Michael Walker

Gold Star - 20,702 Points (cv48488)

Guy Fawkes Day. - Poem by Michael Walker

Today is Guy Fawkes Day,
the fifth of November again,
although the fireworks started
weeks ago and will continue
for most of this hot month.
Outside my bedroom I can hear
crackling, bangs like gunshots,
the rapid fire of jumping jacks,
like the stutter of a machine gun.
I hear, now and then, the swoosh
of sky rockets on their trajectory
across the night before the fall.
Even so, this continual orchestra
is not something I can't cope with.
'It's just background noise, '
I tell myself, 'just ignore it.'


As a child, I used to take part
in Guy Fawkes celebrations
that had a bonfire and a 'guy'-
which was burned as an effigy-
and every firecracker money could buy.
getting my fingers burnt, hearing loss
or even losing that precious eyesight,
never crossed my mind: I escaped injury,
even though crackers were lit near me.
There were occasional, brave campaigns
to ban fireworks and Guy Fawkes itself.
The attempts, doomed by mass media clout,
flared up, boomed a while, but fizzled out.

-5 November,2015.

Topic(s) of this poem: celebration

Form: Found Poem


Poet's Notes about The Poem

Guy Fawkes Day originated in England, where there was a failed plot to blow up with dynamite the House of Lords. Guy(Guido) Fawkes (1570-1606) led the plotters. Since the night of discovery, England has had a celebration every 5 November. The custom found its way to New Zealand. It surprises me how long it has lasted, with all its dangers.

Comments about Guy Fawkes Day. by Michael Walker

  • Simone Inez Harriman (7/3/2017 3:22:00 AM)


    Your poem brings back fond memories of celebrating Guy Fawkes as a child. The big community bonfire and all the neighbors kids oohing and aahing at the fountains of color and sparks from Roman Candles and Catherine Wheels. The sky rockets were exciting to light and watch. And the horror of being chased by a jumping jack added to the fun. (Report) Reply

    Michael Walker (7/3/2017 10:26:00 PM)

    Thanks for your amusing comment of reminiscence. Amidst all the
    fun, there was some danger I think.

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  • Terry Craddock (1/9/2017 9:57:00 PM)


    As a child, I used to take part
    in Guy Fawkes celebrations
    that had a bonfire and a 'guy'-
    which was burned as an effigy-
    and every firecracker money could buy'

    memories which still glow in the dark and still bang with the excitement of childhood past
    (Report) Reply

    Michael Walker (7/3/2017 10:29:00 PM)

    A very good quote-comment. Thanks for noticing the poem.

Read all 4 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Thursday, November 5, 2015

Poem Edited: Monday, November 9, 2015


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