[Poetry] Bar Happiness

I stepped to the bar, and he looked at me,
A rag in hand, a smile for free,
I asked if he knew how to make any drink in the world,
He nodded, and said he’d give anything a whirl.

I asked for a drink for happiness.
He paused, and his look turned serious.
“Such a drink is difficult, my friend.
There’re many different ones, you understand.”

“Say one made from the sand and the sea.
Tastes of the beach, and being free.
You’ll see colours bright and cheerful,
It’s bound to make your happy tank feel full.”

“Or one well known to the athlete,
Or to the worker who’s become elite,
Working hard and earning accolades,
This will make you feel happiness ready-made.”

“Or I’ll mix the one that talks of love,
An intense feeling made by the one above,
Singing and dancing with someone special,
Done right, this cocktail will make your toes curl.”

“Maybe take a sip at some natty wit,
Humour that tickles any inner crit.
Laughter that makes its own medicine,
Levity as far as the next edition.”

“Happiness is so many things, my friend.
I can’t simply do something by sleight of hand.
You need to think through which one fits you best,
Or what I create will just be a mess.”

I shook my head, and smiled in despair.
All that he said dispelled not my care,
The happiness for which I was searching,
Was not something as temporal and fleeting.

The drink I yearned for was coloured warm.
Tasting of love, but also the storm.
Joy completed in people and song
Whither beach or city, would matter non.

Chasing of accolades, physical or mental,
Would one day still fade into pieces of metal.
Laughter while powerful is nothing but sound
Fleeting and jocular, followed by a frown.

True happiness, I finally exclaimed
Was all of that yes, but more than a frame.
More than a single moment, a second in time
A fullness to which all else would pale as in mime.

All that he’d shown me were fragments of merriment,
As happiness though, would be disappointment.
I had no idea why I thought this would come easy,
I don’t think I’d come up with a bigger doozy.

He listened, head cocked, and wiping a glass,
Listened without speaking, showing his class.
When I was done, he nodded his head quickly,
Drew up a glass, and in poured whiskey.

“In answer, I give you this simple drink.
The happiness you speak of? Easy as a blink.
Here, down this, sit down, and tell me your woes.
Your good times, your bad times, your in between foes.”

I did so, and told him of good times and bad.
Of things I had done, which I now saw as fads.
He regaled me with pictures of climes unexplored.
He travelled, he said, to learn things, to see more.

We kept talking until night had dissolved.
The sun had not yet risen to a new day’s resolve.
We parted, as friends, not strangers as afore
We even sang songs we both knew from before.

As I left humming and skipping with glee,
It hit me, that the barman had not asked for a fee.
He’d shown me true happiness, with only one drink.
He’d given me reason to ponder and think.

The happiness I seek isn’t in a drink or two.
Accolades, love or a funny crew.
The happiness I seek is part of my life.
Knowing contentment, an end to my strife.

He’d shown me just how much that I’ve got inside.
The life I’m leading, in which I abide.
To me it’s boring, or single dimensional.
To others it might be perfectly inspirational.

A friend I got, but wisdom much more.
Appreciation for my life evermore.
Thanking God for my chapters written,
Looking forward to more treasures hidden.


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