Haibun by Paul Beech

This haibun tells the true story of my very beginnings in post-war Lancashire…

The Prayer Book

My middle bookshelf groans under the weight though the tiny diesel engine, boxed starting pistol, and boxed prayer book piled at the end add little to it.

The diesel engine and starting pistol are mementos from my 1950s boyhood in a Lancashire cotton and colliery town. The prayer book, in red leather with gold lettering, was a christening present from an aunt and uncle in August ’47.

My second christening, that is. My first was four months earlier in the hospital where I’d just been born.

                             a copybook hand

                             the fading scars

                             of war

April ’47. Within the snowbound hospital, a young ex-serviceman and his wife pray over an incubator, beyond tears now. Their first-born, a victim of the gastro-enteritis epidemic, is close to death and a priest has been sent for…

Miraculously, from the very moment of his emergency christening, Paul Alfred began to recover. And seven decades later, I still ponder the question: What was I saved for?

                             a silver tray


                             poet’s gaze reflected


by Paul Beech (Wales)

Blithe Spirit (Journal of the British Haiku Society), Vol. 28, No. 3, August 2018





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. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois 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 seven books including: 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; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. 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 by Charlotte Digregorio." 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 two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen 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.
This entry was posted in creative writing, Haibun, Haiku, Paul Beech, prose, Wales and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Haibun by Paul Beech

  1. MaryJo says:

    I, for one, am very glad you’re still here and writing haiku and haibun, sharing your life with us.
    What a terrible time for your parents. I imagine then their great rejoicing that you lived. I wonder if they felt like we do now in these scary, uncertain times? Thank you, Paul.

  2. Maureen Weldon says:

    This Haibun has a very special place in my heart. Thank goodness my darling Paul lived to write it.

  3. Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #9: Charlotte Digregorio presents a #haibun by Paul Beech!

  4. Paul Beech says:

    Many thanks, Charlotte, for featuring my haibun, ‘The Prayer Book’. And a big thank you to all who’ve responded with comments or likes.

    My very best,


  5. MaryJo says:

    I loved your comments to each other Maureen and Paul.

  6. Al W Gallia says:

    Paul, such a well done haibun! As I approach eighty, your timely poem has fostered reflections on my early life experiences. Thanks. Blessings and peace.

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