The lineup starts with nine tall
bottles that call from behind a brick wall
like church bells ringing in yonder tower,
or like bottles always do in saucy dreams
In a former dale, still colourful after twenty years,
nimble hands taught to respect colour and substance;
hands taught not to abuse the characters found up and down
any of four isles — these set out to re-balance
not bottles on bracketed shelves able to withstand
more than the rickety bones that wait in disarray;
bones in need of braces against a strong shot of day — And
these hands re-balance the labels, the way JK did for witches.
When re-balancing takes place, the lucky and
the unlucky dip in the same line, and
speculate about who at sun-up will
withstand the shakes.
Some remember the dale’s golden days, and
some can only stomach it with pale ale;
the sun so strong it makes brow sweat bloody,
prevents no line growing west down the block.
Twenty years ago in a factory manufacturing iron they worked
slavishly filling the furnace, and today’s hot feels no different.
It’s somebody’s Sabbath, but whether you meet a demon or an angel;
whether you rest or worship, isn’t it all the same?