BEARDS by Randall Stephen Hall




Have you noticed recently that the closer we get to Christmas, (like

Santa’s elves, or characters from “The Hobbit” and “Game of Thrones”),

men, young men especially, walk among us, in our streets, with bespoke beards.

Bold framed brainy glasses, unusual shoes and tight canvas trousers breed like rabbits. Faster than germs on a Petrie dish. It’s an epidemic! (Or the Klondike Goldrush . . . That’ll explain all the Huskies then . . ..) Should I have spelled that Clone-dike?

Smug, or what seems like smugness, sits upon the young faces of these men, like Greek heroes or Victorian politicians. Or the offspring of Queen Victoria’s John Brown. Pleased with what they have achieved. And some, in only half a day . . . Amazing! A two foot beard.

They sport their beards like Spartans. Home from Thermopylae or some ancient bloody conflict. (“Them Persians have a lot to answer for!”)

Here’s a poem to celebrate this recent pre-Christmas rash of beards. There will be a lot of mirrors, trimmers and beard wax in Santa’s stocking this Yuletide.


BEARDS! (A male cry for attention).

By Randall Stephen Hall.


And on the subject of beards . . .

It’s weird isn’t it?

That the collected hairs

On a man’s chin

Can make some women swoon

Yet make others hate you for it.

You and your hairy mess.


What is it, that would

Make them climb closer

To get a better look

Yet, make others run away

To the darker end of our streets,

Climb up ladders

And, go wash their windows

In disbelief!!?


(You see, I just don’t get it?)


But a beard

Has never brought me grief.

It’s just a thing that I do.

It happens like the full moon.

The tide is too strong . . .

For, you see, from time to time

The hairy madness falls upon me.

Like Lon Chaney Junior, on steroids.


Those first few days

When you have launched

Your prickly chin boat

Out into the world . . .

Not really seeking comments

From friends and relations

Who are generally . . .

Dismissive, critical

And jokingly abusive . . .


(“It’s a Belfast thing).


(“It’s part of my Culture!”)


(“It’s a man thing . . . Catch yerself on.

Ya big hairy minger!”)

That’s what you call a Belfast compliment.

As supportive as a dig in the gub.


So, time passes . . .

The clock ticks.

And, as every prick makes jokes

About your attempted beard

Your prickly chin

Shakes itself from

Those neat Gillette slumbers

To roar a wee rebellious exclamation mark!


“ HAIRY FREEDOM!” it shouts

From the dark of its mouth.

(Like a wee hairy fart).

A hairy William Wallace.

More potato, with eyes

Than Mel Gibson with hair and a beard.


You catch people unawares

Some neither mention it, (the beard)

Nor put it into words.

Some don’t recognize you

Until you open your cake hole . . .

And even then, their look of surprise

(and/or disdain) placed there

So as not to encourage

The rabble gathering on the mount

Of your chin,

Leaves you an uninvited guest, still,

To the world of what was once

Considered male grooming.


Finally they fathom your face.

Then they link your scarecrow looks

With your hedgerow, tousled grace.


A hairy man

Doing hairy man stuff . . .

Your rough message to the world.

Putting its foot down with a stomp!

Muddy Waters

In the bright glare

Of any female glance.


(Maybe in with a chance then?)


Your beard begins to rage (with glasses!).

A man Barbie, breaking its chains.

No more soothing after shave

Or the hydration of moisturizers

For them boys . . . “ah naw, like”.


The hairy stubble

Tumbles forth unexpectedly.

With a mixture of

Brown, black, red, blond

Brown, Red, black and now grey hairs.


(More so these days).


But, it’s a good thing

This man beard, the feel of it.

Something to scratch and store your food in.

Any crumb in a storm.


This beard, coming and going . . .

Growing, in and out of fashion.

This passionate, irrational thing.


That rings the changes.

That enables you to rage

Without speaking.

Put two fingers up to the world

And a fist in the air.

Like some Ché freedom fighter.


“It’s my chin . . .

And, it’s going to go right . . . there!”


“And if you don’t like it . . . girls

You don’t have to look.

Go read a book.



(with marshmallows)

Check your nails, your sails, your hair.

Stocks and shares, apples and pears.

I don’t care!

There, there.

That wasn’t very fair now. . .”


But the time invested in my beard

Means something to just me

And my man-stuff.

So sinful, weird and beyond

Your box.


It’s my thing

My wee hairy allotment.

My freshly planted free state.

Without bishops telling me

How to cut it.


If you don’t like my hairy ginger carrots

My dark beet-roots, my stubbly cute-cumbers

My fluffy facial cabbage

Falling forth

It’s not worth the argument.


My beard seems to push

Some women’s control buttons.

“It’s out of control, for God’s sake!

For God’s sake, trim that thing Nigel!”


(Nigel, the Latinised form of Niall.

Though, no Nine Hostages taken here now . . .)


With a beard

Some women demand topiary.

Want you to weed it

And maintain its fences.

Most women don’t seem to go for

Immenseness in the beard department.

It’s all about boundaries.

Don’t like you beyond your boundaries.

Getting a bit too wild.


Ah now . . . ah now, now.

All this fuss over a beard.

A wee hairy thing

Sticking out of from

Our collective male chin.

The nearest thing we have to giving birth

To anything other than sperm . . .


“It’s a boy. No . . . it’s a girl!

Ahhh no, it’s a boy. It’s a boy!!!”.


So treat us gently now.

Mock us softly, (patronize the gooseberry chin

With kind patience.)

The hairy Sponge Bob.

We are not mental.

Just hair-ily incidental.

But we do have our moon time too

Ah yes . . .


From Iron John in the forest

To the Were Wolf on the mountainside.

The old goat in the field

To the wee rascal up the alleyway.


Parnell, Pitt and pith

Takes a lot of getting used to.

Like it or not . . .

You can’t hide a good beard.

It’s weird isn’t it?

Really, Really









5 Responses to BEARDS by Randall Stephen Hall

  1. Colm Furey December 20, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

    Ha ha, that was surreal but amusing. There are some silly looking beards about but i do like mine, i must say. As long as a beard is trimmed, it can be cool and those of us that can do so should certainly “laisse pousser la barbe”.

    I’ve had a few discussions with females who mostly claim that they dislike facial hair on men but i think they are just trying to convince themselves.It certainly hasn’t caused me any problems 🙂 I was told that beard equals “serial killer” but i think they have been watching too many episodes of “The Fall”

    . Hirsute men of the world unite but remember, looking like Grizzly Adams or a member of ZZ Top isn’t necessarily the way to go .

    • Jude Collins December 21, 2014 at 11:18 am #

      For years I wore a Zapata moustache. Getting rid of it was the kind of relief felt by the Ancient Mariner when he finally got that bloody albatross from round his neck…

      • angela December 21, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

        Ah come on Jude post the pictures please!

        • Jude Collins December 21, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

          I suffer quite enough contempt within the privacy of my own home, Angela, without parading myself for public ridicule as well…

  2. Randall Stephen Hall April 7, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

    Thanks for all the comments. Great stuff. And remember “Beaver Zapata!” . . . “Reiver Zapata!” . . . “Lever Zapata!!” with many more alternatives. Happy Easter. RSH.