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Ten Questions For a Former Pot-Still Stoker

1) What was it like to sweat
for the sake of the spirit?

2) What did you breathe, feeding the fire,
what smells would cling to your skin?

3) In the pursuit of even heat,
what mishaps did you risk?

4) Which part of the firing process
felt the most pleasing?

5) Did it make you an expert
tender of the hearth at home?

6) Did you become a reluctant
handler of the garden rake?

7) Do copper things and barbeques
repel you or appeal?

8) What were those shadows
that you flung in the kiln?

9) Can you distinguish in the glass
a dram you direct fired?

10) Could you do it in your sleep?
Do you still dream the sounds?

 

Written for performance at GlenDronach Distillery 8th September 2010,
and inspired by Pete Stollery's recordings of the formerly-coal-fired stills there.

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