Bob Beck


In September 2012 I had a mental breakdown, which led to my spending three years in a secure residential therapeutic community. While there I took part in a creative writing workshop which led to my poems being printed in various publications.  

All I Hold is Bone

All I Hold is Bone I long to catch you walkingacross the sun blessed downthrough the long grass seedingswept by your mourning gown. I long to meet you darlingwhere once we walked aloneunder the soft sun shiningbefore my heart was stone. I long for your eyes flashingand your laughter flownyour tears are my washingyour pain my dying moan. I long for your forgiving,but all I hold is bone. 

Sometimes I Return In Tears

Sometimes I Return In Tears   There is a country where no questions are asked and where I go to love. It is a country smaller than my past but a greater place to die.   There is a country that has no time and where I go to dream. It is a country lost on all the maps but drawn on the back of my eye.   There is a country where no-one cares and where I’m missed the least. It is a country I ferry to at nights when the moon is darker than the sky.   And …Read more


Mugs   There’s some with mugs they’ve abjured, though plain white mugs – they want no prompt or evocation of the worst of past schemes.   But that mug on my draining board, that plain white mug – doesn’t need any slogan or decoration to remind me what it means.   If there’s a mug in your cupboard, a plain white mug – then you’ll nod with recognition, you get them from prison canteens.   And you’re a mug, like me, in a life heavy with lost dreams.  

It’s His Heart That’ll Break

It’s His Heart That’ll Break I move to the window to watch her in the garden,move away from the stifling party.She hasn’t required that I accompany her, thenhe is there, smoking instead of me. They stand aware apart, but nearenough for their mingling fag smoke to insinuatea sensuous dance but, to me, the meresmog of inconsiderate fate. Now I know the close scent of his wife,her dress touching my arm.“He’s done this all our married life,”she says, “Doesn’t care about the harm.” “I’m sorry you’ll be left with her heartache.”“Oh no,” I reply, “It’s his heart that’ll break.” 

My Father’s Ghosts

My Father’s Ghosts Here’s a photo of my father on the Raj frontier.Can you tell which is he?Laughing with some fellows with nothing to fear.(He’s the one younger than me) History now in their old army puttees.Fine lads with broad grins, and witharms round my father for the camera to freeze.(He has yet seventy years to live) The others are all of them deadby that year’s end.That’s what he always said.(And each of them a friend) Their ghosts have haunted meas much as they did he. 

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