Dave Knight moved to East Garston in January 2000, and openly admits that one of his biggest regrets is that he didn't move here earlier. Dave worked for Glaxo Pharmaceuticals for 33 years, and was - quote "A small to Medium cog in a very large machine". Un-quote. Interests? - well many actually, Family, Classical Music, History & Sport. Dave actively partakes in Badminton, Table-tennis,and keep fit at the Lambourn Centre. But his former pursuits - Squash and Jogging - are now sadly discarded due to the ravages of time.

He is now content to follow the activities of his two Grandsons, both of whom play for Wickham Wanderers under 9s and under 13s football sides respectively.  He is also a dab hand at writing verse, most of which is centred on this beautiful area we are privileged to live in. Below, some of Dave's work in this field is featured. There is a trace of a poet in all of us I'm sure, but some, like Dave, are just that bit special....





Dave writes - Desert Saga - was written in 2012 on a Saga tour of California and Nevada.Our tour manager was an Australian lady called Kim and she was ably assisted by Owen,our coach driver,who hailed from San Diego. After 2 days in Las Vegas we set out on the next leg of our journey to Sonora via Mammoth Lakes in the Yosimite National Park.


We were well over an hour out of Las Vegas when Owen suddenly pulled the coach into the roadside to ruefully explain that there was a problem with the engine's turbo and that the engine temperature was rising alarmingly. As we were due to pass through Death Valley where the temperature was 110 degrees in the shade there was no alternative but for Kim to contact Las Vegas on her mobile to arrange emergency assistance.

On the tour thus far we had been fed many fascinating details on California's topography and history particularly that relating to the Great Californian gold rush of 1849. We had learned about the mule trains and their ace drivers the "Muleskinners" who supplied the mining camps in all sorts of adverse conditions.We had been told the names of Indian tribes whose former territories we had passed through.


It was in this mode that I sat wondering what it would have been like had we been stranded in those days rather than in the present. From this reverie emerged a poem "Desert saga" which Kim read out to the rest of the gang on the coach the following day.( There is nothing like the luxury of a captive audience!.) One other name mentioned is that of Alan, a diminutive Scotsman, whose delicious sense of humour kept us amused throughout the whole tour."



Desert Saga
by Dave Knight.

We have trailed our way from old L.A. with those pesky flies that plague us.
After the charms of San Diego, we holed up a while in Vegas,
But on the climb to the Valley of Death,our wagon ground to a halt.
Mule-skinner Owen,with a thorough check,confirmed a serious fault.

Tracker-scout,Koala- Kim, with narrowed eyes and visage grim,
Warned "There's Injuns in them thar hills.Stand by for some unscheduled thrills!"
Gasps of fear.Faces paled.Some ornery Greenhorns even wailed,
But Aberdeen Al with a string of quips, soon put back smiles on quivering lips.

Then Koala-Kim,with a master stroke,contacted town with puffs of smoke.
Some dude from Vegas trotted in and calmed us down with his lazy grin
Drawling "No problem here. No lengthy wait. A noo hose clip will see yah straight"

So now we're heading for Sonora with the prospect of a bed.
Fate and the mules a'willing, San Fransisco lies ahead.
All thanks to mule-skinner Owen who,despite all, has kept us goin'"






Dave writes - This poem was written during the time we were unsure of when we would get back from Egypt. It is a tribute to our brilliant, impeturbable tour manager, Ashref (Anglicised name = "Ash" - Honest-!
You may remember that Gordon Brown was talking of arranging a "Second Dunkirk" at the time. It went down well, pinned to the Saga noticeboard


Ode to Saga
by Dave Knight.

We have gazed at Temples and cruised the Nile,
Enjoyed this Land with a sun-kissed smile
We've been coaxed "Come to Mama, Mama's here"
By our wise and wired-up guide Abir.

But now we're told by those that know
Our journey home might well be slow.
It seems that Iceland, short of cash,
Has paid us back in smoke and ash!

Air-lines are confused, confounded,
As each and every plane is grounded.
But fellow tourists fret not nor fear
For Brown our hallowed Pharaoh's here.

With his Moral Compass held on high
and Mandy, Prince of Darkness nigh
He'll send us rafts, canoes and boats,
(But just for those with Labour votes!)
But when these futile efforts fail
Face Folkstone in the West and wail


At this time of looming crisis
Place not your trust in Gods like Isis,
Nor heed the Siren songs of Brown,
For Saga's "Ash"* won't let you down!


Egypt, April 2010.
"Ash" = Ashref.(tour manager).








by Dave Knight.

Some would opt for the warmth of Devon
In which to spend their Seventh Heaven,
Or, failing that, the charms of Wales
But doughty Martyn chose the Dales!


With his precious Time he's been no Miser,
For, in familiar Hat and Visor,
He's mown with care our River's banks,
And justly earned our grateful Thanks.

The Memorial Site, the Village Hall,
And the Tidy-up in early Fall,
Have flourished under Martyn's steer
With little fuss and much good Cheer


High among Life's greatest Joys
Was to be one of Martyn's "River Boys,"
When, in the guise of culling Cress,
We'd splash around and make a Mess
. *


To those concerned please rest assured,
The re-sited Martyn won't be bored,
This Hercules will find new Labours
To shock and awe his Yorkist Neighbours


We wish Him and His, the very best
As in the Dales they come to rest
That they'll be missed is all too plain
East Garston's Loss is Yorkshire's Gain


With our final Thanks an earnest Plea,
Please Martyn watch that Family Tree,
For more than once we've heard it said
"Yairkshire born, Yairkshire bred,
Thick in t'arm and thick in t'Head"

* Martyn excepted.





Dave writes - This poem is essentially a verbatim account of an interview given by the head of Haringey social services to the BBC in which she concluded by justifying their activities and pointing out that her department has been awarded the much coveted 3 star award for excellence.


The Child Protection Officer’s lament
by Dave Knight.


Yes the death of Baby P. was sad,
But things are not entirely bad.
Peoples' views are far too wild,
It wasn't us who killed that Child.
Though badly duped by those who killed
We ticked each box. All forms were filled


We missed broken bones and battered face,
But there were successes in this Case.
Yes we regret his death, God rest his soul,
But not so much that heads will roll.
For what we do and where we are
We've justly earned our grade…”Three Star!”







The Gym
by Dave Knight.

I step on the Scales and loudly groan, my previous Weight plus half a Stone!
A Quantum Leap from Fat to 'Thin requires I put some Gym-time in.
Once I'm there I feel quite keen and choose myself a sleek Machine.
With Sense I shun an early Slog and set the Speed at "Gentle Jog'"


Then in strides young "Mr Superfit", muscles rippling, superb Kit,
Designer Shorts and matching Vest. I pull in my Tum, puff out my Chest
Bulge the Biceps, flex the Pecs, salvage one of Nature's Wrecks.
But once he wires himself for sound his sun-tanned Legs begin to pound.


In vain I try to match his Pace, heart rate soaring, purpled Face,
Forget the Cough, ignore the Wheeze, play down the pain from creaking Knees
Copious sweat flows by the Litre as I traverse each tortured Metre.
I'm just a crusty OAP but this young Tyke won't better me.


But sadly Nature has it's way, the price of Pride's too high to pay.
For though the Willpowers not at fault my jellied Legs flop to a Halt.
"No Pain no Gain !" the "Regulars" cry and now I know the reason why
They push themselves until they drop. ....It's oh so lovely when You stop!





Dave writes - The Road to Xian was written in the context of being a member of a party of 33 Saga Louts touring China under the guidance of a brilliant Chinese guide called Amy. She did everything efficiently but in low key mode. Her only drawback was a penchant for getting things moving early in the day. One thing even Amy could not prevent was a delayed plane flight due to "technical reasons". We subsequently found ourselves flying to Xian at 3 am. Having no newspaper to read or Sudoko to tackle I came up with the poem below.


The Road to Xian
by Dave Knight.
by Dave Knight.

We are Amy's Army and We've marched around Beijing
Though greying at the Temples We're up for anything.


Early in the Morning she drags us from our Rooms
"Forget the Hair,
Let's hit the Square,
The Palace and the Tombs!".


We've seen Silk made, admired the Jade,
Had our Spirits rise and fall,
But when feet drag She'll raise that Flag
And drive Us up the Wall *


Up to date
We've been sedate
But Tomorrow We'll be Rotters.
For, if We can, We'll take Xian
And stuff the Terracottas!.


We are Amy's Army and We'll face down any Test.
When we leave this Shore,
They'll cry for more,
We simply are the Best!

* Great Chinese variety


When you had gone I began to wonder
How long my love would last.
Engendered by your presence
Would it die once you had passed,

Melt like a fragile Snowflake,
Drifting in the Winter Sun,
Or fade as the shimmering Butterfly
When Summer's golden days are done?

If finite would it endure the passing years
Or, un-sustained, with the flight of time
Be stretched and snap asunder
Like an over-tautened length of twine?

No. My love for you is like a gentle river
That Day by Day, unchallenged flows,
And steadfastly moves towards you.
Set on it's course it stronger grows.









Autumnal Mists
by Dave Knight.
by Dave Knight.

Called by Bells through the cold, clear Night,
And led to the Church by twinkling Light,
A heartfelt Welcome at the ancient Door,
Footsteps firm on the flag-stoned Floor.


Early Morning Mists Arise
Distorting distant Views
Drift like Wraiths through Glade and Wood
Softening Summer's vibrant Hues.

Then gently lay a Blanket down
On golden Fields of ripening Grains,
Wreathe empty Nests in russet Trees,
Find hidden Fruits down Country Lanes.

In the Dawning Hours the Mists held Sway,
But now their Day is done
For they fade as quickly as they came,
Vanquished by the waxing Sun.


Cheerful Waves from Friends in place,
Warmth and Light in hallowed Space,
Angelic Sound from the Choir Stalls,
Shadows soft on Time-steeped Walls.


Children with their wide, bright Eyes
Wait with patience for their Prize,
And, one by one, in file step up,
In tiny Hands their Globe to cup.


Every Orange, crowned in Flame
Becomes the World in God's good Name.
Each crimson Band that precious Blood
Shed in Sorrow for our Good.


That magic Moment All will know,
The Church Lights fade....the Candles glow.
Then awestruck Youngsters leave their Pew,
All this and, next week, Santa too!





by Dave Knight.
Icon In The Sky
by Dave Knight.

Sometimes We’ll take to the open Fields,
And turn our Faces to the Sun,
The Old Folk amble stiffly,
Around them lively Children run.


At other times We‘ll laugh and talk
With Friends met in the Street,
And later, on our homeward Walk
Give silent Thanks for Life that’s sweet.


Some stressful days We’ll argue
Act thoughtlessly as well,
But all these things we do in Freedom….
Thanks to Those who bravely fell.


That snarling Roar,
The swoop, the soar,

The victory roll
That stirs the Soul.

The homeward run
In the setting Sun.

Why the sigh?
The misted Eye?

...The Spitfire !





East Garston Website
by Dave Knight.
East Garston in the Spring
by Dave Knight.

You can surf the Net with all your Might,
Pound PC keys both Day and Night,
But You'll not find a Site like this,
Attractive, factual, perfect Bliss!
Even Folk from far-flung Climes
E-mail in (At oddest Times!),
Seek Ancestral facts through our dear Ken,
"I know I've Roots, but where and when?

Hundreds of Us, nearer Home,
Through it's Sections love to roam.
Film Buffs, Quizzers, Skittlers, All,
"What's on next at the Village Hall?"

The E/G Website is a Village Treasure,
Scanning through gives such great Pleasure.
Thank You Ken, for this, your Passion,
Crafted in true TARBOX-ian Fashion!

Acid-yellow Fields of Rape contrast an azure Sky
While crowded Rooks fret noisily, the Kite, aloof, soars high
The Church tower, still and ageless, 'neath gently swelling Hills
Shares this Hamlet's History, has known it's Joys and Ills.


The Lambourn at its fullest snakes its placid Way
Through Banks of breeze-blown Daffodils, reflected in their Sway
Nearby the Blacksmith's Bridge, the sturdy Granite Cross
Proudly names the Fallen, mourns each Family's Loss.


Oblivious of the Blight of War eager children play
In the Shade of ancient Cottages amidst the scent of May
Peaceful be their future, though whatever Life shall bring
May they come to love, like Us, this Village in the Spring.


"East Garston Website" ~ was originally written for a local Monthly Valley Publication but it never actually made it into print. Something to do with it advertising a rival publication I believe. I don't see myself as a rival but I do accept the compliment with thanks and appreciation...............Thank you Dave.........(KT)


all verse copyright David Knight 2010


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