(after Horace Ode 1.36 Et ture et fidibus)
This round’s on me, come on, lads, name your poison
and pass the ciggies round. Who wants pork scratchings?
Let’s all enjoy ourselves. I’ve sweated blood –
to get this little shindig off the ground.
As soon as Dave comes in we’ll give three cheers.
Thank God he’s back on the northern scene again
He’ll read some poems and have high-fives especially
for our mate Danny, here, his boyhood hero –
the two of them cut poetry teeth together
in Boro pubs. We’ve all turned out tonight
so make the most of it. Let’s have a slam
and blast our voices way beyond the Tees.
We mustn’t let these Geordies or the Mackems
outdrink us Smoggies on a night like this.
Scatter poetry pamphlets on the benches
and pile our hard-back words up on the table,
then feast your eyes on all the Tyne and Wear boys
they’ll slap our writing buddy on the back.
Because he packed his poems and played away
they’ll cling to him like ivy, just you watch.
Notes: Middlesbrough on Teesside is known locally as The Boro
Geordies is a colloquial term for people from Tyneside and Mackems is a colloquial term for those who live in Sunderland. Smoggies is a colloquial name for those from Teesside.