Pipe Dreams

Pipe Aston 2010

Each night I sit under yew’s shade

to have my sip of baccy.

It starts with that ember, as precious

as the one carried camp to camp.

Then grows with the smoke to bring

the valley closer, as parson

holds his churchwarden, considering

in the palm of his hand.

All day it has nestled in the pouch

of my pocket, a small

weight of remembrance against

the turmoil of the hours.

Each has her caddy, some for the bitter

leaves of tea, rare spice

for stronger stomachs; mine contains

sweet leaf of the Americas.

I’ll drink the tisanes my Mother’s mother

made, chamomile from

the giant’s race, nettle for seed sneeze,

rose for loves pleasure.

Though no pleasure matches that first gulp,

the red flower blooming

in the bowl makes limbs stretch long,

uncurl like tabby in barn yard sun.

The fear of failure, the pomp of pride

all smoored to an even glow,

leaving a patterning of thoughts

to flock tumble and fall.

Deborah Gaudin