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Monday, 18 April 2011


"A sod of a boy!"
He'd say it of himself.
"One of the lost."

"Billy changed all that."
Brian was a friend,
one of the best.

"No, Christ changed that,"
he would correct me - or himself -
"through Billy Graham".

You had to be impressed.
The proof was there
in what he was.

And so it happened that
when Billy came to Wembley
I was there,

expecting a lone act.
But Billy brought his pardner -
Roy Rogers and his horse.

Roy told us all
to "Saddle up yous hosses
and ride hard for the Lord!"

And that's how
Billy lost me -
and Jesus nearly did.

This is my contribution for today to Writers Island's NATIONAL POETRY's Free Writing Month.


Wusel's... said...

I wish you a nice day.

vivinfrance said...

That Billy came to my school in North London. You have it about right.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Stan Ski said...

Some people try too hard...
Great post!

Dave King said...

Thanks Joe.
Have a good one yourself.

And I thought mine was a one-off!

Aint that the truth!

Jinksy said...

Off beat and fun!

Rachel Fenton said...

Ten may drag a horse to water....

You ride a mean poem, Dave. Great humour.

Dave King said...

Yup, that was the one thing about Brian - he never did have my sense of humour, but on that one occasion it was me who was without it.

Thanks Rachel.
Roy Rogers would have been ok.
It was definitely the horse wot did it.

Andy Sewina said...

That must have been some show at Wembley, I've heard a few Billy Graham stories over the years.

btw the big show at Wembley recently, was my team City beating Man Uni-ted in the FA cup semi-final.

Unknown said...

Billy Graham got his start working for my distant cousin Billy Sunday in the early twentieth century. I don't think Sunday ever had a horse on stage, but he was famous for jumping around, spewing fire and brimstone, and smashing liquor bottles on stage. He traveled the U.S. evangelizing in huge temporary wooden tabernacles built just for his revival meetings. BTW, Carl Sandburg despised him and wrote a poem about Sunday. His publisher insisted it be toned down asked Sandburg to retitle it "To a Contemporary Bunkshooter." It now appears unexpurgated under the original title "Billy Sunday" in the book "Billy Sunday and Other Poems" published in 1993.

Carl said...

I'd have been out at saddle up too! Ot turned him into a used car salesman instead of a missionary.

earlybird said...

I had no idea that Roy Rogers (and Trigger, presumably?) were involved with Billy Graham. Nice poem!

Mr. Walker said...

What a fascinating story. And that last stanza - I love it. I like the distinctions you draw in the poem between you (the speaker) and Brian on one hand, and Billy and Jesus on the other - it works.

The Weaver of Grass said...

All that Billy Graham stuff seems such a long time ago Dave.

Linda Sue said...

When i was a kid and my Pa was always gone or irascible when he was home- I adopted Roy as my real Dad! He was kind. But riding hard for the lord- nope- that is where I draw the line!I had no idea he was in kahoots with scary Billy!

flaubert said...

Dave, Billy Graham is distant memory. I am not fan of organized religion, but I love the humorous way you told this tale.


Corinna said...

I love it. Very fun.

Gloria said...

I enjoyed this! My sister went to see Billy with the Luther League when she was about 13, and it had a very lasting effect. LOL, she loved Roy too!! Well done!

Anonymous said...

Don't you just looooove the hucksters who feel they need props (and these days, laser light shows) to convey the word of Jesus?

I was pursued for years by a fire and brimstone Evangelical sister; I ran as fast as I could from Jesus. Fortunately, community organizer that he was, his lessons did draw me in... lovely insights here.

Amy Barlow Liberatore

Dave King said...

Sweet TalkingGuy
Indeed. I Have to say it was impressive - until...
N ow beating Man U - that IS impressive!

David C
Hi, and a warm welcome to my blog. Thanks for the interesting comment. I had heard of Billy Sunday, but am very grateful for all the background stuff. Makes fascinating reading. I rather like the sound of him and the smashing of the liquor bottles.
I must look up the poem.

It's all the luck of the draw, I'm told.

early bird
Welcome to the blog. It was Trigger, yes. To the best of my knowledge, that was the one and only time.

Mr Walker
Good to have you commenting. Thanks for it.

Weaver of Grass
It does, it was. It is! I'm not sorry.

Linda Sue
Nor I, until I went. I'm still not sure he was, not really. Maybe he was led into it that one time.

I was into organised religion back then. As for Wallace Stevens, poetry has now largely replaced it. My theology library has given way to a poetry one.

Thanks for that.

Thanks Gloria.
I can identify with your sister, but how we do change over the years!

sharplittle pencil
Welcome to you and thank you for your contribution. Yes, we've all met them. Some we'v e loved briefly, I guess, but as Stan Ski says above,some just try too hard!

The Blog of Bee said...

I think that Billy Graham's son has taken over the Evangelical Tent! I wonder if anyone remembers when he used to be on Radio Luxembourg!?

Glad to hear that Jesus didn't lose out!