Peterloo Poets

Poetry Publishers 1972 - 2009





Daddy Edgar’s Pools



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Poems by Mike Harding


Mike Harding is a Stand-up Comic, singer, and musician, well-known through his national concert tours and his performances on television and radio. Now, this first full volume of poems proves him to be an accomplished serious poet. He has written poetry about people and places all his life, and submitted this volume under a pseudonym, coming clean about his real identity only on its acceptance.

Mike Harding was born in Crumpsall, Manchester, in 1944, into a working-class Irish-Catholic family. A life vice-president of the Ramblers Association and a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, Mike is also a professional photographer whose work features in his best-selling travel books such as Footloose in the Himalaya (Michael Joseph, 1989). His first ever professional acting role was as Vladimir in the 1990/91 Bolton Octagon Theatre production of Waiting for Godot.

Daddy Edgar’s Pools includes poems about Mike Harding’s city childhood and his family; poems about life in the Yorkshire Dales; and poems of other places and times, including Ireland at the time of the monasteries.

Publication of Daddy Edgar’s Pools in October 1992 coincides with the publication of another book by Mike Harding: Walking the Peaks and Pennines (Michael Joseph).


Daddy Edgar’s Pools

Each week you, Thursday Millionaire, would conjure up
The ju-ju, stab the coupon with a pin
Or read the cups, perm my age and height
With Hitler’s birthday and the number of
The bus that passed the window and the clump
Of pigeons on the next door neighbour’s loft.
With rabbit’s foot, white heather, and wishbone
You fluenced the coupon that I ran to post.

Each muggy Saturday you sat still while the set
Called out into the hushed room where I sat
With burning ears and heard a London voice
Call names as strange as shipping forecasts through the air:
Hamilton Academicals, Queen of the South,
Pontefract United, Hearts of Midlothian,
Wolverhampton Wanderers, Arbroath, Hibernian
And once, I thought, a boy called Patrick Thistle.

Then every week after the final check,
When Friday’s dreams were scratched out with a squeaky pen,
You took down from upstairs your brass band coat,
Gave me the wad of polish and the button stick.
And there in that still, darkened room I polished up
Each brassy button world that showed my face;
While you on shining tenor horn played out
Your Thursday Millionaire’s lament
For a poor man’s Saturday gone.


Price 7.95 per copy post free (5.30 post free to Associate Members)
Cover illustration: Not credited
Publication: AUTUMN 1992 (64 pages laminated paperback)