Orahovac poem

The man from Glasgow, surprisingly dull
and quick, like a sunshine of partial cloud,
stops near us and asks “These people, Serbs —”
We say they are Croats. It's not the same
to them. Take care. Think Scotland and England.
“Bugger that,” he says. “Do they have liquor?
Good stuff. Liqueurs and that?”. And we say Yes.
We are drinking Orahovac. Walnut.
We've had two litres in the last ten days.
We were surprised when we counted it. It is
delicious. He practices the name with us
and smiles: “Right then,” he says, walking off,
leaving his wife to speak apologies
and say that she prefers a glass of wine.
He returns with a brown bag: “Is this the one?”.
We say it is. “Right then.” He pulls the cork
and swigs a large mouthful; holds it; grimaces;
turns sideways to us and spits everything
on to the piazza. “Jesus Christ! That's bad.
What's that?” We say it's walnuts. “Is it now?
Nuts? I hate the bloody things. You have it.”
He pushes me bottle and top; and strides
towards the hotel bar, his wife following.

Lawrence Upton (UK)



I went to another dead end town
just to be somewhere else.
It was quiet
a few women in shops smiled at me
and i even got adventurous in Nando's
ordered something different.

There was a table in front of mine
about 10 young men on it
and time after time the girl came up with food and shouted it out
but they couldn't remember what they ordered
and some took other people's food.
Eventually they got it all.

As i was about to get up for a drink
one of the men got up
He was carrying his plate of chips
but as i got up behind him
he went for a drink
I thought he was going to put some sauce on his chips
but he didn't he just went back to the table
with his drink and plate of chips
I guess he didn't trust the blokes at his table
I can't blame him
sometimes it is hard to trust

Marc Carver (UK)