I want you to think of your favourite Pub. If you don’t favour a particular pub, think of a bar or restaurant even, but a Pub would be ideal. Now take the elements from the name of the pub, for example “The Fox and Fiddle” and create characters out of those elements. Now write a funny and fun poem (preferably with end-rhymes) that tells a good story.
Now I haven't actually visited my favourite pub for around 27 / 28 years. Its Mick Cullen's, the only pub in the village of Redcross co Wicklow and for all I know, it could be long gone. We used to live about seven miles away in Blainroe Crossroads, so Mick Cullen's was out unless one of the lads had a car. On the rare occasion that one of us had the lend of a car, we'd head up to Mick Cullen's on a Saturday night. The pub would invariably be shut and we'd have to go down the street and bang on Mick's window to get him up.
Mick'd arrive in a few minutes, an old sack for a coat, tied around the middle with string. The pub constituted a number of doorless rooms in a house, each with nothing in them except a bench around the outside and beer kegs for tables. And a stone floor. And a wall out the back that served as a loo (I never figured what the women did)
One of the lads said Mick used to be a professional boxer so you never messed with him. There was no beer on draught, just spirits and, later on, pint bottles of Smithwicks. But on summer evenings from about eight o'clock, the pub would fill up rapidly with musicians, singers, everybody and anybody and the craic would be mighty till the wee small hours.
Don't forget to check out how much more accomplished poets tackle the same prompt at Kat's place.
Oh beware the temptations of old Mick Cullen
Oh gather round, ye hardened drinkers,
philosophic bar-stool thinkers,
Listen to my dismal story
as your pristine pints are pullin’.
In early married life, I started
leaving home at eight, stout-hearted,
telling her as I departed,
I was off to see Mick Cullen.
Every night, I thus imparted,
I was off to see Mick Cullen.
And so, among the bar-top spillage,
in the sole pub in the village,
I would sit and pass the night
with Dowser Byrne and Rasher Mullen,
while alone my wife sat waiting
in the house I loved vacating,
brooding, seething, loathing, hating
my affair with old Mick Cullen.
To her, it was not enervating
all those nights spent with Mick Cullen.
Several times she begged and pleaded
but I never, ever heeded.
Arthur called me to desist from
linen frocks and cardis woollen.
Off I’d stroll, a fine tune hummin’,
in my heart a guitar strummin’,
forsaking my once-darlin’ woman
for the charms of old Mick Cullen.
The hand of fate, its fingers drummin’,
I ignored for old Mick Cullen.
Then one night, I came home stotious,
gait unsteady, breath atrocious,
doubtless thinking she’d be waiting
up in bed, annoyed and sullen.
Up the front path, I came, blowin’,
a song upon my lips free-flowin’,
but the door key would not go in,
as I came back from Mick Cullen.
Compounding things, it started snowin’
when I got back from Mick Cullen.
I tried and tried to get the key in
(amid some quite flamboyant peein’)
till my temper started risin’.
Jaysus, Mary, was I bullin’!
I staggered back and started yellin’
at the window of my dwellin’
in a slurred and loud voice tellin’
her I’d come home from Mick Cullen.
And the front door was repellin’
me, since my night with Mick Cullen.
Eventually, the top light flickered
as I stood there fully-liquored,
roaring like the Bull of Táin
or like some latter-day Cú Chulainn.
Then out the window, malcontented,
a baldy, grizzled head presented,
muttering threats and oaths demented –
the angry head of old Mick Cullen.
Oh drinkers, are your wives contented
as you sup here chez Mick Cullen?