Summer 2003 Poetry Competition First Prize

The poets of the public bar

by Gwil Williams

Email: gwil@aon.at

The young men, wild rovers, sailing into the bar;

pals who like their pilsner buxom-wenched

by the golden fistful, barrel-glassed,

fresh, fizzy and sparking lightweight verse.

But it's mostly froth, airy, full of holes.

Blow it away and you're left with what?

Half a pot, perhaps?


The girl pulled, we move to middle-aged;

settling into it like a darkly bottled stout,

uncapped, the glass held sideways.

Mature taste with a little bitterness,

Solid fare with the craftsman's touch,

Voices of experience in dark corners

Under sentimental sepia prints.


In clouds, sinking slowly into oblivion,

like a whisky sunset shipwrecked by the fire,

sits the hand-trembling pipe-stoker

waiting for last orders.

Can he still find a decent domino?

"Ring the bell, Bob."


©2003 Gwil Williams

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