Poetry by D.W. Walker

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This poem reflects the problems of finding good Australian plonk in England.


I need to buy a bottle of wine
as a gift to a friend in a foreign land
that claims to have no name—
just a picture of an old woman.
Fid Def.

Our wines there are nameless too,
No Hunter, No Barossa, No Clare,
Just South East Australia.
Our simple marketing man keeping it simple
for the simple Poms.

Bottles only, of course,
of both our grape varieties—
Red, and white.
We are upmarket in the Mother Country.

I look for something special to take,
A real Australian wine, perhaps.
Sun-scorched shiraz from the searing summer heat,
Spoon standing-up wine, until it eats the spoon away,
Crust like the ash on Montserrat.
Headache next morning.

Instant blandness tempts.
Merlot cutting cabernet,
Hot from the vat,
At its peak yesterday.
Suits all palates—
except mine.

I grab a bottle from a supermarket shelf
and cart it twelve thousand miles.
Its label has a place, and only one grape.
She'll do.

Copyright © D.W. Walker, 1997

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