From Your Brothers

There it is again
that distant gaze
powerful, it pierces faraway sandstorms
looking for the memory
of where that long lost piece of you
may be buried
and the Afghan sun can’t even burn your eyes
because you’ve stared so long, so often.

That subtle curl of lip
and your eyes wander softly
back in to the room
amongst the lads, lagers
and a few over-under dressed lasses.

There’s no sand here
and you know the rain
is always close-by
– like us –
we just hope we can help
to find you some hard-earned peace.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem. It’s dedicated to my friends who’ve spent time fighting for the country on faraway shores.

Paul

Weekends At The Club

Quid in the jukebox
The Jam, Bowie, Queen, Elvis –
Presley – not Costello

grass-green baize
torn and twisted in places
twenty pence a shot
free on Saturday afternoon
when it’s a fiver-a-man tournament
winner takes all
no chalk for the cues though

footy on the telly screens
piracy definitely
we don’t complain
it’s the best pint in town
and they do pork scratchings

they’ve got a bloke
who does runs to the bookies
backs himself to return the betslip
in under 10 minutes
he gets a drink either way

the old gagdies tell tales
of when they worked the shipyards
or some down the pits
they shake your hands every time
theirs brittle –
scarred with hard graft
and union strikes

sometimes it gets rowdy
when the domino crowds in
accusations of cheating
to win a 2 quid pot
it soon settles down
like the best pint in town.

*******

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem, inspired by weekends and evenings spent in the social club in my hometown, which are an important part of the North, unfortunately declining in recent years. If you get the chance, pay one a visit, and sign up with them depending on their membership requirements.

Take it easy,

Paul