(after Horace Ode 1:18 Nullam, Vare, sacra)
Danny, mate, enjoy your amber nectar,
a special pint of brown at friendly fringes.
The tipple of the gods, a one-off binge
is fine because creative life is hard
and even harder still if stone-cold sober!
Who ever saw a canny two-pints writer
get lover’s block or cry into his beer?
A drop of good stuff helps unlock ideas.
Know when to stop but don’t be lost for words.
Drop your fighting talk, don’t diss your peers.
Up here we’re all supposed to hold our ale:
Just bear in mind our northern pride’s at stake.
Don’t make that Gazza no-holds-barred mistake
of gloves-off free-for-alls that end in tears.
Incestuous worlds like ours will see you fail.
First you blow your trumpet then your mind
especially when you’ve liquor down your neck.
You bandy stanzas, you’re a total wreck,
and as for bringing poets down to size –
Talk about the country of the blind!
You’d better keep a tight tongue in your head.
Don’t view things through the bottom of a glass.
I’ve shared a toast or two myself and gassed
with great and good; with famous and unknown.
Let others praise your work: don’t praise your own.