Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wine Ramble

I read to you
- my words may slur
and run around the room –
my tongue may slip.
I began toasting tonight pre-lunch
and into the hot eye-burning evening
hoping that words and grapes will hold me up.

But did you drink the wine today
on this sunshine day rich with words
that blur your soaked skin and soul?

Around you they speak in Attics with casks of wine
that have been aged
and gained in taste and fullness
with years that come alive to speak aloud
even while you thought the past had vanished from your mind, thank God,
but it remained etched on labels in provences and years that whisper
the richness of the soil
the moisture in the air
the flavour of the liquid
the grape and its mating
the season
the year
the year again.

And some swirl the goblets and
draw in the aroma of the
glowing ambers and warm burgundies
while others talk - can you hear them now? –
of the sensuous pleasure as the liquid is poured into the
sharp cut of crystal blown in remote romantic sounding cities,
and those in that corner hold their stems
and gulp in the words sounding around them
making music and noise,
always more noise
as your soul dims down

Are there a few eyes here
that mirror dreams of vineyards perhaps
where passion twined under an unknown Tuscan sky
-as it was always meant to in your visions -
and does the air make you light headed
for is it not laden with wine and words today as you had always imagined,
a tryst in sepia coloured movies on canvas screens in which you lived many times, not knowing whether it was the movie or the wine or the vineyard
or the biblical breaking bread and sharing wine
or was it just Bogart who made you cry in ecstasy?

And do you ask yourself now – right now - Has the wine aged?
Or have you aged with the wine?
Or did the wines just change as you aged?
And what does it all really mean?
And have you ever abandoned the rest to just go with Khayyam
and take the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse
and if not
why not?

While they touch glasses and glances, are you even listening?
Or are you lost in the familiar measuring of your life in cups, even bottles,
like all of us who live our life in clichés that are tailored perfectly to our taste
as we scramble to find better ways to say things that only need silence
and perhaps
a glass of the grape?

The first half-glass offered to you when you were twelve,
goblets that reflect the loving laughing light in your father’s eyes
the freedom of trust in your mother’s
as the family raised its spirit to toast every grateful occasion
the flavour of that wine filled with so much love
that you forever search in vain for the same
in every glass you’ve ever drunk
since then.

And then the first full bottles on beach drunk nights
the cheapness of the unknown wine
the roughness of the grain that stroked your palate
drowned under the drunk laughter
and sometimes lust
none of which you can quite capture
with the smooth rare year offered to you today
laced with some poets emoting sonorously at a distant nearness
while you wish they were completely drunk
or terribly sober
to throw up and catch the wonder of their words.

As you sit in this illuminating night
punching your mind into the machine with a glass of that truly inspiring year
you wonder
if –
when you die
will the wines of your life flash past your eyes -
the fat wet-rope tied ones in Frascati at roadside cafes
on boats in France
in casinos in Germany
absurdly in the pink of an Indian desert town
in kitchens
in bedrooms
in bathtubs
desperately at endless evenings
with strangers on long flights
on quiet shared nights under soft quilts
against a giddy body and a brilliant smile
recklessly through the worst moments of your days
and exuberantly shouting Cheers, Salut in wildly happy times.

And as you died
you would not know the provence the region the price or the year
but the taste the smell the colour would fill your fading body
while the warmth would headily embrace your soul
in a silence beyond words -
a fitting entry into another world

Enough tonight
Tomorrow you will search your fantasies for stories and poems
a different one for every glass moment year
yes perhaps, even one for every year

© January 2007

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