“The Lunar Men” my third & last poem on Birmingham Lunar Society


Well – met by moonlight

These Lunar Men, these ‘Men of Moment, great men all

Gave thought to science

Held nothing in their thrall

The ‘Natural Philosophers’

Of the widening world

Held mostly against the enslavement of Brothers

Felt deep the pain of others

In Africa, where one of their number by name of Galton 

Sold guns as a Quaker,

A real ‘Wrong ‘Un’

At Great Barr Hall he lived,

High on the Hog

Admonished by the other Lunar Men

Be damned in Hell for exploiting his brethren

They weren’t all bad

These ‘Lunarticks’ 

Whose ideas were thought to be full of tricks!!!!!

By ordinary Men, the BrummaGEM mob

For when they praised Revolution in France and America

The Priestley Riots ensued in Brum, in 1791:

‘Gunpowder Joe’ Mr Priestley to you

Would espouse Revolution

From his fiery pulpit True

But soon Mr Priestley had to the Americas fled

Fearing for his life as the Brummie mob burned down his home in Sparkbrook

Sparks indeed they flew

And Joe made a good life in the US too

The discoverer of O2

This Northern Lad, an adopted Brummie

Feared for his life and was forced to flee

When he did not go down on bended knee

To this Brummie mob

Who’d foam off at the mouth and shout their gob

Against the enfranchisement of the Common Man

In Revolutionary France and the US

Where these Lunar Men continued to bless

Their thoughts and ideas 

I do confess 

Were ‘Out of this World’

And they created this Modern World

In these ‘Times of Enlightenment’ in the West Midlands centred on Birmingham

And SOHO House:- Boulton : the ‘Foremost Man’

The maker and creator of this great group

His recruitment of James Watt……

His greatest coup!!!!

The Scots Engineer and gigantic genius walked down from his home in Greenock

Down to Brum to work with Boulton; Two Great Men

Whose ideas transformed the World into an industrious place

This ‘Green and Pleasant Land’ this ‘Jerusalem’

Became: ‘Black by Day and Red by Night’

As coal and iron powered by Watt’s steam 

Transformed the Earth into this ‘Maker’s Place’ 

Where Boulton and Watt

Created fantastic factories to make

Their enormous great gigantic engines

Such as that from Smethwick, the last remaining in Thinktank, lost…….., 

Not producing……..

The World’s paid such a cost 

As an industrial place

Where Many Men dare not show their face

As ‘Wage Slaves’ in this relentless Human Race

Not just in Science and Industry 

Was the ‘Lunarminaries’ Mark Made:

But also in Medicine with the two foremost Physicians:

Withering and Darwin

Seeing how to save men from Death with Digitalis from the Common Foxglove being able to cure

The ‘Failure of the Heart’ using the Drug Digitalis Distilled from the ‘Glove’ like some ‘Manna from Heaven’

From Far above

And Erasmus Darwin, the Divine Doctor and poet made men better

Through his practice of Medicine

But possibly his greatest legacy was Grandfathering his Grandson 

And ‘Greatest Scientist Ever’

One Charles Darwin 

‘Survival of the Fittest’ 

Is there no end to these Great Men’s talents…..?????

By 1817 the Lunar Men’s Star had fallen 

And they were mostly all in their grave, except for the greatest of them all, the polymath James Watt

Who didn’t shuffle off this mortal coil until 1819……

But the Creation of the Modern World was their legacy and their greatest achievement

As we all mourn the modern World’s bereavement

But hope springs eternal

And AI is the future along with Makers 3D printing 

Which has the ability to change the world once again 

With a second Industrial Revolution based on Knowledge

Begun by these Great Lunar Men


POEM FOR MY DAD: Leslie Charles Bracey”Les my Dad”

Les my Dad

The last time I saw you, you lay stricken in your bed

After straining your broken heart

Taken to City Hospital not far from Aston near the Gun Quarter

Where you’d worked as a 14 year old callow youth

Carrying the sporting guns to the Birmingham Proof House

You’d drink away your meagre wages

From Gittens Gunmakers in The Gunmakers Arms

Where you’d drink beer until you were K – Lied

As you’d call it with your pithy turn of phrase

Football was HUGE for you

And your beloved Aston Villa

And you’d tek me as a 4 year old lad

On the number 11 Football Special buzz

From the King’s Head in Bearwood

Through Rotton Park and Summerfield

Winson Green and Handsworth and the Wood

Thence to Trinity Road in Aston, next stop Villa Park

Where we’d stand Dad and Son on the Holte End the !2th man

To me you were the ‘Harborne Tarzan’

So named after the Olympian swimmer Johnny Weismuller

The Hollywood Tarzan as you banged in goals for the Stonehouse Gang FC

Which later on in your shortish life caused you to limp and falter as we climbed the Holte End steps

To the top of the terrace

One time when the Villa hosted a game in the 1966 World Cup …….

A nil all bore draw between West Germany and Sir Alf’s ‘Animals’ The Argentines

I was lost in the Holte End but was spotted by a kindly Policeman

Who brought me to the front of the terrace

Where I saw the game from the Police Command Post!

Returned by the policeman at the end of the game to my Dad………

Les loved the Villa winning the European Cup in 1982

And then 7 years later (unlucky for some he was gone

A broken heart it was disease that put our Dear Dad at such unease

He lay stricken in bed such a big strong man 6 feet 2 and 16 stones

He’d had enough in those youngish bones……..

And then he was taken into City Road and one dark night

Me and Mom got a call from the West Midlands Police

And they sent a car for us in the middle of the night:

‘Get here quick your Dad’s not well’…..’Nothing to worry about he’ll be alright’

But when Mom and I got there he’d gone 5 minutes before

Up to the Great God above through Heaven’s door

Where he could cheer on the Villa

From his Elysian Fields stand

And was released from his duty to keep an eye on my Bipolar Mom

Who from this wicked wide World he largely shielded

Looking after her just as he had since they married in 1952

At St Germain’s Church in Edgbaston where I was christened later on in 58

Before we moved to Bearwood to await Les’s fate 40 years on in 88

When our Dear Dad passed away never spending with us another day……..

Love you Les: ‘The Harborne Tarzan’ a sporting man of Weoley

Where his Dad Wilf lived in Paganal Road in Weoley Castle

By the Stonehouse pub with Whippet Racing and Pigeon fancying

And a pint of best Ansell’s bitter

Using his sister Edna as a babysitter for us 3 kids

And Susan and Jean our dear younger cousins

Every Saturday night Les’d drive toi Weoley

Where the men would drink so much beer and we’d drive home without a fear

Ten pints of Ansell’s Mild in our Dear Dad

Which was really something quite bad…….

Drink driving like there was no tomorrow

There really wasn’t for us to borrow

Time against the Good Luck we had on the drive from Weoley to Bearwood

Where me, Les, Dot Rich and Gill lived in this Black country town

Near #GlobalSmethwick an industrial powerhouse before its time

With great World Class companies like M&B and GKN, BIRMID and Qualcast

Smethwick Drop Forgings, the die was cast when Thatcher came to power

She destroyed our industry and our jobs

To turn us all into Employment Exchange yobs

Who’d loaf on street corners or sit in pubs

Drinking beer until it drugs their senses and eases their pain

Of a life that’s gone down the drain…….

Les was an electrician not working in a factory

Not for him the drudgery of a wage slave

Matter of factly he’d do a ‘Foreigner’ and rewire someone’s house

He’d always help out and do anything for anyone

This Harborne Man a Giant of a Guy:

The Harborne Tarzan: My Dad the Mainstay………..

“THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD” A Poem on the Birmingham Pen Trade

Birmingham’s Pen Trade

Was what gave literacy to the world

It gave the world the means to write

And made this Great City the centre 

For the spread of literacy round the Globe

With over one hundred pen makers in Brum in 1891

Men like Joseph Gillott, William MItchell

Josiah Mason and John Hinks

Using the Pen Nibs made in Brum

In many different coloured Quink Inks

Joseph Gillott built the Victoria Works 

Named after their great Queen

Who Birmingham had never seen 

As she said like Jane Austen: ‘There is something direful in the name’

Gillott entertained the young Prince Bertie

Known to be a man ever so flirty

So the prettiest of Gillott’s hundreds of Making Maidens

Were put on show 

To make the nibs while Edward skirted the Factory

On Frederick Street opposite our little Pen Museum

The Albert Works so named after the Prince Consort Albert 

Like two lovers holding hands across Frederick Street

Sending Personally Penned Royal Love Letters using 

A Victorian Penny Black stamp 

In KIdderminster’s Rowland Hill’s Penny Post

The Albert Works were built by William Wiley 

Who worked to make such a successful enterprise

With so many many Lady workers co-ordinating their hands and eyes

To make the NIbs with many different dies 

And with many difficult phases – Rolling, Blanking, Marking, and Piercing

Hardening, Annealing and Raising 

Scouring, Grinding and Slitting 

All very dangerous stages for a young Girl to negotiate for a Pitiful Wage

For Twenty Thousand Thumping pieces of work finally at the Finish

The Scouring and the Grinding and then at last so long 

In the past in Queen Victoria’s Reign when the British Empire ruled

Three Fifths of the Colonial Globe

With Three Quarters of EVERYTHING written down IN THE WORLD

Being written down with a Birmingham – Made pen………

An ASTOUNDING fact I think you’ll agree

When the British were at their Apogee

And ‘Old Joe’ Chamberlain was in his Pomp……

The Father of Brum, fought the Second Boer War at the end of Victoria’s Reign 

A  Boer Battle fought so much in Vain

This ‘City of a Thousand Trades’; 

This ‘Workshop of the World’

The ‘Best Led City in the Empire’

With ‘Old Joe’ at the Helm in 1901

The Old Queen passed 

And King Edward the Seventh ascended the throne

British Power continued unabated until The Great War in 1914

With Birmingham Makers churning out Guns , Bullets and Bombs

To defeat the Hun after four long tearful years in November 1918

The ‘War to end all Wars’ came to a bloody end

The First Industrial conflict fought by money and economies 

And NOT by the men who gave their lives that we might live free 

In Picturesque Picardy and Flander’s Fields, the trenches and Hell Holes 

The Somme, Arras, Ypres  Cambrai and the rest all good men and true died

And gave their lives to defeat the enemy

Led by Good King George to their Doom – laden Deaths

And the Pen Trade also ‘Died a Death’ after firms branched out and diversified

With the Final Death Knell coming in the 30’s 

When Ingenious inventor Hungarian Laszlo Biro made a Dastardly Different Pen

The Blasted Biro which Killed Birmingham’s Pen Trade at a stroke

And firms decided to diversify into other areas of Engineering

Like Brandauer whose Pen Nibs became redundant like so many workers

So they made bits for cars like the Model T Ford and Herbert Austin’s Austin Seven

A Little Car ‘Made in Heaven’

To give freedom to the ‘Common Man’

So Brum’s Pen Trade was destroyed 

And all we have now is our Little Museum

Be sure to come and visit us today

As we showcase this Forgotten Trade to this Wondrous World

Who can’t believe that the Humble Pen Nib was 


My second Lunar Society poem: “Gunpowder Joe” about the man who discovered oxygen Joseph Priestley


‘Twas Joseph Priestley

This Lunar Man

Who discovered rushing Oxygen all around us in the air

The range of his knowledge

Was immense as a Protestant Polymath

An ‘Upstart Unitarian’

But he now wanted Revolution

As had happened in France

With the tumbrill’s wheel

Run to the ghastly guillotine

Like a shelter strewn scalpel

To exorcise the excesses

Of Louis the Sixteenth

And Marie Antoinette

‘Let them eat cake’

She uttered as she was the last one to wriggle in death

From the last place on earth

Which had been her shelter: Paris La Bastille

As a King’s consort in Revolutionary France

Priestley also praised Revolution in America

But in the Priestley Riots at ‘Fairhill’ his home in Sparkhill

The Brummie Mob bore him ill will

And ‘Gunpowder Joe’ was forced to flee

From his home in Sparkhill

By hook or by crook

He escaped on the run rushing to the Americas

To live out a quiet life in Maine in the USA

Where his great achievements were all but unknown and forgotten

One of the greatest chemists and scientists the world has EVER seen………..

BBC BBC RADIO 📻 WM: MY FRIEND’S VOICE Poem for my local BBC Radio station as BBC Radio WM faces cuts to it’s schedules BBC Radio WM is our local stationBroadcasting to the West Midlands for the NationFor local news with Louise HancockYou can’t go wrong she runs it by the clockThree minute bulletins followed by “Make a difference “To the Birmingham and Black Country experience Your local presenters we have Rakeem at breakfast The first young black man to present the show at last…..We’ve had Phil Upton, Les Ross, Daz Hale et alAll trying to be your Brummie Breakfast palAt 10am we have Stanchers whose so bold…..A broadcaster in the Ed Doolan mouldShe has politics to tax your brains 🧠 And items so diverse as the new PM to Metro 🚇 tramsAt 2pm Stanchers makes way for Franksy….Or is it Foxy on a Friday?The Main Man to the Maxi?Franksy’s been on WM forever, He’s such a big tall bloke and soooo bloomin clever!!!!At 6 in the evening Daz Hales teks the stageWith the football ⚽️ phone in, most fans in a rage!The Villa, the Blues, the Baggies too…..Saddlers and Wolves Yam Yams through and throughEveryone’s in Daz’s phone in queue………Daz is a Wolves fan, and Mike Taylor the Villa…..Not sure who Henry Liston supports….?As he’s such a young fella?The nights 🌙 are lit up by Cazza Martin…..She has us all cryin and a blartin at the diabolical dilemma The best presenter for me on BBC Radio WEmma!!!!Straight outta retirement from Brum University, I’m yer manThe Birmingham poet, Brummie Bard, Radio 📻 WM fan! The GREATEST station in Birmingham, not forgetting the Black Country Louring black by day and glowing red by night!The GREATEST REGION IN THE COUNTRY….that’s awroight!!!!!

The Second in my Suite of Birmingham Lunar Society Poems: “Gentle Ben: The American Lunar Society Man”


Lunar Links with the USA

Were forged by William Small

This Man of Math

And his type of Craft

Was as a Physician

He met with ‘Gentle Ben’

In Birmingham

Franklin the American

Lunar Man who looked 

At Lightning with a 

Metal Conductor which

Created a lustrous Lightning Ball

He tried to tap with

His Lightning Conductor

Trying to store the 

Electricity in some way

To use the Power another 

Day with Powerful storage

And Electricity became the

World’s greatest source

Of Energy before it’s time 

In this Energetic Enlightenment

Begun in Birmingham

The one in the West Midlands, Englland


In the USA where Revolution 

Was in the Air, as in France with the Lunar Men

In full support of Revolution for the Common Man

With Preacher Gunpowder Joe Priestley

Raising Revolution from his pulpit

In Birmingham leading to the riots of 1791

It took another 40 years in 1832

With Attwood MP’s Political Coup on 

Newhall Hill with 

30,000 Men and True

The London Government 

Led by Tamworth’s Peel

Were scared to death

That Revolution was afoot

As it had been thought in 1819 at Peterloo 

Where 18 Good Men so true 

Were struck down by Army Militia

In Manchester Town

Without the British Government

Raising a frown

These ‘Men of Men’

All came together from all

Around the Midlands

Wedgwood from Stoke

Erasmus from Lichfield

Samuel Galton from Great Barr

Not too far from the Epicentre

Of their thoughts and ideas

At SOHO HOUSE where 

These Good Lunar Men Met

To discuss the Theories

And latest Science

Of the Day from Revolutionary France

Where Chemist Antoine Lavoisier

Had paved the way for

Joseph Priestley with his

‘Theory of Phlogiston’

Which led to this 

Revolutionary Player’s 

Discovery of the Air of Life

Oxygen…..the MOST important gas

Along with Hydrogen which combined made

‘Adam’s Ale’ the fount of all Life giving water to the

Common Man whose lives these Lunar Men so profoundly made

Creating the Modern World right here in Birmingham………

That’s as far as it goes and may be an ideal place to stop for the shorter Ben Franklin, USA and French revolution poem you requested but there is more…….

It wasn’t just steam power these Great Men

Meant to use but Wedgwood

Created the Ceramic Circle in the SIX TOWNS of Stoke

In what became known as ‘The Potteries’ up North of Birmingham

Where Samuel Galton this Quaker Slaver’s man 

Would sell his weapons of Death

To unwary Africans on the Gold Coast

When the Guns exploded in their awful faces

And their power enslaved their fellow man

Shipped to the West Indies 

On Death Ships

Where many expired on their way across the Atlantic

To a Watery Grave

Rather than face enslavement

In the Caribbean where it took until the US Civil War to free the slaves

With the Union consigning the Confederacy to defeat in 1865 under the North

Of Abe Lincoln and the Emancipation of the Slaves had been the AIM of Most of the Lunar Men

The Sympathetic Sorrowers

Of Enslaved Black Men

So as you see these Lunar Men improved the Lives of All

NO Longer were Slaves left in thrall to 

“Old White Men”

This Lunar Society improved the Lot of All

And Created the Modern World 

In Soho Houses’ Fair Halls by dining together and

Sharing wine and beer and good food

This Revolutionary Brood of WORLD CHANGING WIZARDS!!!!!!!

A Suite of Birmingham Lunar Society Poems: “Gunpowder Joe”


‘Twas Joseph Priestley 

This Lunar Man

Who discovered rushing Oxygen all around us in the air

The range of his knowledge

Was immense as a Protestant Polymath

An ‘Upstart Unitarian’

But he now wanted Revolution

As had happened in France 

With the tumbrill’s wheel 

Run to the ghastly guillotine 

Like a shelter strewn scalpel

To exorcise the excesses

Of Louis the Sixteenth

And Marie Antoinette

‘Let them eat cake’

She uttered as she was the last one to wriggle in death

From the last place on earth

Which had been her shelter: Paris La Bastille

As a King’s consort in Revolutionary France

Priestley also praised Revolution in  America

But in the Priestley Riots at ‘Fairhill’ his home in Sparkhill

The Brummie Mob bore him ill will

And ‘Gunpowder Joe’ was forced to flee

From his home in Sparkhill

By hook or by crook 

He escaped on the run rushing to the Americas 

To live out a quiet life in Maine in the USA

Where his great achievements were all but unknown and forgotten 

One of the greatest chemists and scientists the world has EVER seen………….

John Kilvert fought at the Battle of Balaclava and the Charge of the Light Brigade. His sword & medals are held by Sandwell Museums Service

John Kilvert was a 19th Century British soldier whose sword and medals are held by the Sandwell Museums Service. Kilvert fought in The Crimean War between Britain and Russia in the 1850’s. Kilvert fought at The Battle of Balaclava and an action during that battle The Charge of the Light Brigade immortalised in a poem by then Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson as an heroic military failure with Lord Cardigan’s cavalry charging the Russian cannons which inflicted terrible casualties and injuries amongst the brave cavalrymen. Truly “Lions Led by Donkeys” ! Nurses Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale came to prominence during The Crimean War as they pioneered the nursing of wounded soldiers from the war. The British and their Empire had overstretched themselves and received a mauling from the “Russian Bear”

BRUMMAGEM BANDS Keith Bracey AKA the Brummie Bard’s poem about the Birmingham music scene

Birmingham Bands

17 Sunday Jan 2016

Posted by Brummie Bard & BrummaGEM Keith Bracey Brum Poet in Uncategorized≈ 6 Comments

Brummagem’s Bands

Birmingham has produced the Biggest Bands

With Fabulous Songs and Adoring Fans

Famous in Europe and the USA

Outstanding Music here to stay

Rock from Black Sabbath and Judas Priest

Was Heavy and Loud, to say the least

The Move had ‘Flowers in the Rain’

First Record on Radio One, they claim

Dexy’s sang: ‘Come on Eileen’

The Dance Floor Anthem for Love’s Young Dream

UB40 had a Kitchen with a Rat

While Sabbath’s Ozzy bit the Head off a Bat

The Dutchie was passed by Musical Youth

Duran Duran: ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’

Led Zeppelin climbed a ‘Stairway to Heaven’

The World’s Greatest Band in ‘77

Electric Lights inspired Jeff Lynne

Moody Blues Knights in White Satin

Would Christmas be the same without Wizzard and Slade?

Performing the Music Midlands’ Bands Made!

Keith Bracey  #BrummieBard Led Zep and Black Sabbath Fan

You can post this on your website with full credit to me Birmingham and Black Country poet Keith Bracey AKA the Brummie Bard 


Keith Bracey  AKA The Brummie Bard

07552 758710 Email keithbracey1@gmail.com Twitter @1truclaretnblu 

Instagram @brummiebard @braceykeith

Poetry blog at https://keithbracey.wordpress.com