An Ode to Red Beer


To Younger Days Barely Recalled




Wally Lee Parker


(first published in 1984 all rights to this material reserved)



Gather ‘round, all around,

my bleary eyed friends,

and I’ll chant you a rhyme

‘bout red beer and sin.

I’ll weave you a poem

from the threads of our passion

for lives lived with fever

— in hot ribald fashion,

of our ‘fliction for drinkin’

till stinkin’ly blind,

of our pains sent a’bobbin’

in bottles of wine,

of the want that is ‘roused

by our heated affections,

and the solace we seek

for perplexin’ rejections,

of those nights spent awash

in an alcohol daze,

with grey morns crushin’ down

while we’re lost in a haze,

of the hurt that consumes

with a bitter hot sear

— relieved by a draught

from a quenchin’ red beer.



Beer born from the sun

and the fertile brown earth,

from the deep bubblin’ crocks

of the brewers of mirth,

from the brine tears of angels

— so amber and clear,

from the hops and the malts

and the spirits of cheer.



We’ve plucked ripe tomatoes

from Satan’s own tree,

and whipped ‘em with vengeance

to sauce potpourri.

Then we pour ‘em so slowly

o’er the rim of the jug

— ‘bout three fingers deep

in a cold earthen mug.

Then we dump in the beer

from as high as inclined —

all dashin’ and splashin’

about in the stein,

till it runs o’er the brim

as a ruddy red froth

— one spicy delight

is this bloody red broth.



I’ll swap lies with drunkards,

(and braggarts)

(and bitchers)

as long as they’re buyin’

those cold bubblin’ pitchers.

So barmaid keep sendin’

that foamin’ beer spinnin’

its pure virgin dew

with a tartness for sinnin’.



And when life has killed me

just cover my bones.

then pause long enough

to write on my stone,

“Here, picked in death

lies a damn good old boy,

who found in his veggies

one hell of a joy.”