Will George Poet

The Barman's Bane.


The Blast Furnace Inn on a Saturday night;

The crowd a little different to the norm.

Local characters stop for a while;

Drink their fill and move on.


A collection of girls celebrate in style.

The bride-to-be, by the drinks flowing free, imbibed.

Hen parties are much the same on the eve

Or, the week before the knot is tied.


Will the Publican pay his way,

Dispense enough profitable product to make his day?

Will he drink in moderation and leave his gain in the till,

Or will he swallow every expensive drop of his earned fill?


Encouragement for the drinker brings its trouble;

Especially for the obnoxious who can't hold his doubles.

The Barman's bane is to know when to abstain,

And, in timely fashion, who to encourage to refrain.


The pub meal may offer something to relish;

Attractively served it can an evening embellish.

Clean cutlery is to be approved;

To complement the presentation of hot food.


It takes two to run a pub.

One to stock the bar and set up the pumps.

Now more important than ever, the other,

To ensure a good meal will bring return clientele.


Traditional pubs of old oak and bench seats;

Modernized with carpet and fancy wall paper;

Require greater maintenance and repair;

Tarnish and grime will not fit in with the newer profile.


What profit will each bottle or barrel bring

After taxes and varying overhead?

How many hours of labour are required

To meet the flow of varying customer needs?


The Publican is respectable now;

No longer the pariah of the village or town.

Sunday drinking, although a bane to the few, carries no frown.

Habits have changed for better or worse.


Even the Barman, or Bar Maid, have their place;

Captured in the limelight of television;

They too have been given a face;

And often end up providing a condescending ear.


Every Pub has its own atmosphere.

Those who deserve it do well.

Friendliness and a welcoming smile make the first impression.

Those who are miserable rightly fail.


Smoking and food do not mix.

Those who are addicted cannot do without their fix.

Nicotine and tar in turn claim health;

The body drowned in spirits in physical being faileth.


History is tied to the Pub's name.

The Blast Furnace Inn of an earlier age;

A reflection of an industry long gone;

With regular patrons who know little of its past.


One Welsh village is much like another!

Nearby the old viaduct not far from the river.

The hills nestle the valley within;

The pub takes its place in the make up of the local population.


Today's landlords may know of coal and iron;

Where family members may have toiled in the trade.

Humble roots know the earth and the depth of ground;

Where many spent their lives, now they too have moved on.


Will the greeting at the door to John be a farewell?

Will the compliment to the cook, Christine, be exceptional?

Will the evening' drinking be fulfilling,

And when you leave, will you be thinking of returning, God willing?


Will George ©  June 19, 2004