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My 100th post – Twin Dakotas

September 28, 2014

Paul Beech

For this, my 100th post on Grandy’s Landing, I wanted something special, something close to my heart, and that could only mean the prose-poem below.

‘Twin Dakotas’ is about my wonderful parents, whose loving devotion to each other spanned seven decades, with a family of six raised in love, to become good parents in turn. I wrote the piece on 26th February 2011, Mum having sadly departed in August 2006, aged 81, Dad now in a care home himself, a truly wonderful one in Cumbria.  He followed his “precious girl” in April 2012, aged 89.

The Twin Dakotas, “kissing” still, tick away the hours above Dad’s old desk, now mine…




He bought them when she went into the nursing home with Alzheimer’s, twin clocks in oak surrounds, Daniel Dakotas. Perfectly synchronised, the clocks would tick away their hours of slumber – his, greeting the eye when he awoke in the bed they’d shared nigh on sixty years; hers, reflecting that golden smile from the security of her cot sides.  There’d be moments, bound to be, when the identical clocks would hold their simultaneous attention, like a lovers’ moon.

Her clock was returned to him following the funeral, and with great care and a ball-peen hammer he hung it next to his own, just touching: ‘kissing’, as he’d always say.

Frail and bent, trousers hitched around his ribcage on braces, he’s in a home himself now, the twin Dakotas gone from his mind. He’s seventeen years old, she fifteen, as they dance the blacked out streets of their small northern town, a raid in progress.  The rattle and bounce of falling shrapnel becomes the mid-morning tea trolley.  Old ladies dunk biscuits as he gathers her into the shelter of a milliner’s doorway.  Her golden smile is a promise that will never be broken.


Paul Beech


Copyright © Paul Beech 2014

(Originally published on Linkedin.)


From → General, Poetry

  1. What a beautiful and touching tribute to your loving parents. Your words melt my heart and bring memories flooding back to me. How wonderful for you to be born to two such loving, caring parents. I can just imagine what fun times you had being raised in the cradle of their love and devotion. For you to now be the keeper of their kissing clocks is heartwarming. They remain forever young. Well done Paul.

  2. Dear Pat, your warmly felt and beautiful comment is one I shall treasure always – thank you. Yes, the Kissing Clocks cause me to pause often. I see Mum and Dad as they were when we were growing up, always there to guide and support us, the loving centre of our happy, secure world. Pillowcases bulged with presents at Christmas, bonfires crackled on Guy Fawkes Night, and off we’d go on holiday to Penmaenmawr or Portscatho… Such golden memories. How lucky we were. And how grateful we will always be to our wonderful Mum and Dad.

    My very best always,


  3. A very moving, heartwarming piece, Paul…..that image of the lovers’ moon is brilliant, lingers long after first reading…..

    • Cynthia, I’m much encouraged by your lovely comment – thank you so much.

      Best wishes,


  4. Happy 100th post, Paul. And what a sweet tribute to your parents. I love the concept of Twin Dakotas. Twin clocks…even though they both stopped ticking, they now tick together in Heaven. This inspired a poem, which I will send to you after it’s written. Best to you.

    • Leslye, I’m so delighted to hear from you. How lovely that ‘Twin Dakotas’ has inspired you to write a poem – I shall look forward to reading it.

      My very best to you always,


  5. Maureen Weldon permalink

    Paul I love this tender and beautiful poem, ones parents are indeed most precious and your parents were I am sure just that. This poem though sad, is a joy to read.


  6. Maureen, I’m over the moon that you like my poem. ‘Twin Dakotas’ is very close to my heart. My parents were precious indeed, as I know yours were to you – how lucky we both have been.

    Very best wishes – take care,


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