The Headingley Taps

entry picture

Another fourteen boys,
another fourteen pints
set down on another wooden table
on another busy day.

Another brood of hens,
another fairy bride,
drinking halfs and bottles
of I can’t decide,
and I’d better take it easy,
we’ll have cocktails later,
and no, I’ll get these.

There’ll be hundreds today
just like them.
Hop-licked strollers
on a big day out
that might be once in a lifetime,
but here
this is normal.

And they’re doing alright
for this time of day.
Some of them might make it all the way,
but not him,
or her,
or him.

We can always tell
who’s bored or slumping,
waiting for the wind to change,
a bite to eat to pick them up,
to skip a drink next time.
We can always tell
who never really wanted to be here.

Like Caligula
and Annie Oakley,
nursing their drinks,
looking around,
anywhere, at anything
except their friends.

Then she turns
to catch his eye and says,
‘You look like you’re having a right laugh.’
And he laughs.
Just a little.
Just for her.


From 'An Otley Run' published by Half Moon Books. See for more.

◄ Limerick #8

American Girl ►


<Deleted User> (18474)

Mon 26th Nov 2018 22:24

Awesome dude.
I really enjoyed this poem.
I will follow your links and try and read some more of your stuff.

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Don Matthews

Sun 25th Nov 2018 03:31

Ah Joe, you are the egg man
Of our World Eggish fame
Your brood of hens reminded me
To touch on this again

Unfortunately you have to
Wait another year
To poetize this oval gem
Which gives us so much cheer

I'm not a mic'ing 'former
I don't live in UK
Brian Maryon wouldn't like this
I write, that's 'nuf, OK

Like Brian I have a habit
Of prowling round the site
Offering words of wisdom
Offering rhymic light ?

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Joe Williams

Sat 24th Nov 2018 15:20

A little taster from my new book, 'An Otley Run'. See for more info. I'm booking performance dates for 2019 so if you can offer me something, or recommend me to someone who can, that'd be marvellous ?

You can also see the Write Out Loud news article about it here:

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