A Poem that Makes Us Grateful for What We Have

Dear Loyal Readers and Followers:

I asked Paul Beech  (UK) if he would kindly let me reprint his poem.

Please read below.


Charlotte Digregorio


Dear Charlotte,

Please find below my poem Countdown.  Many thanks for requesting it.  If you’d care to run it on your blog, I’d be delighted.

Countdown stems from my days as a social housing manager, helping the homeless, and concerns an old boy from the wilds of the Peak District borderland.

My work with the homeless, spanning the whole range from bankrupted businessmen to battered wives, was challenging, grueling and often harrowing too.  As I said on your blog, I was daily reminded of the old adage, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

The pay-off was when a good outcome was achieved, with a new home found for the client, a chance to get back on with life.  Yes, this was satisfying indeed. 

Have a good Sunday.

My very best,





Midnight in bed,

and a whirling, rustling spiral of dreams,

fragments of the day gone by,

dead leaves in a storm.


2 a.m.,

and a lingering whiff of witchcraft,

the smell of an old tramp,

woodfire for warmth in the snow.


4 a.m.,

and a hazy moon replicated on my pane,

ghostly eyes, accusing still:

“S’alright for you, Guv, you’ve gorra big ‘ouse.”


6 a.m.,

and downriver a cock crows,

time to do it all again, almost:

another day with the homeless.


Paul Beech 


Note:  ‘Countdown’ was first published in the author’s collection Twin Dakotas: poetry and prose (Cestrian Press, 2016) and subsequently in Unheard (Cestrian Press, 2016) and The Sons of Camus Writers International Journal, Issue 13, Autumn 2017.






About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. I recently received an Official Commendation from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of five non-fiction books: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; and Your Original Personal Ad. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. I have won forty-seven poetry awards, writing twelve poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
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8 Responses to A Poem that Makes Us Grateful for What We Have

  1. Awesome poem. I am glad you got permission to blog it; otherwise, I may never have had the opportunity to read it.

  2. haikutec says:

    Thanks for the poem! The horrible cycle of existence for those made homeless, often through greed of others, or by violence and abuse.

    The forced and enforced homelessness on those we should be able to help so much more, I hope more and more help will be allowed despite political interference and undue vested interests.

    Thanks for posting this by Paul, we need more heroes, not vaudeville villains.

    warm regards,

    • Paul Beech says:

      Thanks, Alan. How shocking it is, in a country as rich as ours, that there should be so many rough-sleepers, male and female, on the streets. Yes, we should be doing more to help. Much more!

      Dreadful too, isn’t it, that with so many families facing homelessness for a multiplicity of reasons (relationship breakdown, rent or mortgage arrears, etc), there should be such a shortage of suitable social homes?

      High time, I think, for a comprehensive review of homelessness legislation, funding and provision.

      And, of course, anything we can do as poets to highlight the issues has to be a good thing.

      Warm regards,


  3. Paul Beech says:

    Many thanks, Charlotte, for running ‘Countdown’ on your blog. Much appreciated.


  4. Pingback: A Homelessness Haiku | Grandy's Landing

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