The following was written by one of our members, Graham, in response to a challenge from Neil, the club's coach...



When kings could command the yeomen of England,

A man had his bow and his body's fierce power;

The yew tree the source in times of dark fighting -

The foe felt the force of the dark stinging shower.

Simple the tactic as they stood in true order

And dreamt of the practice in England's sweet fields…

Standing as one to let loose the terror,

The archer stands strong and his heart never yields.

For his monarch decreed in summons of blood-lust;

And ever the time to be true to his word,

As the thunder of hooves and thunder of heartbeats

Were the soundings of battle that each of them heard.

And centuries on, in one fleeting moment,

We might line up the target and feel the quiet call

Of the years of tradition as we draw back the bowstring

And each of us knows how the sport can enthral.

To feel all the force as the arrow sings forwards

And rips through the air and into the gold…

The calm satisfaction that stirs in the heart-song;

To feel just a whisper of those good men of old.


© Graham Searle, 2015

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This poem may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission.