Some of the German terms used in the poem are: Herr Ober the German term for a waiter. Helles a bright beer served from the tap. Prosit! is cheers and a Kumpel is a miner.
Social Intercourse in Munich
My fondness for the fermented brew
fetches me to Munich's Hofbrauhaus
where I'm crammed and scrambled
by an overeager Herr Ober
into one of the last gasp gaps
in the rows of horn-buttoned lederhosen
and rough wool socks
into the cosy
of stolid bums
along a wooden bench.
is armed with its mugs of Helles!
bright and clear as an Alpine spring
and topped with froth
smilingly served by wide-eyed women
with eager bosoms overflowing their dirndls.
I find myself across from Odin and Alvis
and their prodigious portions
of steaming rectangular sausage
slotted into white bread rolls
which they are chomping and munching
with fat-lipped zeal.
I can locate a way
through life's turbulent changes...
it could be that these consumable props
are simply lubricants
to loquaciousness and social intercourse
the noble bouquet
of the crisp clean beer
the steamy fragrance
of the grilled horseflesh
may cause these thick pink tongues
to be suitably oiled and greased
and ready to flap.
Bygone are the days
of sylvan primitives
and cauldrons of sour Germanic ale, I say
brewed from stale bread mash
a turbid mixture
cooked in woodland clearings
with half-baked myth, I add
ordering a monastery beer
in a dark brown bottle
flavoured by the hooded fishermen
of souls; my spiritual comrades
in the good Lord's army.
Bowls of bones arrive
for chewing and sucking
of burbling potato stew
and a basket of sliced black bread.
A painful time when children were knife-blade thin,
as Odin and Alvis slurp the soup
says Odin to Alvis
easing his baldric a notch
and they raise their mugs
but not in my direction.
Let's all forget the toil of the day
grunts the dwarf
to his giant companion.
was once buried with his crocks of beer
c) Gwilym Williams 2007.
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