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First Published Poems

March 11, 2012

You know how it is, you’re looking for one thing and find another.  So it was that I came across a bunch of faded cuttings in an old file, my first published work – four poems and an essay, which appeared thirty-odd years ago in a local paper of the time called the Weekly World.

Removing the paperclip, I felt the mists of time shift…

I was in my early 30s, a housing team leader working in Manchester, married to Stella with two gorgeous young daughters.  We had a small, dilapidated touring caravan we named ‘Rusty’; one of the leg brackets underneath actually snapped off and had to be re-welded.  Using our old estate car ‘Jinx-the-Minx’ to tow her, we had a couple of great holidays in ‘Rusty’ – the first in the Lake District (stunning scenery, pity about the parking ticket!), the second (following renovation works carried out by myself) in Llandudno.  We visited Conwy Castle and the Welch Mountain Zoo and took the tramway up the Great Orme, with a spectacular view over the bay from the summit.  Happy days, though there may be something melancholy in my poetry of the period.  I was reading Siegfried Sassoon, Virginia Woolf and a host of classic ghost story writers at the time…

Oh well, three melancholy offerings coming up!  (The fourth was okay as a tone piece but really didn’t make much sense, so I’ll spare you that.)  As for the essay, I’ll post that another day, maybe…

 

THE RUIN

 

Nosing through a hazy, dung-scented

Moonbeam,

A lonely gull espies

Its sagging slates –

And abruptly wheels away.

 

Wild thorns claw

Its fissured brick and rotting wood,

And in each broken square

Of oily-green glass

A spider hangs,

A living star against

The interior blackness.

 

A whippy tail slowly,

Slowly withdraws

Into the lath and plaster subworld

Of the rats.

 

Swelling songs of praise

Were once raised here.

 

HARVEST GIRL

 

Without tears,

Brutally repossessed by my

Years,

I stand apart from those who knew

Her name.

 

Sorrows to quell,

Thistledown drifts upon the

Sheradized swell,

But my accordion is silent now

For ever.

 

Fresh as the dawn,

Golden as the corn –

So her riverside presence will

Linger

Until I too am

Vapour,

My ashes ignored by

The swans.

 

LONER

 

A loner –

Porcelain eyes, as if on wires,

Guide his floating face

Above the concourse

As he hacks his way

Obsessively,

Through the jungles of his mind,

His talent his machete.

 

Soon –

A clearing opens before him

And there is the crowd.

But what will they care

For his poem?

 

-oOo-

 

© Copyright Paul Beech 2012

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