The Listeners: A BREWERS TALE
‘IS there anybody there?’ said the Demon Brewer,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his bike in the silence brmmmd in the grasses
And fell to the forest’s ferny floor:
And a tommy gun inched out of the window,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No Nodialness from the leaf-fringed sill
Lean’d over and look’d into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplex’d and still.
But only a band of phantom listeners
Untouchables that dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the Demon world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the booby-trapped hall,
Hearkening in an air stirr’d and shaken
By the lonely Demon Brewer’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his bike he lifted, and sat astride,
’Neath the starr’d and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
’Tell them I came, and no one answer’d,
’That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the Untouchables,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the footrest,
And the sound of tyre on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the skidding wheels were gone.
The reason for their lack of action,
All pissed on Deadly Damson, each and every one.
With apologies to Walter De la Mare
Other Nodial writings :
The Auntie Vee Letters
The Brewers Tale II
I must go down to the still again, near the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a very fast bike and a road to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the handlebar's shaking,
And a grey mist on the asphalt and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the still again, for the call of the damson wine,
Is a wild call and a clear call that one may not decline;
And all I ask is a sunny day with the condenser smoke flying,
And the copper pipe and the boiling spuds, it makes me feel like crying.
I must go down to the still again, to the damson liquid life,
To the bottles brewing, the corks waiting ,it tastes like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long drink's over.
With apologies to John Masefield
Auntie Jack Recollections
Rumpole's 1st Day in Court:Chapter One
Karwell Parked - be careful where you leave the car
Womb with a View - Doc beware!