Of dry leaves and old clothes the condemned one would be
Painstakingly fashioned by Dickie and me.
The Smith boys turn up, like they normally did,
And Dennis, who we call the Milky-Bar Kid.
On well-chosen pitches – so, close to a pub,
The schemers have gathered, much like Catesby’s club;
Then out of the mist rings the time-honoured cry,
From street urchin voices, “A penny for the Guy!”
Arrives the big night of luminous treats,
When bonfires are blazing on cobble-stoned streets.
There’s Hammond’s and Lion’s, Excelsior and Brock’s,
With cones, flares and fountains displayed in a box.
From milk bottles, rockets are launched… who knows where?
While youngsters with sparklers draw words in the air;
Catherine-wheels whizz around on contrived wireworks,
As we … ♫Light up the Sky with Standard Fireworks♫
When kiddies and old’uns retire indoors,
There are volleys of bangers and jumping-jack wars.
Light the blue touch-paper ‘til the night air’s a cloak
Of mist-mingled, thick, acrid, sulphurous smoke.
The colours have faded, the magic has fled,
All fuel is consumed though the cinders still red;
The chestnuts and taters, burnt black from the fire,
Are the ashes of spent, pyrotechnic desire.
Wilder’s and Wizard, Wells, Wessex and Crane’s,
Astra and Benwell, Britannia and Pain’s;
Their candles have sputtered, their fusillades shot,
Remembering gunpowder, treason and plot.