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Before the Toast

Before a warehouse of quiet casks,
came chains and the rasp of rakes.

Before the amber dram held high,
a living kaleidoscope in the furnace below.

Before aromas of walnut and spice,
trucks of hard-worked coal.

Before the glass, before the bottle,
the burnished alchemy of the still.

Before conversion,
the direct fire,

Before the toast,
the naked flame.

 

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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