Wednesday, 29 June 2011

St George Distils Norfolk Dragon

ST GEORGE DISTILS NORFOLK DRAGON  Wendy Webb


Here is the home of English whisky,
distilled in finest Egyptian tradition,
eco-friendly as the broad of Norfolk sky
and earth and rain.
Pause here and learn the process of gold fire,
from barley grown on England’s premium plains.
For Ra-kissed earth’s an alchemy of light,
where Boadicca once raged fermenting blood
against the trailing vines that wrapped from Rome.

Here water seeped in chalk of ancient seabeds,
which add all ancient mermen to this brew.
From yeast of Hull, that brings fermenting sky to grist
of vapours; water, blue as clouds:
all brooding to a storm of oak-casked sun.
Stacked low to gradually proof all grey to pure,
as light as sheepskin waterfalled to ghosts
of smoking malt – of bonfires, ancient clans,
before the Thor of Odin into print;
When all men were in legend of new blood
and women stoked the flames of homely lust.

Pause here at Roudham, close beside the Thet,
and taste the distillation of pure gold
(not served, while it matures in bourbon casks,
or sherry barrels, smoked to malt or air).
Then celebrate a future, yet unproofed,
a Temeraire sunset into dawn.
In Norfolk, moored to Midas’ winter feast,
where copper stills now alchemise the past
to living fire that plays on lips and tongue.
All elements of eco-friendly Norfolk.
This spirit chariots earth
in 2009.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Seaside Town in December

SEASIDE TOWN IN DECEMBER  Wendy Webb


(In memorium: Woolies, Cromer, 28/12/08)

Oh, the brooding of sea in December,
the lie of the land, the spread of the beach.
Oh, the gusting of wind-whipping storm-chill;
the leaning of lanes and labouring walks
at the panting and pungent warm-filling chips.
There’s ice cream to thrill; the last pick & mix.

Postcards and ice cream; but no pick & mix;
oh, the turmoil of closure: December.
To smart at crab pincers; wince-pinching at chips.
The lazing of land, grey crowd-freezing beach;
close buttoned-up coats and labouring walks.
Oh, lusty and wild: the Cromer pier chill.

Now this perishing cliff-topping vest-chill,
ice cream swirling layers of flesh pick & mix.
I’m labouring drafts from intimate walks.
Pummelling woollens, warm in December,
where grit’s in my eye and stray-stings down beach.
Oh, thank goodness for seaside fish & chips.

My layers dishevelled and stuffed like damp chips
into the café’s corners: East Coast chill
will keep them – jetsam – on my spreading beach
until, too full of grease and pick & mix,
pummelled woollens wrapped against December
to shiver out the door, now sick of walks.

I’m leaning into frozen steps. Night walks
soon dream my sleep into repeating chips.
All storms at sea and my grey face: December
that ghosts soft cliffs until new morning chill.
No seaside ice cream now. No pick & mix.
I am a whale marooned on driftwood beach.

Daydream no more. Let’s stroll along the beach,
enjoying garden cliff-top meandered walks
next summer. Then I’ll shop for pick & mix;
ice cream and candy floss; or fish & chips;
as I fast thrill to fairground rides or chill
to beer; to cafes, shops. Not in December.

Stores: like winter beaches; cafés serve chips.
Free seagull walks; all bargains; grey not chill.
No pick & mix in Credit Crunch December.