The measuring bar


Pitiless sodium

lights his way

to the pub of self-rebuke

at Wirral’s northern tip

where he nods slightly,

smiles sadly,

to the men there.


He thinks about

failed friendship,

lost love,

what the future holds,

whether he can still risk

being bold – here  

in the saloon bar

of small ambition.


Whine follows wine;

another nod, another smile,

then he ambles out

to the smoke-hole

for nicotine’s

distinct perspective,

and he’s back and back


to back-to-back

redbrick warmth,

cherry-and-white buses,

Labour politics, Latin laments,

small town saviours

and cruel pathways

across the land of his birth.


The measure of his worth

is balanced here –

in the bar at the end

of the peninsula.


Stephen Regan has had poems published in The Screech Owl e-zine (Oct 2012), The Passionate Transitory e-zine (Dec 2012) and in the print anthology Best of Manchester Poets Vol. 2 (Dec 2011). His poem Unhappy Valley Sunday won the Runner-up Prize for Poetry in the Sefton Arts Writing Competition 2011. His poetry has also appeared in the following print publications: Vertical Images 7 (London, 1993); Poetry of my Shoulders (London, 1994); London Voices (1993 and 1994); The Mental Virus Arts Magazine (Wigan, 2009); and Wirral's Winter Words anthology (Dec 2009).

Stephen is founder and co-organiser (with David Costello) of two poetry clubs – The Liver Bards (Liverpool) and the Bards of New Brighton (Wirral).

He also created the persona of "popular TV critic" Sam Brady, who appeared regularly on ITV’s Oracle and Teletext services from 1989 to 2002. Sam Brady continues as a blog:

Stephen writes a further blog on the Liverpool Echo's website

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