This is not so much a poem as notes from a field trip.
The Country Pub
Decaying shops selling clothing and bric-a-brac from last century.
Who but a farmer would buy a ceramic budgerigar?
A pool of light spills from a doorway, onto the footpath.
Stepping into the pool takes you through the doorway,
- into the Farmer’s Arms.
Noise. White noise. Blue noise. Babble.
Farmers, families, friends, loners, transients, salesmen.
All ages. Together and yet apart.
Children play games with mobile phones:
small glowing pools within a larger pool.
The dress-code is freestyle. Dressed up. Dressed down.
Shorts, singlets, trousers and pressed check shirts.
Brylcream still has a market here.
Beer, more beer. The drink of choice. A cocktail list seems out of place.
Who here would drink a Margarita? Who would order one?
Barmaids take orders, give cheek and stay behind the safety of the bar.
Big screens give flashing Technicolour sports highlights to a brownish room.
A notice board offers rabbit traps, dance lessons and a diesel pump, as new.
Large plates of basic food, nothing special but lots of it.
Parma and pot, the deal of the day. And yesterday. And tomorrow.
The roast of the day comes with roast vegetables. And noodles.
Drowning in a clear brown, mucoid gravy.
A sullen cleaner takes away the empties. No emotion. No response.
Mind elsewhere. Where? I wonder but don’t ask.
Walking home, passing through pools of noise and light,
spilling from other doorways onto the footpath.
© J Cosmo Newbery 2012