Saturday, December 24, 2011

Glass of Stars

Meteor shower

Glass of Stars

Whirl in whirl in
in the dance of stars;
Spin the table or
let the table spin you,
say the warding words
better, write them faster
deeper, in something bitter
and sweet as the old Widow's
fizz, her finger dipped
in larceny, lime and sugar,
a yeasty effervescence flourished
like a lacy bubbled flag of air and stars,
the press of love in the heavy glass
a vintage stood on its head
in the riddling rack, troubled
and twisted day by day, until
the acidulated dregs 
of its primitive self drop
like galled stones
rolled away when that last
bit of sweetness comes
that floats the vessel
finally full.

As  I dip my finger
to write your name on my heart
an empathy of shooting stars rattles down
filling my glass in the cold night.

December 2011

The riddling rack is an invention for the proper fermentation and mass production of champagne, credited to the formidable Widow Cliquot and her cellar master in the 19th century, per wikipedia: "...Composed much like a wooden desk with circular holes, the rack allowed a bottle of wine to be stuck sur point or upside down. Every day a cellar assistant would gently shake and twist (remuage) the bottle to encourage wine solids to settle to the bottom. When this was completed. the cork was carefully removed, the sediments ejected, and a small replacement dose of sweetened wine added."

Header Image: Meteor Shower, by Nilo Merino Recalde on flick'r
Footer Image: Label, Veuve Cliquot Champagne
via google image search 



  1. This reads like an arcane spell, a love charm, to ensure one's lover remains true. I would certainly raise a glass of bubbly to that!

  2. For the simple minded you are the sweetness we dregs beg. Simple songs troubled and twisted, you write them faster deeper filling the vessel until finally full. In sweet larceny I whirl.

  3. Worthy of Your Witchiness indeed. So, are the shooting stars the dregs, or is her glass finally full? As this is Verse Escape, am thinkin she got a glass full of dregs. Completely unfair for someone who can write lines like "larceny, lime, and sugar" and "flourished like a lacy bubbled flag".

  4. I suppose I should have considered champagne bubbles as stars, but I never did, so thank you for it. But that empathy of shooting stars . . . well just one more reason you are a master of this craft. I'll add another image to your personal mythology, you and that stirring finger, shooting stars.

  5. Who other than Cerridwen would brew this wassail of mystery's history, to be savored by a winter's repose in which the stars themselves are effervescent? Shooting stars (and comets) are also augments, prophecies, old truths retold to ancient longing. I read recently that the Bethlehem star may actually be a dual star system that occasionally (in stellar time) twines into a flare ... a celestial maraschino cherry to plop into this Hedgewitch verbal cocktail. A glass full of cold night is consummate with every half-empty glass toasted to better times ... Brendan

  6. there's an intense sensuality in your words here hedge..i'm familiar with this process and serves for a great metaphor for life as well...when the years on the riddling rag prepare us for the ultimate finish and sweetness...much enjoyed..merry christmas to you hedge

  7. ooo delicious set a quick pace straight out the gate on this one...magical mystical..i hope your heart is warm tonight and you have a very merry holiday....smiles.

  8. WOW! That ending gives me chills.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  9. Thanks all, and a very Merry Christmas Eve to everyone--thanks so much for stopping by. Everyone seems to have got a little something different from this one--and here I thought I was being too obvious. ;-)

    @Kerry: It kind of started as a spell--at first the whole poem was the beginning four lines and the ending three--but I was lured off into the champagne metaphor. You know how that goes.

    @TUG: Thanks, and glad to put some festivity into things. Feliz Navidad, mi amigo.

    @Claudia--yes you got exactly what was in my mind. When I read about the process, especially that wonderful term 'riddling rack' I knew it had to go in a poem.

    @FB: when you're drinking it's easy to think the dregs are delightful, true. I should have slapped my 'uncharacteristically cheerful' tag on this one.

    @Ruth: Thanks for reading and sharing a sip of starjuice. Best of winter wonderlands to you on the farm this holiday.

    @B: Yes, some of the oldest portents of all, and thanks for tying this in to the historical christmas story. Sometimes when I look at the night sky, it is indeed like a toast, a cold clear draft that goes straight to the head. Pardon my alcoholic metaphor--but I couldn't pass up that riddling rack, with the whole of life designed to turn and twist us, shake out our sediments and replace them with a sweeter taste--at least on a good day. ;-)

    @bri: Thanks boss and I hope your Christmas settles down and delivers the best of presents--your family around you being happy together.

    @Laurie--thanks for reading, and a very Merry Christmas to you as well.

  10. This is the type of poem to sip slowly and savor.

    May your Christmas be purely magical, hedgewitch.

  11. "an empathy of shooting stars"...oh my goodness, would I ever love to have a brain that could think up that phrase alone, never mind all the glorious others. Reading this was a gift, this morning. Thank you.

  12. Many thanks, and Merry Christmas, Talon and Sherry--thanks so much for always coming by to read and comment, and may the New Year be bright for you both.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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