Too Much Blue

During my career in social housing, the work I loved best was helping the homeless.  Sadly, domestic violence was all too often the cause.  And Christmas was a bad time to be on the street with nowhere to go…

 

TOO MUCH BLUE

Paul Beech

 

Her unborn kicks as weary she rests on a frozen bench in a bleak northern town.

Seven hours have passed since she fled his fists with naught but the babe in her womb, the clothes on her back and a small knotted bundle.  Seven hours of bus after bus, caring not where she went, only to pile up the miles behind her.  He mustn’t find her.  Must never find her.

The darkening clouds have a purple tinge, a sure sign of snow.  Strangers hurry by; crows croak in a foreign tongue.  Across the road, outside the Town Hall, garishly lit with coloured lights, stands a Christmas tree.

A headscarf bobs before her.  A withered hand points to a door.  A modest side-door with a department sign outside.   Her unborn kicks.  Then stiffly she rises, bundle in hand.

Too much blue, she thinks, crossing.  Too much blue.

O for a splash of gold…

 

~~

 

Copyright © Paul Beech 2013

[Previously posted on Linkedin and the author’s own blog, Grandy’s Landing.]

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Box Brownie

 

One day last spring I opened the brown canvas case that had lain gathering dust in a corner of my study.  From it I took the camera I had as a Lancashire lad in the late-50s, my Kodak Brownie Flash II.  I was a keen young photographer back then, proud of my “Box Brownie”, the first camera I’d ever owned.  The funny thing was how familiar it still felt as I ran my fingertips over its black leatherette skin.  Looking through the viewfinder for the first time in over half a century brought a lump to my throat and sent me in search of old albums…

 

BOX BROWNIE

 

My old Box Brownie, parents young I clicked.

Tenderly still, in black-and-white, they cling;

Penmaenmawr sunsets for my album picked.

My old Box Brownie, parents young I clicked,

Barely out of short trousers, my quiff slicked.

Viewfinder clear, I feel you near and sing.

 

My old Box Brownie, parents young I clicked;

Tenderly still, in black-and-white, they cling.

 

Paul Beech

 

Copyright © Paul Beech 2014

(Previously published on Linkedin and the author’s own blog, Grandy’s Landing.)

Hexed

 

Here’s a Halloween triolet in which I eschew the usual trappings…

 

HEXED

 

Temptress, witch, you live atop the valley;

I know of you not one thing but evil.

Helpless, hexed, I too am drawn to dally.

Temptress, witch, you live atop the valley;

My soiled heart you add to your tally.

Head clasped, I deny the grubbing weevil.

Temptress, witch, you live atop the valley;

I know of you not one thing but evil…

 

Paul Beech

 

Copyright © Paul Beech 2013

[Previously published on Linkedin and the author’s own blog, Grandy’s Landing.]