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Then and Now

March 9, 2014

Yesterday, rooting through my old files, I came across a yellowing typescript from 1974.  We were living across the Welsh border in Leeswood (Coed-llai), Flintshire, back then, and our first-born was just a baby.  I still had a full head of hair, which I wore longish in the fashion of the times, with sideburns (no beard). 

‘Queer Looks’ was one of my earliest adult poems – a prose-poem really.  Should I leave it gathering dust in that battered maroon ring-binder?  Maybe, but I can’t resist posting it with my latest poem alongside for contrast – ‘Eclipse’, a double-cinquain.  I feel I owe it to the young man I was, eagerly punching out words on a small mechanical typewriter.  How amazed he’d have been to know that four decades on I’d launch his poem into cyberspace for readers around the globe!

Have a nice Sunday, everyone.





Queer looks – from those who cannot understand a man with a smile, alone in the country, using his legs and all of his senses, living his life and loving it.


Queer looks – from those grey souls, enveloped in tin, and hurrying by, hurrying by…


Queer looks – from the over-juiced youth, pimpled and scraggly, coarse and confused, blind to the beauty of snow-dappled greenery, deaf to the tune of wind over grass.


Queer looks – from the dweller of cities, picture of compromise, victim of rat-race, with no time for dreams or dreamers like me:


Dreamers who return – queer looks!






eclipse, so weird:

the hush, the cool, the gloom.

Their friend goes in for a ciggy.

Shy smiles.


One night,

some weeks later…

Chips, sizzle-fried golden,

they devour beneath a street lamp,




Copyright © Paul Beech 2014

(Both poems also on Linkedin.)

From → Poetry

  1. It is amazing how our won roots seep into the future. The past is like a ring of age on our tree. We grow, but the ring is there forever.

    • Pat, I like your analogy with the age rings of a tree. I love re-visiting past periods of my life through old diaries, poetry and children’s stories. Each has its own distinct flavour – early married life, parenthood, grandparenthood and retiring after half-a-century’s hard graft. Re-working my old writings, I feel I’m collaborating with my younger self. It’s an odd feeling but rather nice…

      Take care,


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