Run Kernow! Run! Now!


Run Kernow! Run! Now! 


Arimethea Joe,


Polydore Virgil –

Past Gibraltar against the wind,

Gale-filled sail – North, Boys. North!

Up old Europe’s belly, across Biscay –

Then Kernow –

The eternal navigator’s question!

Straight on? Or hang a left to Ireland?

Loading ore at Hayle!

Drinking from a Beaker cup!

Marazion’s healing forest herbs!

Cormorant Guards of Lizardh!

Tol Pedn ploughmen cry Hevva! Hevva!

For the seiners of Porthgwarra –

Dance, Merry Maidens, with full-marked cards,

For menhir gods turned to stone

Where tellers of drolls, the blue-robed bards,

Await the dawn at Boscawen Un!

Thorn trees grasped, cabin-boy-messiah –

Go! – North, Joe, North!

        Take the Boy

             To the Tor!

                 To the groove!

                      To Glastonbury –

Bards and fishermen, chatters of Chough,

Saints and smugglers!

Watch these Celts come and go!

O! Guardian Celts!

Guardians remain, black-rocked gannets,

Guardians of light, of lifeboat,

Current and storm,

Cornovii, Dumnonii –

Pascoe, Bolitho, Boscawen, Penaluna, Curgenven –


         of cousins

                   of cousins

                            of all and one,

                                             of all and many –

Of World-Wide-Webbed-Celtic millions –

All related!

Earth’s sole sun burns harshly our time.

Runners run

With guttered flame

To bring both spirit of game, and…..desert’s warning:–

Let Olympics’ flame light up this place,

This fertile, seeing land, Kernow!

May its gleam excite the worm,

Make fruitful our soil,

Our grassy dairy breast, full and firm.


As thought and science birthed philosophers’ minds,

We gave short harvests of alloy to Kings;

Now! We offer…..

                             brains and beef,

                                    labour and loaf,

                                         artist and wine!

Our naked star burns.

O! See thin African hands outstretched –

Their arid sands sear souls,

Their forests and fields shrink –

Flame! Flame!

Light the fire of roots,

 Inspire the branch to reach,

To shake its leafy fist.

But, how can this be,

That we run and play our game

As children feebly brush a fly…and die?

May the game of planets arouse and burn

Bright as Excalibur grasped

Beneath Dozmary’s rain-swelled lake –

May forests revive!

             May greed,


             Their callous invasion of sporting hearts,


May charred monks of Lhasa be free of fire!

May orang utan pick the flea, keep watch from the tree!

May credit-flattened Earth re-curve! May it rain!

May this flame renew the purpose of Saints –

………Run, Kernow! Run! NOW!

Bert Biscoe 19/05/2012

Call me a curmudgeon! Truro was just right, bright, dry, not too warm and slightly breezy. Shops, coffee houses, banks, barbers – all were standing by ready, best smiles genuinely offered, tills at the ready. Thousands poured into town as the media did what it does best- drumming up excitement. Indeed, the drums started early. Outside the Cathedral a brass band played as crowds gathered. Inside, the Cathedral choir made its beautiful noise, speeches rang out and a pair of fencers duelled forth and back along the nave. I couldn’t help thinking as I watched this latter exhibition of the murder of Thomas a Becket – sword-play in a house of prayer and reflection seemed such odd sanctuary – but the Bishop seemed quite taken with it and was heard to say he wouldn’t mind having a go!

On Lemon Quay Kernocopia spun its magic – a truly Cornish expression of the olympiad.

Then word came that the torch was close – a large truck sporting giant screens on each side brought a digital Beckham to woo us, followed by Coca Cola with ladies atop exhorting us to turn up the adrenalin pump – this was followed by a slightly self-conscious group of Lloyds Bank people atop yet another truck. I thought about those Birmingham Quakers who steadfastly and quietly moved from manufacturing and ironwork into banking – what would they have made of the adoption of americana to accompany a worldwide symbol of respect, tolerance, equality, sportsmanship, compassion, peace and the pursuit of excellence – the Black Horse does disco!

Cornwall politely cheered, thronged and agreed that it was a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ moment – which, of course, every moment is!

It was fine to have everybody happily together – in the Cathedral we sang Trelawny as the organ thundered around the arches – crumbs of pasty littered the floor and, outside, a peregrine looked quietly down from the spire. At Land’s End soembody noticed that the Cornish language had been removed from the sign over the door – now, I wonder why?


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2 Responses

  1. Zoirov says:

    A beautiful part of the world with some of the frisedlinet people you could possibly meet. Anyone who has visited it can see the many cultural differences with England in the attitudes of the ordinary people one encounters, not just in the Cornish language or culture (which will hopefully feature more and more in the future life of the country!).

  2. Nicole says:

    I thought Furniss Island was named after John Furniss, of Furniss Biscuit fame, and I know he spelt his name dlbuoe s. But you’re right about the beer. I don’t know where they bought it, I don’t even know that it was beer, they may have had lager or wine. Thanks for pointing that out. I don’t think it affects my basic point.

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