Roy Ernest Ballard

Public House - Poem by Roy Ernest Ballard

I know a place that's hung with hops and rose,
where honey bees and dusty blackbirds doze
before a doorway where clematis falls;
where sundry spears and rugs hang on the walls
of smoky-yellow lime and horsehair mix,
age-toughened oak and bits of Roman bricks.
A single flower at table, nothing rare,
but otherwise the board is plain and bare.
There's harrowing and harvest corner talk
by dusty men of tractors, soil and chalk.

The kitchen master knows his herbs and sauces,
the meat and fishes proper to all courses,
the custards, creams and the exotic spices,
the currants, damsons and fresh apple slices;
and he can steam a pudding in a tub
and marry marmalade to syllabub.
The summer fireplace is a flowery blaze
until the autumn and the gloomy days
when weary winter beats an icy path
across the threshold to the cheerful hearth.

In World War Two some people had the face
to come in aeroplanes and bomb the place.
In 50,406 and 793
it lodged some fierce invaders from the sea
who did not know, for they were foreign then,
that in a while they would be Englishmen
whose greatest pleasure is to enter pubs
and dine on marmalade and syllabubs.
You too, dear reader, might be glad to know
how you could get there. I'll not tell you. So!

Topic(s) of this poem: happy

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, January 17, 2016

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