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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

.

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:

.

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

Daily Double Haiku: May 29th, 2022

Hi folks,

After a wet night here on Halkyn Mountain, the sun is finally breaking through, a few small birds (sparrows and robins) swinging on our feeder.  And checking our emails this morning, my partner Maureen and I had a lovely surprise…

On Wednesday May 3rd, Charlotte Digregorio posted on her Writer’s Blog “Calling All Senryuists”, inviting us to each send her just one of our best senryu (published or unpublished) by May 15th.   Her goal was “to feature all active senryuists worldwide – beginners and experienced – who wish[ed] to appear”.

Maureen and I submitted early.  And we’re delighted to find our senryu featured together, today, on Charlotte’s amazing Daily Double Haiku.

Here’s a link to Maureen’s senryu:

Daily Double Haiku: May 29, 2022 | Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog (wordpress.com)

And here’s a link to mine:

Daily Double Haiku: May 29, 2022 | Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog (wordpress.com)

Do please check out our poems and have a great Sunday everyone.

Take care,

Paul

Copyright © Paul Beech 2022

My latest on ‘brass bell’

brass bell: a haiku journal, curated by Zee Zahava, is one terrific online publication, with brilliant work from haiku poets around the globe every month. 

I’m always thrilled to be in it and here are my poems from the latest four issues:

.

(i)

cracked bindings a bibliophile’s sneeze

(ii)

tending tomatoes

Gran relives her mill town youth

a lass on a loom

(iii)

the estuary below

glints in the sun …

I read Basho

(iv)

recovering now –  

a steaming mug

of mum’s beef-tea

.

Paul Beech

.

Poem (i) February 2022 issue.  Theme: one-line haiku

Poem (ii) March 2022 issue.  Theme: haiku about women and girls

Poem (iii) April 2022 issue.  Theme: things that make us happy

Poem (iv) May 2022 issue.  Theme: drinkable haiku

***

Enjoy the spring sunshine and have a great Sunday, everyone.

Paul

Copyright © Paul Beech 2022

A Curious Case

Hi folks,

On this gorgeously sunny Sunday here on Halkyn Mountain, I can’t resist sharing a haibun of mine published in Blithe Spirit, Journal of the British Haiku Society in February last year.

Back in my mid-teens, I was addicted to the Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and read the whole lot, both the long stories and the short.  And it was during this period that a certain young lady captured my affections, if only for a brief spell.  My haibun tells the true story.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter,

Paul

***

A Curious Case

.                                                                                 

Yes, I was Holmes back then.  Watson too.  Most comfortable beneath the hissing gas lamps of late-Victorian London.

So what was I doing on this bus bumping over the Pennines?  There was a girl of course.  And why not?  I was a good looking lad with a Billy Fury quiff.

Fran, that was her name.  A leggy blond.  We’d met at a seaside holiday camp.  And now, three weeks later, I was approaching her front door.

My knock was answered by her mum, a scrawny woman with venomous eyes.  She waved me into a stone-cold parlour, and a moment later I was joined by the girl herself.

Fran was looking decidedly shamefaced.  “I’m sorry,” she said, raising her left hand, “so sorry…”  A diamond ring sparkled.  She was engaged.

The following afternoon, Fran’s fiancé rang me at home.  His furious tirade ended with a click.  He’d hung up before I had a chance to speak.

A long sigh.  Then I was back beneath the hissing gas lamps of late-Victorian London.  I was Holmes again.  Watson too.

the jazz club –

cool poses struck

in a ‘60s snap

.

Paul Beech

.

Copyright © Paul Beech 2021, 2022

Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog March 26th, 2022

Hi folks,

It’s always a thrill to have a poem on Charlotte Digregorio’s brilliant Writer’s Blog.  And I’m delighted to report that today she is featuring my triolet ‘Box Brownie’.

One day back in March 2014, I found an old brown case that had been gathering dust in a dark corner.  I opened it and pulled out the camera I had as a Lancashire lad in the late ‘50s.  It was the first camera I’d ever owned, a Kodak Brownie Flash II, and I made good use of it.

The funny thing was how familiar it still felt as I ran my fingertips over its black leatherette skin.  Looking through the viewfinder for the first time in over half a century brought a lump to my throat and sent me in search of old albums…

The result was ‘Box Brownie’.

Below is a link if you’d care to check it out.  Please do.

A Triolet by Paul Beech (Wales) | Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog (wordpress.com)

My very best to you all for Mothering Sunday tomorrow.

Take care,

Paul

Something rather different…

Hi folks,

On this gorgeously sunny Saturday here on Halkyn Mountain, the estuary twinkling below, I thought I’d give you something rather different.

The theme for the February 2022 issue of Failed Haiku, guest edited by Julie Bloss Kelsey, was science fiction.  Light horror and fantasy would be okay though.

I had fun writing my senryu and haibun below and was delighted when they were published.

Hope they don’t give you nightmares…!

Paul

***

museum research

i ignore the death mask

until it groans

~~

softly softly

the quicksand

calls my name

~

                                    Pseudoscience?

                                                .

We’re astral rangers. Spirits of living projection, unlike ghosts.

Invisible, we pass through space and time telekinetically. Amorphous

as wisps of mist. Yet glimpses abound in folklore…

.

pixies

save a small boy’s drowning dog

then vanish

.

Paul Beech

.

Copyright © Paul Beech 2022

Experimental

Hi Folks,

I guess that here on Halkyn Mountain we got away with it fairly lightly compared with other parts of the UK when Storm Eunice struck on Friday.  Believe me, though, it was terrifying enough!

Today is pretty wet and wild too with overhead lines bouncing in the wind after last night’s sleet and rain.  But nothing like Eunice!  I hear a lone dove calling.

So…below are a couple of experimental senryu plus monoku combinations, which I was delighted to have published in the January 2022 issue of Failed Haiku edited by Kelly Sauvage.

Have a good Sunday everyone and take care.

Paul

***

.

fleeing his fists

she alights in a strange town

 her unborn kicks

.

 seeking shelter her tears turn to ice

.

 ~~

.

blizzard blown

we reach the care home

imposters in dad’s eyes

.

rejected we reset the satnav

.

Paul Beech

.

Copyright © Paul Beech 2022

He Tells Her

Hi Folks,

My partner Maureen Weldon currently has a remarkable free verse poem featured on Charlotte Digregorio’s brilliant Writer’s Blog.  It’s called ‘He Tells Her’.

Here’s a link:

Poetry by Maureen Weldon | Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog (wordpress.com)

Do please check it out.  You won’t be disappointed!

Paul