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


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

Beer Mat

What you readin?

A repine novel
This is my bar work
as larynx~stretched
guffaws
& shrieked screams
tie up eye~readied lines
Dont mix booze
& dry books
Youll re~read
one typeset line
far too many times
tween knocks of beer
& lifted rounds
of re~filled tumblers
& mispronounced
bloody foreign wines
Shot~sworn drunks
& their pissed~up lovers
make stabs for clarity
Itll never be possible
to take hold of
any one paragraph
for long enough
without that jolt
off slammed drinks
& loud slaps
of theatrical hands
on bared thighs

Put yer book down ~ Mike
it’s time for a pint

#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

Dry

Bugger off to those soda syphons
claiming in January sainthood –
un-settlers of our sense of right
with their smug month-long cast
of sober teases off whipped rods –
with their dry false flies as bait –
those anglers now spreading
their dull-witted winter diseases
of no more indulgences –
drowning by their dry resolution –
But we have our thirst-fix gulps
from all-answering tankards
as they stare out at tame still water