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March 29, 2020

I thought today I’d post a haibun unlike any other I’ve written.  It was published in the February 2020 issue of Failed Haiku: A Journal of English Senryu.

The theme for this issue, as set by the guest editors, Kelly Sauvage Angel and Tanya McDonald, was a curious one: “Secret Loves and Guilty Pleasures”.

I had to think awhile over this one.  Then I had an idea…




I twirl my hickory sticks, brush cymbals and snare, now bring in toms and bass, drizzle becoming thunder as I lead Jimi into the ‘Purple Haze’ of my wet room shower on high…

Back in the early-50s, a young kid, I was given to humming at meal times.  Then Mum told me off for it, so I took up finger-drumming instead.  Poor Mum.

My lifelong love of drums had begun, not that I was ever taught to play.

Ah, the drum solos I’ve performed whilst shaving, sticks a blur, hi-hat stitching through the rampant rhythm of the skins, as we take off, the band and I, take off on a tail of flame…

There never was a drum kit of course.  Nor a band.  Nor any audience to give a standing ovation as I dabbed aftershave on my chin.  Shame.

I finger-drum

the coffee table

grandchildren march


Paul Beech

Copyright © Paul Beech 2020

From → General, Poetry

  1. Hello, Paul – your indefatigable delight persists! I, too, hummed, and still do, though my mate, time to time, is known to ask me to stop. I also cannot stop myself from breaking out into a shiny and bright whistling version of a classic! Here’s to your beat, Paul, a haibun I wrote long ago, and thank you for yours —

    In the Soup

    “. . . the brushes—now that’s really hard.” the young drummer makes slow, sweeping crescents with each wrist.“ — they call that, stirrin’ the soup”

    doin’ an ol’ soft shoe
    in the air
    with his hands

    Donna Fleischer
    indra’s net
    bottle rockets press, 2003

  2. Thanks Donna, delighted you like it!

    I felt like posting something cheerful as there’s so much misery around at present with this dreadful Covid-19 on the rampage. We’re pretty much in lockdown here in the UK as no doubt you are too, Stateside.

    Love your haibun ‘In the Soup’. I remember greatly enjoying your collection Indra’s Net, your beautifully succinct, lyrical haibun so splendidly introduced by Stanford M. Forrester.

    By the way, I’m rather given to shiny bright whistling too. My partner Maureen doesn’t mind… well, not too much! Has to be better than my finger-drumming…

    Stay safe, healthy and creative,


  3. A lovely haibun. Perhaps you could have become a drummer with the right encouragement.

    • Many thanks, Padmini. Maybe you’re right. When a Chinese drummer troupe visited Chester a year or two back, one of the dancers passed me her hand-drum and stick, and I was able to keep the rhythm going for several minutes no problem before handing back!

      Take care,


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