“Look out a tidal wave”.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 To Chalford Park for picnics
We always miss the bus.
But thirst is quenched with spring water
And wisdom he shares with us.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Spins us tales from his allotment.
Slender slow worms and ants nest.
Of fennel, marigold and thyme
Healing herbs he grows the best.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 Artifact arranger without peer
An Artspace artisan.
Performance poet inspired by
Bob Zimmerman Dylan.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 Has whistles hung around his neck
Blows duck call and cuckoo.
A qualified league referee
Since nineteen fifty two.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 Chants – Ooh ahh Cantona,
Italian soccer on the telly.
Riff Raff, Football Poet
Quoting Ferlinghetti.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 His attic room filled to the brim
With Hovis biscuit n cheese.
Brown bread from Sunshine on the tab
And home made herbal teas.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 Autumn talk of leaf compost,
Organic philosophy.
Everyones welcome whatever their faith
To his voxpop polyphonic cocophony.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 Committee of 100,
Committed C.N.D.
Pacifist and prisoner.
He plants another tree.

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 Bridge and backgammon.
Cafe, coffee and chess.
This apple orchard anarchist
Spreads love with Letterpress.

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 He is a demon party dancer
Plays football twice a week.
He is fitter than a fiddle
Still performing at his peak.

16 Leave a comment on verse 16 0 So if you need a little magic
From this genie of the lamp.
Buy him another Guinness and shout
Abracadaba Mephistopheles Gazump.

17 Leave a comment on verse 17 0 Salut. – Dennis Gould, now 64.


Hey – my first poem… written with the help of my kids, Issy and Robin and Gabriel (another poet freatured here) and Livvy Raeburn.

Dennis and Stuart Butler founded Stroud Football Poets in 1996… it has since evolved into what you see here. Dennis is my lodger for almost five years and does childcare for us after school three days a week.

He’s a Stroud institution and virually a member of the family. He continues to inspire many of us. I performed the poem at his birthday party at Whiteway Colony.

(For a social history of Whiteway, a Tolstoyan community see – Whiteway Colony by Joy Thacker, ISBN 0 9521760 0 9)

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/a-magician-in-our-midst/