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Come to my Land

my darling dear

and I will give you the turquoise skies,

with the armadas of thunderheads

that march thorugh

after St. Swithun’s day

and before Michelmas

which flicker at night

like Paschal candles;

the golden desert, and

The emerald trees on the bank

Of the sapphire river

And the vines that grow deep,

In the bones of ancient seas,

the fossil beaches and reefs and lost desert

And the rivers of fire

Turned to blackened stone.



I will give you the Sangiovese,

my darling dear,

That stains the aged wood and metal;

the blood of aged Jove

poured and squeezed,

to dream within darkened oak barrel of candlelight and laughter--

the blood of the earth and tears of the sky.



I will give you a share

of the kingdom of earth and sky,

my darling dear,

made of bone and stone

and feather-cloaked crag.

I will give you fountains of fire and water

from the center of the earth,

and the pines that sway and creak

in the winds of winter and summer.



I will give you an island

in the sea of time,

floating in the sky and

a cathedral hewn from living stone

where you can sing

in the language

from across the sea.



And I will place

a coronel of copper and turquoise

upon your beautiful brow.

If you come to the Land

and be my bride and queen,

My darling dear.

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Crush season

"Crush Season"

'Yeast is life!'
I cried in the night
Over the sweet-scented merlot
As it fermented furiously while
Tchaikovsky hammered the keys
like some sort of mad god seeking vengence.

This is a scene of the crush.
The harvest has come;
Of grapes, and of our dreams
And we innoculate both
With hope, and fear, and trepidation and then decide
Whether to cast them aside,
or thrown them into barrels.

We wait impatiently for their fruition,
For those tannins to break down,
And for the future to become drinkable, understandable.
As we quietly dream of bottles
and laughter, and potentials,
Late into the night
while drinking crisp, citrus Arneïs
and our dark brooding Bordeaux

Amidst the things which are said...
And those which are left silent.
We puzzle over each other
Knowing some things are apophatic,
For we fear to ask the questions:
"What do we label this blend?"
That will give us an answer that
We do not wish to hear...

Or worse, the one we desperately desire,
Because to receive
what you wish for is terrifying,
more terrifying than you
Could ever imagine.
Is it any wonder, then,
That I am filled both with fear and joy?

But it is the harvest,and the crush now,
The crush of petit sirah and tempranilllo and viognier and
dare I say this without sounding
Like some god-damned lovesick
Teenager,
the one I thought I had
Left far behind---
one on You, too.

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Tannat trepidation

I don't have a title for this one. Also, contains horrible french and basque grammar. (french speakers here, feel free to tell me what I should be saying and how I should say it.)

I am caught in a crucible of indecision
As the forges of summer copper
approach the light of the world
And the coronel of viognier and silver
Weighs heavily upon my troubled brow.
I brood and ponder that which is
And that which was
and would have been,
and could have been,
and that which has come to pass;
That which may yet come to pass
In the early spring
where buds have already burst
and the swallowtails already fly
through the streets of old Jerome,
across from the brothel of shattered hearts.

How do broken people wed?
How does a shattered soul love again?
How did the soiled doves learn to love again,
after pain and usury,
after drinking the cup of pain,
and walling up their hearts,
so they could hold themselves together?
My normal approach is useless.
So I sit, and stare across my kingdom,
Broken, shattered
by the hailstones of my history,
soaking up the sun,
trying to recover from the storms of youth.

Saint Mary walked into the desert.
I walked into the Desert.
And was followed,
and now I am confused.
Saint Mary walked into the desert to escape herself.
I walked into the Desert to heal,
and carry the silence
of the slow March of saecula
in my soul,
and to feel the saudade of ancient seas
in my heart.

Are you sure?
Are you sure you want this
battered, bruised vineyard,
filled with rot and decay,
and the bone-garden of failed romances?
Will you bring your pruners, gloves, posts, and cordons,
and bring order to the tannat vines
of my heart from out of the chaos of improper custodians,
and make my fruit shine deep, rich, and fulfilled within the glass?
Ziur hau izango duzu nahi izan duzula?
Vraiment? Si oui, Pardonnez-moi, je ne
pense pas que vous auriez fait jamais venu.
Ensuite, vous devez me donner
le temps de trouver la clé perdue.
Badakit hemen da nonbait.

(the reason for Basque and French is because Tannat comes from Basque country in France.)

The bearing tree

The Bearing Tree (picpoul blanc)

I sit beside the bearing tree and think
with Picpoul and pipe
listening to the springtime
bluebirds and wrens sing
whilst the wind gusts through aged ponderosa pines
waiting for you, my love
by the slow-flowing springs
while the bluebirds court
on the still winter-bare oaks
and the pipe smoke intermingles
with tart lemon and apple and
the songs of hermit thrushes from behind the forest
as the soft steps of returning Persephone
leave dandelions in her wake
while the nuthatches laugh
at the departing winter
as the lingering finish of the
crisp summer wine lies upon my tongue
like the promise of your lips against mine,
dry as the dreams and hopes of my past;
as thirst-quenching as the future you promise me.
But I still fear I won't be
all you think I’m cracked up to be;
but that being said
if it's half as good as this wine...
I think we might be just fine.

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Jun. 22nd, 2015

Waiting for you is like waiting for Barolo
from misty, fog-shrouded, snow-cloaked crags;
or a Sagrentino from dry, dusty plains
cut by blue ribbons of water.
I face an eternity of staring
at the bottle in my cellar
biding my time for that perfect moment
when you're finally ready to be opened;
the moment which might not come--
but even then I need to wait while the decanter
slowly opens you, oxidizes you to perfection;
eons after eons of contemplation,
as I wait for you to travel the long road.

I just want to drink you already,
and have your molecules in my bones
like how I drank the wine
from a vineyard that was watered from
the ashes of the dead and
the bones of lost seas--
or the atoms of the Risen Christ
flowing through my veins after the Eucharist
intertwined with dribbles of Mavrodaphne;
I am impatient and seek my fill of you.

But I have to wait, and
the waiting is killing me again.
Why do I always end up in the position
of waiting for my desires to be fulfilled?
I never asked for God to teach me patience...
Yet, clearly, that's my cross to bear...
Again.

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"In Painted Deserts"

In painted deserts I drink
the ashes of lost Triassic forests
in that desert painted within my mind.
They get caught in my teeth
like gleaming crystals of tartaric acid
in a glass of unstabilized roussanne.
A wine golden as the sun...
As that sun which bakes
this barren landscape;

Stark as my wounded soul.
It burns away my sins
which stretch out ever before me
like the ribbon of pavement
that extends to the limitless horizon
and the Jurassic cliffs---
Like the dead river which once flowed here,
all braided streams and oxbow lakes
Shaded by a lush canopy of Araucarioxylons,
With monsters groaning,
lurking in the deep pools
and hidden in the green shadows.

Now, only the hot howling wind
roars through the Chinle,
hot like an oven even in May,
and the green is replaced by
greys and purples and reds,
like a bruise;
the bruises on my heart
and it's vibrant shades of fossil mud and ashes
are filled with
the bones of the dead forests
which lay bare and exposed in the hot sun.

Somehow, you're standing next to me,
In this land of personal Triassic ghosts,
willing to walk amidst the bones of the dead.
If you want to, don't let me stop you.
I can't figure out why you would,
And it's making my heart slowly thaw.
So, here. Take this gold cross,
And help me carry it.
I don't know that I can do it alone.

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"My albariño"
I drove back from the 8th circle of hell
after a bad date two nights ago
and found myself thinking only of you
and for a moment, my dearest love,
I thought about leaving this landscape
that I love and cherish
behind me and returning back
to your embrace;
and throwing the desert and
my kingdom aside for you.
I miss you.
I miss knowing that even there was
an entire continent between us
that there was someone
to whom I meant the world,
and that you meant the world to me.
You were my Albariño,
dancing in the salty ocean winds of summer
which warmed my soul
on the days when the darkness hit;
hair blown in the wind with the
sweet scent of sea salt, peach, and jasmine-
the same scents as the bouquet
Of this bright wine dancing in my glass
under this full moon
brooding upon the mountain.
I wish you were here with me this night
upon the lonely black hills
in this aged mining town
amidst the precambrian ash-heap
filled with copper.
I love you like I love the desert;
and I wish that you were here with me
but like this grape—you do best by the sea
bathed in salt spray and thundering waves;
not as well as in the desert
smote under the silver moon.
I still love you.
I don't know
that I could ever stop.
How do you stop a mountain?
How can you halt the sea?
All I can do is pen this a saudaude song
for that lost world we once dreamed together.

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To Allison

“To Allison” (Sangiovese)
I remember when we first met;
you knocked on my door when I was five,
introduced by the girl I whom was my first crush
(pardon the grape pun, if you will)
asking if we could all play together.
And so, we did, for years to years;
for a while, we were apart,
but that's just how life works,
sometimes.

I look back on all the years;
and you were my first sangiovese-
my very first, before even
the first wine I drank deeply at fifteen
from far distant and mysterious Tuscany
dancing in campfire light
on the night the heavens were lit by fire
from the absent sun, and coyotes howled
with laughter at the aburdity
of burning palm fronds.

(You see, at fifteen,
when all the other boys
were discovering the girls
wrapped up under soft sheets
and ended up seduced by the thrill
of bare breasts and soft lips
I discovered wine,
and popped the cork
to my destiny, seduced by history
and bottled sunlight.)

I weep for the pain you have suffered
at the hands of those who
abuse your heart and soul.
You, like the grape I adore
were my first true love and friend.
We are siblings now, by fate if not by blood
and I would not have it any other way;
for we are each other's Sangiovese,
and that is more permanent
than any other love
known to humanity.

For when trouble comes in the night
and all the other grapes leave us heartbroken
we call each other in tears
knowing the other
has the bottle open,
and the glasses ready for healing laughter
while we toast to the destruction
of the motherfuckers who wronged us.
Drink deep, my dearest friend and sister;
Daylight is coming.
And all things are beautiful again
in the light of the sun.

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proto-poem, prose

I drive across the desert under skies as dark as tannat, stars bleached out by the full moon which shnes like a searchlight across the open landscape. As I wander through the garden of failed romances, their bones peeking out from the rich loam and the roots of unruly vines, I wonder, what will your place be?

Will you be more bones and flesh and history to enrichen this garden of the surreal, your molecules forming chlorophyll and tannins for me to drink in the deep watches of the night, while I stare across the valley, or will you bring your pruners, gloves, posts, and cordons, and bring order to the vineyard of my heart from out of the chaos of improper custodians, and make my fruit shine deep, rich, and fulfilled within the glass? Thus allowing me to stand before my maker, and say, "Drink me, O Lord, for I am ready to be one with you. I am yours."

I walk through the mesquite by moonlight, dodging thorns and intrigue by the edge of a river, hoary with frost and age, carrying the bones of the sea, the children of the sky, and the brothers of fire, worn into cobbles and dust. I missed the waterfall with this storm, but maybe, just maybe, I shall catch the next one with my thirsty roots, and drink deeply to my fill.

But for now, there's the empty river which flows through the garden of dead romances, with winter pruned vines ready for frost and snow, the road of the stars, the tannat-dark sky with the polished silver moon, and that is fine and dandy by me. We seek consentual worlds.... one day we will find them. I return to the open road, climbing slowly to my kingdom amidst the clouds, and slowly frost congeals upon my windshield, as I ascend into the sky and snowclad heights overlooking a valley reflecting the moon. You can follow me, if you want. You know my view; take it or leave it, because I'm me. Im dome playong games. If you want me, claim me. You know where to find me; behind the sky, amidst the vines on the mountain smote beneath the silver moon.

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Blachernae

I have watched Kings and Emperors
rise and fall like wheat
before the sun in spring
and the scythe in autumn,
and martyrs fall like
cold iron in winter,
their bodies burned on pyres
and their ashes mixed
with blood and ash.

I have watched cities
burn to the ground four times;
ashes, wine, and rubble mixed with
the tears of the innocent I protect.
Twice I witnessed the death of empires;
once from outside, decapitated;
and once from the inside,
rotted away from infection.

I have been paraded on walls
like trophies invincible
before invading hordes
from beyond the horizons
and then quietly hidden away in
monasteries in coves by the sea
where monks stared into my eyes
to seek the infinate cosmos;
the wisdom that is from the image
from which I was forged
in the likeness of the God-Bearer
before being given away again
as a gift befitting a king.

It's different, these days.
It is quiet now; nobody asks me
for much of anything anymore.
Now I sit quietly away
from the ravages of time
in an art museum; ignored,
forgotten, gathering dust,
occasionally being pointed at.
It's strange, to be almost forgotten...
at least for the time being.

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