In A Patch Of Stone Walled Field


In a tumbledown landscape
Above the sea,
Olive trees flutter silver green
In patches of thin earth
And scattered stone,
Scraped into a rough field.
Over the wall
A hobby of a vineyard,
Draws deep-root thirsty
For its plump infants
Suckling on the vine,
And the sun
Polishes them
To succulence
And sweet raisin wine.
And in the fallen down next,
Fennel grows rampant
And unkempt
Spicing with heady aniseed.
And in the shabby next
There is lavender on the wind
Emollient with herbaceous strands,
Mixing freely
With the airborne personality
Of wild thyme
And the pheromonal
Purple flowers of rosemary.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015

Croatian Terroir


In a limestone cauldron
Narrow eying
The sea
And the whole arc
Of the sun’s duration,
In a slip
And steep crevice,
The poor dirt
Is put to the work
Of the vine.

I wondered
How such meagre soil
Might husband
The leaf, the flower, the grape
To produce magic
Must juice
From sun-trap arid scrape.

But the grapes are handsome
Clusters on the bush
And the wine

As I took cool refreshment
In the cove below
I felt the catchment
Of the cauldron
In wellspring
And flush of freshwater cold
As seepage
Of hidden river
In sweet undercurrent
To the salt water fold

And I understood
The grapes
Plush oasis
And their plump
Story of old, gnarled vines
Tap-rooted fast
To the terroir
Of this Croatian place and time.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015

Wine Maker – Being Mario Fontana

I don’t require an alarm clock to wake me in the morning. I rise with the eagerness of a child and the first twittering of birds. You know, there is nothing as fine as the dew sweet hours and no light so heavenly as the first born moment cresting deliciously: I am surely new with each turn of the world. My father toiled on this plot of Italian earth for fifty years or more. Those days were not good for winemakers. But for me it is joyous. Hard work, of course but I am greatly more for each moments focus. My land, strung with vines and decorated with Cyprus is the single most important place upon the earth. I walk it, each delightful day, noticing the minucia, the seasons play and the plants considered response. I do believe they are happy in their growth, flush with greenliness and health for all my careful tending and my gentle approach to the matter of their feeling: I greatly enjoy their being with this glad, succulent heart of mine. I wonder, am I rooted to this place, for I would not leave its ever calling pull upon my soul’s domain and would likely yearn with each terrible footstep into misadventure’s far away? I wonder too, if we are joined, my humanity yoked to the richness of this soil and all that is drawn so willingly? This is my home, among the vines: father to their needs, recipient of their riches, lover of the being we have become.

And the wine? Could it it be less the true wonderment, or measure less than joy, or be less than divinity made earthly? Well, I shall not tell what only a taste can convey.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015.

Professional Barmen

They are masters of mixology,
Traders in cool.
They work
In the place to be: behind it.
They are it
With their controversial cocktails,
Fine wine wit
And work under loud rhythms.

The knife edge of fashion
Is theirs:
Firm hand shake
And contemporary hair,
Their tools
In the –  look good,
Play hard – life

Of those
Who shake and stiiir.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015