Teatime at Guinness Outpost

My spelling checker flips to Rorschach mode.
‘Cremates’ was its suggestion for ‘cream teas’
when I typed ‘creamteas’. The ill this flip must bode
is the basis for my trembling as I ease
a first Guinness from the sideboard, let it chill
down to the temperature of the room
I pretend is British but comes from the bill
for heating that I swept with a new broom
into the fireplace where I store the wood.
I could not pay. When I told that to the gas
man, he said, ‘I did not think you would’.
Read and tremble at what comes to pass
when poets stoop to identicals to rhyme
and chat with spelling checkers till drinks time.

Trolling a Trawler

A flat fish, lost and lonesome
asks, ‘Oh, which way lies the sea?’
of a trawler’s mate so handsome
she believes his ‘follow me.’

She does. They reach The Anchor.
He is buying. She has beer.
‘That’s a chaser,’ he says handing her
a shot. Makes her feel queer.

It’s a routine they keep repeating
from Cheers to the Rose and Crown.
‘I am starved. I fancy eating
something fried,’ he says. She frowns.

The plump plaice keeps smiling flatly
the way most flounders do.
She finds the mate beguiling
but she drinks and lets him stew.

His own smile turns to grinning
then to yearning then to drool
as he fantasises winning
while his mind fries up a school

of flat fish like the flirty one
who keeps saying ‘bottoms up’
so frequently he spends a ton
of his earnings for the cups

of the wine and beer and whiskey
they keep drinking matching shots.
He’s lethargic. She’s more frisky
telling him, ‘I like you lots.’

She reminds him of a floozy.
He reminds her of a shark.
He is seeing double, boozy,
when they totter to the park.

He has not forgot his hunger.
She has not forgot her quest.
Right before he could have hung her
on his grill she has finessed.

She finds him dear without his trawler
but his will remains a wish.
No runner-walker-crawler
ever can drink like a fish.

He last sees her neatly diving,
swimming strongly to the sea.
She waves fins, says, ‘Keep driving
us extinct, you’ll be killing me.’