Skip to content

Kids Live @ 5

Thursday 1st October 2020 was National Poetry Day here in the UK, our annual celebration of all things poetic, aimed at encouraging people to read, enjoy and share poetry. 

To mark the occasion retrospectively, Lymm Radio (Cheshire) wished to make poetry the theme for their Sunday children’s show ‘Kids Live @ 5’ with a poet interview included.

Well, following a recommendation, they got TWO poets, myself and my darling partner Maureen Weldon!

Being rather different types of poet, with different perspectives, would make for a good interview, we hoped.  And so it proved when pre-recorded with a bright 8-year old boy called Monty asking the questions under his mum’s supervision.

The programme aired on Sunday 4th October, which just happened to be Maureen’s birthday!  And, gosh, what a lovely, lively show it was, ‘Kids Live @ 5’.  We found ourselves singing along to the ‘Autumn Leaves’ song, and much enjoyed hearing talented children reading their own poems.

Our interview included a poem each from Maureen and me, her lovely poem ‘A Present for Dad’ from Cats Cats Cats, (an anthology, Cestrian Press, 2013), and my children’s poem ‘The Chase’ from The Creative Freedom of The Mind, (an anthology, Cliftonbooks, 2020). 

But the icing on Maureen’s birthday cake came at the end of our interview when a favourite song was played for her: ‘All You Need Is Love’ by The Beatles…

Many thanks to all at Lymm Radio for having us on the show.

~~~

Here’s the poem I read:

.

THE CHASE

.

The wind

blows Dad’s cap off

and we chase it through dung

in a stinky field of big pigs

until

crazy brown leaves

spinning through a farmyard

flip the cap back

                         on Dad’s bald head,

just so.

.

Paul Beech

.

Copyright © Paul Beech 2020

Tanka (“beneath the falls”)

Getting on a bit now, I often look back to those long-lost days when I was a young dad.  And my tanka below recalls a happy memory from 1977, when I took my two elder daughters, then aged 4 and 2, to Dyserth Falls, near Rhyl in North Wales.

Here the River Ffyddion falls roaring down a 70-foot gully, a spectacular sight, on its way to join the River Clwyd.  You can imagine my young daughters’ excitement!

I’m delighted that my poem is included in LOVE, the British Haiku Society’s recently published 30th Anniversary Members’ Tanka Anthology, 1990 – 2020, edited by AA Marcoff.

Have a good Sunday, everyone.

Paul

TANKA

beneath the falls

rainbow spray

a child in each arm

held high…

the dad I was

Paul Beech

Copyright © Paul Beech 2020

Midnight Robin

Hi Folks,

My partner Maureen Weldon has just had a free-verse poem featured on Charlotte Digregorio’s wonderful Writer’s Blog.

Maureen is a former professional ballet dancer with the Irish Theatre Ballet.  Since the latter 80s though, she has been a popular, widely published, prize-winning poet.

Although Irish, from Cork, Maureen has been UK based for many years, and in October 2014 she was the Welsh representative at Terra Poetica, the international poetry festival in Ukraine.

Her featured poem is ‘Midnight Robin’, the title poem of her much loved 2014 Poetry Space pamphlet, and I thought you might like to read it to experience for yourselves her charmingly distinctive poetic voice.  So here’s a link:

https://charlottedigregorio.wordpress.com/2020/09/01/free-verse-by-maureen-weldon-2/#comments

Cheers, everyone – my very best,

Paul

Larkton Hill

Gosh, what a sunrise this morning!  From our home on the side of Halkyn Mountain, I can see clear across the dazzlingly golden Dee Estuary below and the Wirral peninsula beyond…

Anyway, here’s another poem from my poetry and prose collection Twin Dakotas published by Cestrian Press in 2016.

Larkton Hill is a part of Bickerton Hill at the southern end of the Mid-Cheshire Ridge, with the earthworks of ancient Maiden Castle at its summit.

But my poem is about rather more than that…

Have a Good Sunday, everyone.

Paul

 

LARKTON HILL

 

Steep is this track I climb

hand-in-hand with my love,

our friend leading the way

up this wooded shoulder of sandstone,

her jolly dog Spot racing by,

a skitter of paws in golden leaf.

 

Steep is this track of tangled briars,

mossy green boulders,

the flash of a jay,

milky mist threading through birch, holly, oak,

as far below lies the old life

where my ghost must reside in photographs hidden,

spoons in a drawer the wrong way round,

a certain chair claimed by others.

 

Steep was the climb to this high heath

of heather, scrub, adders,

buzzards aloft,

where we lunch on a log,

Spot, ears pricked, forepaw raised,

as the Iron Age ghosts of Maiden Castle

call me down.

 

Steep was the climb to this summons rejected,

sun breaking through over distant hills,

bright blood hot in my veins,

bubbling mirth,

an accidental selfie,

no ghost at all

as I claim this new life.

 

Paul Beech

Copyright © Paul Beech 2016, 2020

 

 

Tanka (floral smock…)

This morning, a tanka!  And one that was quite a trip down Memory Lane for me.

I wrote it on Friday 17th April 2020, a fact I mention because it was published in Poetry In The Plague Year, a Poetry Kit online anthology of poems written during lockdown, though not necessarily about the pandemic.

Yes, a trip down Memory Lane it was, whisking me back to the Lancashire pit and mill town where, in 1952, knee-high to a grasshopper, I started school.  And what a wonderful infants’ teacher we had…

Have a good Sunday everyone.

 

TANKA

 

floral smock chalky

she holds the new boy close

wipes his terrified tears

and lets him sit

with the girls

 

Paul Beech

 

Copyright © Paul Beech 2020

 

Charlotte Digregorio’sWriter’s Blog July 31st, 2020

Dear All,

I’m delighted that my triolet ‘Steeple’ is today featured on Charlotte Digregorio’s wonderful Writer’s Blog.

Here’s a link, if you’d care to check it out.

https://charlottedigregorio.wordpress.com/2020/07/31/triolet-by-paul-beech/#comments

My very best,

Paul

Copyright © Paul Beech 2020

Steeple

Today, Sunday 26th July, is the birthday of a special younger brother of mine, one who has been my best friend since childhood despite, through our adult years, living over 200 miles away, down south.  Sadly, he’s now in a care home.

 

Thinking of my “kid bro” today (yes, he’ll always be that to me though we’re both in our 70s now!), I can’t resist posting a short poem about him, a triolet written following his winter visit to my home a decade ago, when I lived in a mid-Cheshire village above the Weaver Valley.

 

The steeple in question belonged to St. John the Evangelist’s Church, Winsford, on the southern horizon across the river.

 

My poem was finally published a couple of years ago in Reflections magazine, Issue 105.

 

STEEPLE

 

Landmark, lifemark, the steeple of St John’s.

Pausing, we hear the bells faintly in snow.

Down the chill river, destiny beckons.

Landmark, lifemark, the steeple of St John’s.

Pals all our lives, we’re the lucky ones,

Tramping the valley top, me and my Bro.

Landmark, lifemark, the steeple of St John’s.

Pausing, we hear the bells faintly in snow…

 

Paul Beech

Copyright © Paul Beech 2020

 

Copyright © Paul Beech 2020

 

Flash Memoirs

A book I’ve especially enjoyed dipping into over the last couple of years is one launched at the Callander Poetry Weekend 2018, sadly the last of those wonderful annual events hosted by Sally Evans of King’s Bookshop.  Autumn Voices, from Playspace Publications, edited by Robin Lloyd-Jones, is a collection of Lloyd Jones’ interviews with writers over the age of 70 living in Scotland.

Recently, our good friend, the Scottish author and poet Morelle Smith, contacted Maureen and myself about an exciting new opportunity on Robin Lloyd-Jones’ Autumn Voices website for anyone who is a member (membership free), a flash memoir project running from July to October (initially), with a different theme for each month.  A maximum of 350 words per memoir.

Maureen and I signed up quick-sharpish; we both submitted for the 1970s themed July section, and we were thrilled a few days ago when our flash memoirs were published.  Maureen’s is called ‘A Great Memory’.  Mine is called ‘Lunching’.

Below is a link to the site, if you’d care to check out our flash memoirs along with the others:

https://autumnvoices.co.uk/projects-publications/flash-memoir-project/flash-memoir-project-entries/.

Many thanks, Morelle, for telling us about the project.  And a big thank you to the editors too for publishing our work.

Paul Beech

Copyright © Paul Beech 2020

Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog July 15, 2020

Dear All,

I’m delighted that my haibun ‘The Prayer Book’ is today featured on Charlotte Digregorio’s wonderful Writer’s Blog.

It was the event related in this haibun that would, many years on, convince me of my purpose in life…

Here’s a link, if you’d care to check it out:

https://charlottedigregorio.wordpress.com/2020/07/15/haibun-by-paul-beech/#comments

My very best,

Paul

Tanka (Lathering Up)

One morning back in March, a week before our UK lockdown began, I found that my shaving foam had run out.  So I switched to good old fashioned shaving soap, applied with a brush.  And what a happy memory it evoked…

My tanka below was published in Blithe Spirit, Journal of the British Haiku Society, Volume 30, Number 2, May 2020.

Have a good Sunday, everyone.  A great Summer Solstice.  And a wonderful Father’s Day, all you dads out there – I’m hoping for a few treats myself…

Take care, stay healthy,

Paul

 

TANKA

 

I lather up

and she smiles remembering

the day I moved in

when she gave me this brush

like her dad’s

 

Paul Beech

Copyright © Paul Beech 2020