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Royal Flush

June 11, 2018

Here’s a poem I wrote many years ago and revised several times before including it in my collection Twin Dakotas: poetry and prose (Cestrian Press, 2016).

‘Royal Flush’ is not about me. I was definitely one of the Bulging Briefcase Brigade during my time in social housing but there was never any hope of a fortune for me!   Nor is it about my wonderful grandad, who served in the First World War, was mentioned in dispatches and decorated for bravery, though he told me many a tale about life in the trenches.  No, my ambitious war veteran is pure fiction.

I just thought the poem was worth airing again. I’ll include it in my set to read at a poetry meeting tonight.

 

ROYAL FLUSH

 

High flier,

at wits’ end before weekend,

savagely blasphemous on the sly.

 

Friday evening,

blackthorn replacing briefcase,

the slack river slackens his mind.

 

Foliage breaking,

the late sun stabs his eye,

a bursting shell on the Somme.

 

More shells,

through brain-haze wailing,

a cape of carnage poppy-field trailing.

 

L’Estaminet,

bitter coffee, poker, smoky stove,

he spreads a royal flush and wins.

 

Reverie dashed,

he wanders amongst the big watery blooms

of his cottage garden.

 

Indoors again,

brandy, Rachmaninov,

a fragrant wood coils at his chisel’s tip.

 

Patiently, beneath the stair,

within buckled briefcase lair,

awaits the temptress Fortune.

 

Paul Beech

Copyright © Paul Beech 2016, 2018

 

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From → General, Poetry

5 Comments
  1. maureen Weldon permalink

    This is a very moving and well written poem.
    I am so proud of you my lovely Partner.

    Maureen xx

    • Thank you, my darling Maureen.

      Although, in my intro, I said that my ambitious WWI veteran was not me, nor my grandad, there is in truth just enough of the overworked young housing manager about him, and just enough of that young bombardier who lost so many good pals on the line, that I really do feel him under my skin. Maybe this came over when I read last night – I hope so.

      One thing for sure, your own poetry came over wonderfully, and I was very proud of you.

      Love,

      Paul xxx

  2. Lovely, Paul. And a poem I can understand!
    And now for a non-sequitur: Have you ever had a beech tree on your property?

    • Thank you, Cynthia, glad you liked it!

      Now, to your non-sequitur…

      Nope, I’ve never owned a beech tree, though Beech be my name! From my hillside home here in Connah’s Quay, however, it’s only a short hop to Wepre Park, 160 acres of ancient woodland with a brook running through the middle, red rock outcrops, the ruins of a mid-13th century castle (Ewloe Castle), wildlife galore and of course a vast range of tree species – yes, including beech…

      My very best,

      Paul

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