The Paget Arms

Posted: January 30, 2012 in Poetry

It’s a time warp this place, a black hole.
In here, time is lost.
There’s no clock on the wall to prompt movement
no hands to direct you home.
Your dinner sits cold on a cracking plate, as the
lonely pace the floor, awaiting the beer-breath kiss
and clumsy grope goodnight.

It’s like the land that time forgot, this place.
Fossils from a prehistoric age
embalm themselves in pints of amber nectar.
Like caged rodents, they sniff around,
searching for boredom breakers.
Their nicotine fingers lay to rest in the
venomous, brimming trays.
They chew on fatty rinds and
wish they were somewhere else.

It’s like a drug, this place.
Imprisoned in the four walls, they grope
for wooden cues -the emblem of The Man.
The mossy table is their grave.
Hours disappear as they
smack shiny balls into darkened pockets,
praying for the glory of victory.
In here, they can be champions.

The walls, colour of cancer, bear scars of a
thousand misjudged battles.
Ale soldiers blindly throw their mini spears,
missing the enemy one by one.
Wounded, they stumble back to
the wooden pews, seeking solace in toxic optics.

It smells like a coffin, this place.
Crumbling skeletons of the glory years line
the dusty shelves and lurk in cobwebbed corners.
A stuffed trout, its glassy eyes staring,
watches over its hapless congregation.

Tug Wilson and Herbert Slade pose, fists clenched,
ready to fight their way out of their glass prisons.
But, they too are trapped in this black magic place.
Paget, frozen in time, stares out from his wooden frame.
His Mecca now a breeding-ground for disease.

It’s a time warp, this place.
A black hole.

The Paget Arms, inspired by a pub in Loughborough, was published in Speaking Words: Writing for Reading Aloud (CCC)


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