Golden days

Sitting round a table in their local

A few lonely souls gather

Sinking jars of dark and mild

Down to the bottom of the glass

Weather beaten faces and shaking yellowed fingers

Telling each other the way it should be

The way it is

And the way it was

Watching rings of trickled froth

Coagulate in spiralled signals of no more

Wondering why they have ended up in this place again

The space between the broad and the narrow

With brown stained ceilings

A place where the mind can’t comprehend

and at the end of an evening the hands cannot touch

the sides of the street

never thinking of all the other roads and lanes they could have walked

but didn’t

choosing instead to stay

in the place they know

and where folk won’t try to hug you or kiss you on the cheek

where a whole generation passed them by

many moons ago

as they swallowed back all that they were told

about the uncertain delights and dangers of foreign climes

twenty miles down the road

deciding it were best to stay put

with a job for life

until it were, all closed down by she whose name uttered

renders a chill

half way down the back

and now they sit and moan

spit and crow to themselves

a crowded lads only pack

of bedraggled toothless grey-haired wolves

who have lost none of their bite and steel

and will gladly chew it over

for the sake of age and just another pint

◄ Sexless

out there ►


Profile image

keith jeffries

Sun 23rd Sep 2018 19:51

This poem creates an image which I seem to be familiar with. Do they still drink Mild? A good poem.
Thank you

Profile image

Martin Elder

Tue 18th Sep 2018 10:37

Thanks for that Stu. I think that could be the title of another poem 'stinks of hops and regret'

Hope we bump into each other again in the not to distant future.


Profile image

Stu Buck

Mon 17th Sep 2018 11:12

excellent piece martin, stinks of hops and regret.

Profile image

Martin Elder

Tue 11th Sep 2018 22:47

Thanks Hannah. I am glad you liked it. It means a lot cheers

Thanks also to Mark for your comments. you are right gone are the days when you might see old guys sitting round tables in certain parts of the pub chewing the cud. It was interesting that in some pubs I use to frequent as a young man there would be a real mix of people who dug roads for a living and those who were airline pilots. It seemed to work well. It was probably the village that I lived in where that was able to take place.

Profile image

Hannah Collins

Tue 11th Sep 2018 09:00

Fantastic imagery here.
Full of atmosphere and much truth.


Profile image

M.C. Newberry

Wed 5th Sep 2018 23:00

I'm thinking in parallel with these evocative lines - about the
days when oldies were a regular feature of any pub worth the name - and how they are basically "priced out" of their
old habitat by commercial practices that see pubs bought
by those looking to make a fast profit and sell for housing!
Mind you, a pint in Cumbria costs half of the asking price
down here in the much-maligned south! So it's not all bad
news north of Watford.

Profile image

Martin Elder

Tue 4th Sep 2018 12:19

Thanks to Jon and Anya for liking and to Sal, Peter, Taylor, Becky and Darren for commenting.

I have to confess that this piece is some part about older guys wistfully thinking about what if they had moved away and found work somewhere else. Also easy to look back and think that the earlier years were either worse or better according to your point of view.

But there is also another part to this based on the closures of certain industries in the U.K. which has and a detrimental effect on particular regions of the country that were heavily reliant on those localised industries for employment. This has meant they have struggled to recover. Sorry to rant a little.

Hey Becky
I had not considered it as live piece but I think I will give it a go. Cheers

But thanks once again one and all for reading


Profile image

Darren J Beaney

Mon 3rd Sep 2018 15:41

This is fab Martin - really well written and reads beautifully.

Some great words and lines - I really like

And the way it was

Watching rings of trickled froth

Coagulate in spiralled signals of no more

Great stuff



Profile image

Becky Who

Mon 3rd Sep 2018 13:14

This is so powerful. I think it would work really well read aloud. The rhyming is really subtle and effective too. Thanks for such poignant images.

Profile image

Taylor Crowshaw

Mon 3rd Sep 2018 07:27

I agree with Peter and Big Sal. What a great read. Oh those paths we never trod, those unfulfilled dreams..and then what? To sit and wait for the inevitable. Excellent...?

Profile image

Peter Taylor

Mon 3rd Sep 2018 06:55

A great piece about the one certainty being unfulfilment. Grateful and resentful at the same time for undistinguished habit, the ache in knowing the game's up. Loved it!

Peter T

Big Sal

Mon 3rd Sep 2018 04:33

Like drinking an ale or mead and waiting for the day to end. Well read piece Martin, and somewhere in the horizon I got lost in the hills.?

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message