Country Pub

Before this evening’s
swell of punters fill
empty wooden tables

we solemn few near-sober
slow pint daytime drinkers
take our lost afternoon
over equal measures

of flat beer and crisps
as that occasional hour hand
slogs around to grind out time

in this low muttering pub –
until intuition says Go now –
before those commuters
turn up to sip more bullshit


Closing Times

Now – be forever consigned
to coughed-up-banter nights
at your threadbare old boys’ club –
propped behind spewed pints
of pump-drawn gut-brown beer

Your bent still good arm lifts
three quids worth of bowel-stripper
Last orders
and so a knocking back of pints
from unequal paid down rounds

And then that hundred-yard stagger
off to your desolate place –
a much less enticing thought
than just one more pour of best

A background outdoor chat
leaves you stood stock still

Now shuffle once more
with your pocket of shrapnel –
to be put in that jar in your hall

One More

That first pint of Guinness sunk
far too easily as fat drunks sang
love songs and spawled their hate
from behind tips and taps of beer

here in my old man’s drinking club
attended by us – some retired saints
and some less retiring grey sinners
with our tall sworn tales as props

as we tell of outrageous behaviours
and my empty pint glass quietly asks
for just one more before dinner calls
from the house that is no more home

#GreeneKingPubs

These pulling places are rammed
by limp cocks and hard-to-hear voices

by forty-year-old bent coppers
and pitch-hoarse salesmen

feasting on glimpses of wagged butts
and – if lucky – being eye-felt back

as unsteady rounds are re-summoned –
until each wooden table holds it own

glass city of empties and knock-backs
All until that briefly-sweet inebriation

sours outside under high sodium lights
to illuminate empty fists and nose bleeds

and stage two kisses between strangers
All until that night’s confusions have melted

into soft-edge recalls and squeezed regrets
over sinks and basins – until we go again