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Whisky's Whispered Listening

We are the audience
of the inaudible

in field upon field
with the creak and sigh
of ripening grain,

in the malting moment
moist barley breezes its
choruses of chit chit chit,

or the soft-spoken word in the mash tun mash
a-steep a-sugar a-yeast a-wash,
a-water a-wort a-wash-back a-wash,

in the kiln
as flame crescendoes from coal to coal:
bass-hum burn-hard hot fossil blocks,

and still - the songs of the steam,
the siren swirling va-va-va-
vapourised on a swan-slim neck,

with murmurs amid wood paneled
interiors as whisky asks sherry
cask for a slow slow dance

and as glasses chink we hear
the kernel of the heart uncork
for the stories of our friends -

we here hear
the unheard sounds of
whisky's whispered listening.

 

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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