Heat and meat in a pint and a chaser.
Sunlight scatters dusty wraiths across a pithed wooden floor.
The bar a board, polished by a grimy cloth and elbows.
Sometimes heads of drunken men dreaming of oblivion.
Porter spilled to build a skin, thick black
redolent of wheat and hops
and fires burning furze on mountainsides.
A poet. Heart dressed in the clothes of a lesser man.
There since noon, rained off. It’s Better To Be Pissed Off
Then Piss On. he would have fucked off anyway.
Check changed. Not much in the sack of a carpenters mate.
Holding up his end of the bargain and his end of the bar.
His bald head reflects the fly specks and nicotine stains of a sun
that doesn’t cast its light as far as walls lined with faux satin stools.
Grass growing on vacant streets while men take seats along the bar
ordering pints and small ones, hope in glasses for the masses of
Pontificating from the high stools. Lords ruling over minions,
those who sit and listened to tall stories and unlikely tales.
Sound man the bould man Dan Murphy.
A canary trapped within bars built by a working man.
By seven thirty he is singing. Voice found in the heat of whiskey.
Gravel rolling on a sandy beach, sweet he sings.
And they clap in time with song and rhyme
lost in music. Sweating more now than he did on the saw all week.
~ Dave Kavanagh