The Write Out Loud Poem of the Week is 'The Racing Stable' by M.C Newberry

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This week's Poem of the Week is 'The Racing Stable' by M.C Newberry, a poetic ode to the thrill of a new horse racing season. The writing engulfs us in the passions and excitements of the day of the race and what shines through is the sheer honesty and love that M.C has for the sport. Even if you have never knowingly watched a horse race you can’t help but get caught up in the thrill of the morning. 


Below, M.C reveals a little bit about his poetic influences with our Q&A: 


What got you in to writing poetry?  

Looking back, I can see it was the work of W.S. Gilbert (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame) that served as an early example of the way words could entertain and/or carry a message, especially using imagination and wit.  It is no accident that some famous 20th lyricists whose songs now occupy the immortal “Great American Songbook” cite him as their own .inspiration. 


How long have you been writing?  

I came to writing in the creative sense (with a wry nod to my public service reports!!) in retirement, initially using my love of music, essentially the sort of songs that Frank Sinatra served so well, that allowed me to see and combine verse and lyrics – closely connected as “disciplines” in many ways, with songs being more likely to reach a wider public appreciation in their assorted forms and via various artists, their own output (e.g. The Beatles) and styles.  


Do you go to any open-mic nights?  

I haven’t attended any open mic. nights, although I can see their attraction for those who get a kick from a visible public/audience the appeal of a social gathering looking for commonly enjoyed material. 


Your favourite poet/poem?  

Favourite poem?  That’s like asking a man which breath he takes is his favourite!  But Binyon’s “The Burning of the Leaves” is one I return to with great pleasure, not least because - as a prose poem - it differs, but in a very memorable way, from my usual preferred style of rhyming verse. 


You're cast away on a desert island. What's your luxury?  

As for a desert island choice -   leaning towards the luxury side of things (as well as useful for a message in a  bottle!) I would choose a pencil and notepad.  So many uses to while away the time, as well as being a potential aid to self-help. 



The Racing Stable 

by M.C Newberry 


Sunrise creeping, daylight peeping, 

All is silent, all are sleeping. 


Alarm clocks whirring, staff start stirring, 

Farm dogs scratching, farm cats purring. 


Voices muffled, sneezes snuffled, 

Stairways creaking, footsteps shuffled. 


Harness jingling, senses tingling, 

Eggs and bacon and coffee mingling. 


Boxes ready, horses heady, 

Stable lads to hold 'em steady. 


Race-day thrilling, race-course filling, 

Mounts and jockeys keen and willing. 


Trainers stressing: no more guessing, 

Riders nodding, eyes assessing. 


Steeds parading, promenading, 

Hopes increasing, chances fading. 


Race beginning, runners thinning 

Till one leads and runs home winning 


Trophy showing, connections glowing, 

Applaud the champion. hot and blowing. 


Gallant winner, what a skinner! 

Paying for champagne and dinner. 


Horses fed now, put to bed now, 

See the weary human head bow. 


Voices yawning, early morning, 

Soon to rise again at dawning. 


Sunrise creeping, daylight peeping, 

All is silent, all are sleeping. 



◄ Readings and open mics: a beginner's guide

Write Out Loud at Stockport art gallery tonight ►


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M.C. Newberry

Sun 17th Mar 2019 21:50

Thanks, Martin. Horses for courses is the usual thinking but it helps
to regenerate interest in both horse and human if some variety is
employed occasionally. 😏

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Martin Elder

Sun 17th Mar 2019 17:59

This does not seem to be your usual style Mark which initially caught me unawares. In many ways it is all the richer for that. As has already been identified a really good rhythm to it and for me a slight hint of Auden about it. Congratulations on POTW
a most worthy piece

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 16th Mar 2019 15:32

Thanks, Rich. Once I got started it might be said "I got carried away"
- but knew when to pull up! 😃

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Sat 16th Mar 2019 08:53

Lovely poem for POTW - congratulations. Great rhythm, got a sense of riding along, and building and building.

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M.C. Newberry

Fri 15th Mar 2019 14:36

JS - glad you enjoyed this trot down the track of happy memories!

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Jon Stainsby

Fri 15th Mar 2019 06:50

Congratulations, MC.

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M.C. Newberry

Wed 13th Mar 2019 21:34

Thanks, Jon. I feel like I'm in the winner's enclosure at York!

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Wed 13th Mar 2019 20:06

Great sense of rhythm and a fascinating insight. Loved it.
Well done


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M.C. Newberry

Wed 13th Mar 2019 17:14

Thanks JM and KG - your comments are received with the same
gratitude shown in my previous response. Giving pleasure is a
pleasure in itself.

<Deleted User> (19913)

Wed 13th Mar 2019 09:44

Love this one MC, congratulations. 😀

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John Marks

Tue 12th Mar 2019 18:50

Well-penned Mark! 🎆 John

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M.C. Newberry

Tue 12th Mar 2019 15:47

I'm so glad that a poem about a personal sporting interest has hit the spot with so many contributors whose own work I value and
appreciate. Thanks to you all ! Back in the 1990s I had a share
in a handicapper that was trained in North Yorkshire and won (and
was "placed" in) some races on northern courses - including the
famous Knavesmire at York. Sharing a parade ring with racing
"immortals" like Henry Cecil (later "Sir") and Pat Eddery is a memory
I treasure from those days.

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dorinda macdowell

Tue 12th Mar 2019 12:18

Well done! - such a beautifully descriptive piece!

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Tue 12th Mar 2019 12:12

You hit a sweet spot with this Mark. The rhyme and rhythm reminds me of Night Mail - a very good device to convey movement and anticipation.



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Jonathan Humble

Mon 11th Mar 2019 22:21

Well done MC : )

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kJ Walker

Mon 11th Mar 2019 20:46

Congratulations. A well deserved POTW. I really enjoyed the rhythm and rhyme of this one.
I live within earshot of Doncaster Racecourse yet haven't been to the races for years. This has just reminded me what I am missing

Cheers Kevin

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trevor homer

Mon 11th Mar 2019 13:33

Story, pace, atmosphere - all the qualities of a good poem handled very skilfully to create a vey engaging read. Excellent

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keith jeffries

Mon 11th Mar 2019 09:26


You have galloped to victory with this excellent poem. Congratulations and well deserved.


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John Coopey

Mon 11th Mar 2019 09:24

Lovely rhythm of race day captured in the pace of the poem. Well deserved, MC. Its only omission? It would be nice to have listened to an audio.

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