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Shag Tobacco

January 4, 2015

Happy New Year, everyone!

Maybe, as others have done, I should list all the good things that happened to me in the Old Year, rather like Pollyanna Whittier playing her ‘Glad Game’. I love Pollyanna, don’t we all? My preference, though, is to say simply that 2014 was for me a most beautiful, happy and joyous year, a golden year I shall never forget.

I hope you like my wee poem below, in which I try to convey a certain feeling that comes over me sometimes, wandering the banks of the River Weaver.

Best Wishes to you all for 2015.


A wisp of shag tobacco, perhaps?
A balloon adrift in the valley,
self-esteem a snapped mooring.

So the willowed water’s edge I wander,
sun glaring from plankton depths,
brain percolating,
florescent fungus twitching with broom.

Humble I connect.
Proud and the poetry eludes me.
A wisp of shag tobacco, perhaps?

Paul Beech

Copyright © Paul Beech 2015

From → Poetry

  1. I don’t hold with those who produce innumerable little poems they call Haiku simply because they count the regulation number of syllables….this poem reminds me of what I think real haiku are like, in the exquisite connection of human and non-human nature that we know, at certain moments, but is ultimately inexpressible. I find it a very pleasing poem, Paul

    • Cynthia, thank you so much for this.

      Rarely, I should think, has poetry at its most transcendent or heartfelt arisen from syllable counting alone, this being no substitute for genuine inspiration or emotion.

      It matters to me a lot that you like my poem.

      Best wishes,


  2. Maureen Weldon permalink

    I love this poem Paul, perhaps and especially the third stanza. “Humble I connect. Proud and the portry eludes me.” I think this is very true. And I love the metaphor of “shag tobacco”



    • Maureen, what a lovely comment, thank you.

      Embracing nature and the universe so humbly that we lose ourselves, occasionally, unexpectedly, we may find that a poem has taken root, to be nurtured with love.

      You understand me, and I’m heartened by that.



  3. I did not reply when I first read your wee poem, as my mind was not in the right frame. So this morning I am back, the universe has righted itself for me and after reading your poem again with much pleasure I can say what magic it brings to my soul. You are blessed with a wonderful gift and I am blessed to humbly receive and feel the pull of it. The “shag tobacco” was a perfect metaphor to show how humbly you connect with your wonderful gift.

    Warm regards,


    • Dear Patricia,

      To be appreciated like this is wonderful and I can’t thank you enough. Funny how things come to us sometimes, isn’t it? The “shag tobacco” metaphor popped into my head as I was wandering the Weaver one hot summer’s day, and the rest of the poem came tumbling after.

      Your wonderful blog, The Writer’s Desk, gives me much pleasure too, one favourite post being ‘The Little Shoe in the Snow’. You tell a story so well.

      My very best,


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