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My latest on brass bell, September – December 2022

Hi folks,

After all the freezing mist we’ve had recently, here on Halykn Mountain, the morning has dawned clear and calm, with the estuary below at high tide but not a bird stirring.

Time, I think, to share my latest poems on brass bell: a haiku journal, curated by the wonderful Zee Zahava.

Good luck with your Christmas shopping, everyone, and take care.

***

September, homeplace haiku

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Lancashire mill town

with my thruppence

I buy sherbet lemons

~~

October, kitchen haiku

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busy bakers

in an old folks’ home

their cookbook wins a prize

~~

November, one-line haiku

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poetry reading a plaster on my nose

~~

December, night haiku

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a rough sleeper –

coughing she studies

Orion

.

Paul Beech

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Copyright © Paul Beech 2022

Daily Double Haiku, November 24th, 2022

Hi Folks,

Earlier this month Charlotte Digregorio invited poets to submit just one haiku or senryu on the theme of “any holidays that fall in November, December or January”.

My partner Maureen Weldon and I both decided to send a Christmas senryu.  But our poems were very different from each other’s.

If you’d care to check them out, we’d be so pleased.  Here’s a link:

Daily Double Haiku: Nov. 24, 2022 | Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog (wordpress.com)

Best always,

Paul

Penrhos Haiku – a sequence

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Hi folks,

Eight weeks ago today, on Sunday 11th September, my partner Maureen Weldon and I attended a Poetry Picnic at Penrhos Coastal Park on Holy Island, Anglesey.  And what a brilliant day we had, with a very knowledgeable guide, Peter Preston, taking us on a totally amazing long walk in the woods. 

The sad thing was to learn that the beautiful woodland, a haven for wildlife as well as the community’s treasured heritage, was now threatened with development.

Back at the gazebo, we chatted over our packed lunches before getting down to a spot of writing.

Many thanks to Karen Ankers and Kemal Houghton for organising the event, to Peter Preston for our most interesting walk, and to Kemal again for giving Maureen and I, plus two other poets, a lift to Penhros

Have a great Sunday, everyone, and take care.

Paul

fading traces

of the dead…

relentless rain

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a long-forgotten path

brambles snag my boots

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relics

from the time of Trafalgar…

birdsong

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deep in the dark wood

an old man

rears badgers

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a sudden chill –

the waft

of a peregrine’s wing

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through rain-haze glimpsed…the far shore

.

Paul Beech

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Copyright © Paul Beech 2022

a dove and two ravens: haiku

Hi folks,

On this wet, misty morning here on Halkyn Mountain, not a bird stirring, I’d like to share a couple of my ornithological haiku.

The first, about a dove spotted here at home, was published in Blithe Spirit, Journal of the British Haiku Society, issue 32.2, May 2022 (Ed. Caroline Skanne).

The second, about a pair of ravens spotted near Flint Castle, was published in Blithe Spirit, Journal of the British Haiku Society, issue 32.3, July 2022 (Ed. Caroline Skanne).

Have a great Sunday everyone, and take care.

Paul

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Haiku

snowmelt a lone dove calls down the mountain

Paul Beech

~~

low tide

out on the mud-flats

ravens play

Paul Beech

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Copyright © Paul Beech 2022

TANKA (“wrapped in a blanket”)

Hi folks,

On this very still, very quiet Sunday morning, here on Halkyn Mountain, hardly a bird stirring yet, the estuary below mostly sandbanks now, at low tide, I feel the time is right to share a rather poignant tanka of mine.  It concerns one of my younger brothers, the one I’ve sometimes referred to in my writings as “Kid Bro”.

Once a brilliant, prize-winning inventor in the television field, he now has Alzheimer’s and is in a care home down south.  I ring him often and visit from time to time, when I can.

My tanka was published in the August 2022 issue of Blithe Spirit, Journal of the British Haiku Society edited by Caroline Skanne (my partner Maureen also has a tanka, a gorgeous one, in this issue).

Have a great Sunday everyone, and take care.

Paul

***

TANKA

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wrapped in a blanket

against the spring chill

my brother sips sweet tea

i sing a song from childhood

and his eyes meet mine

.

Paul Beech

Copyright © Paul Beech 2022

Blo͞o Outlier Journal, issue 3

Hi folks,

It’s a chilly grey morning here on Halkyn Mountain, mist just lifting over the estuary below.

But for all you haiku aficionados, and all you nature lovers out there, I have a treat for you, because last week the eagerly awaited 3rd issue of Blo͞o Outlier Journal, the Natural History Haiku edition, came out, edited by the amazing Alan Summers.

Dedicated to the late, great Gene Murtha, issue 3, with its brilliant Blo͞o Outpost features and wonderful guest haiku, its artwork and photography, is an online journal of the very highest standard.

I find myself dipping into it at every opportunity because it truly is engrossing, rewarding and inspiring, the work emphasising the interconnectedness of all lifeforms inhabiting this planet, and the necessity of looking after the environment.  An imperative for sure.

My partner Maureen Weldon’s haiku, with video footage added by the editor, will be found in her Blo͞o Outpost feature on page 55.

My own guest haiku will be found on page 84.  (Many thanks for publishing my work, Alan.)

Have a great Sunday, everyone.  And do check out the journal – you won’t be disappointed.  Here’s a link:

Paul Beech

Blog post copyright © Paul Beech 2022

My latest haiku on brass bell

Hi folks,

It’s a sweltering Sunday, here on Halkyn Mountain, the heatwave upon us again, the temperature set to soar into the 30s°C.  Phew!  Fortunately we have spring water in the fridge and a good little fan whirring away.

A good day, I thought, to post my latest on brass bell: a haiku journal, curated by the wonderful Zee Zahava.

Take care, everyone, and stay cool if you can.

~~~~

June issue, one-line haiku:

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feathers fly fresh seed in the feeder

~~

July issue, sound / no sound:

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recovery

the dog who lost its bark

finds it again

~~

August issue, water haiku:

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(i)  gulls squawk

     the river flows on

     beneath the castle ruins

(ii) the rock pool crab

     meets me eye-to-eye

     I back off

Paul Beech

Copyright © Paul Beech 2022

The Misfit

Hi folks,

Having survived the recent extreme heat here in Wales (37.1°C on Monday 18th July, the highest temperature ever recorded in the Principality), we’re having a gorgeously warm (but not too warm!) Sunday morning on Halkyn Mountain. And I can’t resist posting my haibun ‘The Misfit’, which tells a true story from my early working life as a 15 your old apprentice electrician back in 1962. 

It was published in the December 2021 issue of failed haiku: A Journal of English Senryu (Guest Editor: Roberta Beary).

Have a great Sunday everyone, and take care.

Paul

***

The Misfit

Word had got round of course.  The new apprentice was a boss’s son.  And it showed. A tall skinny kid, fresh out of school, he was posh, polite and probably useless.

The year was ’62 and I was that apprentice.  Joe was tasked with nursemaiding me.

The job was a rewire, the premises a Victorian church in a small Cheshire village.  We were a team of five, Joe the gaffer.

With the guys hard at it, echoey din deafening, I helped all I could but mostly got in the way.  At least I made a decent brew at break times.

On the third afternoon, Joe and Jim were putting up the triple-extension ladder.  An old lantern suspended from the ceiling had to come down.  But the top of the ladder missed its intended perch at the apex and crashed down over the pews.  A stunned silence followed.  Miraculously no one was hurt.

They raised the ladder again and found the apex this time.

Right, who was going to go up?

Silence.  The senior apprentices shook their heads.  Then I stepped forwards.

Joe said “No!” but I began to climb.

I regretted my decision halfway up as the flexing of the ladder reduced its hold at the apex.  The higher I climbed though, the less the flexing.

Reaching the top, I found the lantern behind my neck.  So raising my right knee, I hooked my leg through the rung and leaned back, screwdriver in hand.

Head hanging over the nave 30 feet below, I discovered faith.

Minutes later, down again, I gave the lantern to Joe.

He clapped a warm hand on my shoulder.  There was no need for words.

stained glass –

the strobe lights

we dance to

Paul Beech

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Copyright © Paul Beech 2022

Art books (Tanka)

Hi Folks,

Well, as I begin breakfast, here on Halkyn Mountain, the risen sun is blazing down between legions of dark bulbous cloud drifting north up the estuary below.

It’s a very still, very quiet, rather sticky summer’s morning, sparrows squabbling for fat-balls and seed from our feeders out back.  A couple of butterflies come jazzing past my window.  And the moment feels just right for posting a tanka of mine.

It was published in Blithe Spirit, Journal of the British Haiku Society, 32.2, May 2022.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Paul

Here comes my tanka:

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art books

on the coffee table…

far below our window

dawn fire

lights the estuary

Paul Beech

Copyright © Paul Beech 2022

Tanka from Wales

Hi Folks,

I’m delighted to report that Charlotte Digregorio is today featuring on her wonderful Writer’s Blog a tanka from my darling partner Maureen Weldon together with one from me under the title “Tanka from Wales”.

Maureen and I live on Halkyn Mountain, North-East Wales, with fabulous views over the Dee Estuary below to The Wirral peninsula beyond.  (The Wirral is in England.)

Below is a link, if you’d care to check out our tanka – please do!

Tanka from Wales | Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog (wordpress.com)

Best always and take care,

Paul

Copyright © Paul Beech 2022