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.