Photo By Jools Thatcher

Photo By Jools Thatcher

The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Alcohol“.

Afternoon Jon,
Once again greetings from Coventry, well just outside of Coventry anyway.

Last week’s theme, for those who can remember back that far, was “Ghosts” and today’s theme, ironically, is another type of spirit, “Alcohol” a topic equally close to my heart – as Dave Moll would say, “in moderation of course.”

Without wasting any more time, let me introduce Henry, who in happenstance, bridges the themes of the last two weeks

Henry, when you’re ready old son…

To play this poem directly in your browser – just click the “play” button below:

Also have a listen to the tracks on the new EP “Once We Were Kings Of The World


Henry loved his alcohol
Fired the heart and soothed the soul
So much so he claimed it was divine

No other liquid had such class
Each drop, religion in a glass
Didn’t Jesus turn water into wine?

“Holy water”, Henry’s thinking
Endless uses, not just drinking
To be cherished in all its many forms

A scan of labels, packs and jars
Brought a pant of oohs and ahhs
It moisturises, bleaches, whitens, warms

Mouth wash and cosmetics
Repellents, diuretics
Stain remover, lip gloss and shampoo

Sunscreen, pain relief
Cleans your car and cleans your teeth
Is there anything that alcohol can’t do?

The grog was his Achilles Heal
Before and after every meal
From when he woke until when he went to bed

It upset Valmae, his wife
Who warned his ways would end in strife
“Keep this up Henry, doctor says you’re dead”

Henry fumed with indignation
“I drink in moderation”
“So I like a little nip, is that a sin?”

“You can’t link my diabetes”
“With pouring sherry on my Weeties”
“Doesn’t everybody dunk their Jatz in gin?”

Liqueurs, cocktails, ciders
Aperitifs, vodka spiders
For vitamins he’d add tomato juice
Pork ribs with whiskey glaze
Tequila in the mayonnaise
Val gave up, crying “Henry, what’s the use?”

Vascular disease
Claimed both legs at the knees
But Henry’s lifestyle didn’t miss a beat

He tried to down the anaesthetic
Refused to wear his new prosthetic
“To drink” he scoffed, “You don’t need bloody feet”

The end was sudden, when it came
Twelve martinis to his name
They found him with the glass still to his lip

Though his blood was point three five
Despite the grog, he’d be alive
If he hadn’t choked on an olive pip

He willed his body laid out nude
In a vat with hops and brewed
Or bathed in cloves and wine and slowly mulled

But Valmae wasn’t thrilled
She preferred he be distilled
“I’d rather he was sipped instead of skulled”

Henry got his way at least
They stuffed him full of yeast
Fermented him, then stored him in a cask

Though he was a little pale
Henry made a splendid ale
What more could any tippler ask?

Henry’s final hours were spent
At almost ten percent
A full strength brew by anybodies measure

Instead of ashes or a vault
Henry’s spirit fused with malt
If only more of us could expire and give such pleasure

© Copyright 2013 Ian Bland

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