John Beaton writes and recites metrical poetry. His forthcoming poetry collection is Leaving Camustianavaig (Word Galaxy Press, 2020). His work has been widely published and has won numerous awards. For almost four years he was a moderator of the Deep End forum at Eratosphere, Able Muse’s online literary workshop. In that role, he succeeded Alan Sullivan, Tim Murphy’s late partner, and developed a strong friendship with Tim. A retired actuary raised in the Scottish Highlands, Beaton lives in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island where, with his wife and friends, he organizes non-profit concerts and community events.
Of Tim Murphy, Beaton writes:
Tim and I developed our long-term friendship through Eratosphere. We had many opposite views, especially on religion and politics. When I was a moderator on the Deep End, he sometimes got irascible with me—boyishly enthusiastic about posting his poems, he played fast and loose with workshop etiquette and balked at constraint. But he was a hugely generous and valuable contributor to that community, and we were kindred spirits when it came to poetry and the outdoors. We helped each other a lot—several of my poems have words influenced or suggested by him, and vice versa. For a time, we became something of a tag team in the poetry section of Gray’s Sporting Journal and he did a fine interview of me for Able Muse.
I met Tim in person only once, at a West Chester University Poetry Conference. We were on an Alan Sullivan tribute panel together. Tim seemed physically frail, but his literacy and diction were robust.
In Tim’s prolific final months, we exchanged 175 emails. In one he wrote that poetry was lonely and our exchanges at that time “meant the world to him.” He lived a tumultuous life, left a rich poetic legacy, and remained upbeat right to the end. He was a mentor to me. I miss his one-of-a-kind presence.
In fond remembrance,