January 10, 2016

Brown Lady is Top of the Soundcloud Pops!

The hit parade of an unprecedented 268 Gaz29 world plays for the last 7 days:

https://soundcloud.com/gaz29-1/stats/plays/2016-01-04/2016-01-10/expanded

January 03, 2016

Letting in the New Year at Elsing Wassail


 An Elsing Wassail  (for Tim)


It was on a winter's evening
In bitter January
Where apple trees are fired and blessed
And wassailers sing free…

Three miles from Nowhere Lane
past a church rubbing brassy shoulders
with Eternity
across low fields
of mud-chastened pasture
and shoots of corn the green
‘green’ used to be
when the world was young,
winter girls with summer eyes
meet cider apple-cheeky boys
in the bleak midwinter
and kisses hang in the air

for though summer is lost as eden
in fallen Adam rain
with a waes heal and a freeman’s shout
we call it back again


breaking the winter silence,
letting the new year in
the moon a ghost of summer
windows glinting 


like texts of mediaeval latin

silver mermaids
haunting
pale-green cornfields ,
court of the apple king and queen
on a throne of wind-fall apples
kept fresh in january’s fridge

for though summer is lost as eden
in fallen Adam rain
with a waes heal and a freeman’s shout
we call it back again

he comes!
the green man, bush-bearded, twig-hatted, grinning
healthy disdain for health & safety,
triple-torching the timid evening
and leading the norse-unabatement society
whistling, rattling, stamping, drumming, cymballing, yelling, laughing
round the country bend and up the garden path
to the sleeping orchard of past, present and future,
where wrinkled boughs of talon wisdom
host a bonfire of all the inanities
interplanetary fireflies on the wild wind
tempting the robin
on an apple barque tide of good company
to the jigging mermaid:
a bird in the cider bush
with a whole summer in her hand

for though summer is lost as eden
in fallen Adam rain
with a waes heal and a freeman’s shout
we call it back again




Wassail ('Waes Heal') means 'good health'. It is an ancient Saxon ritual encouraging fertility in next year's apple trees and villagers. Tim Chipping has led Elsing's very own Wassail for 7 years and a large crowd of Wassailers from Elsing and beyond basked in the bonfire of good cheer, sharing apple-based sweetmeats and a timeless tradition. A noisy procession through the village announced the ritual. Afterwards, Long Shore Drift with guest drummer/ vocalist Anto Morra entertained The Mermaid tavern with instrumentals and songs and I read this poem. Pictured are visitors from the remote West of Norfolk Melanie and Emma Calway, Gareth Calway, and Tony Rafferty (with tambourine) and London-Dereham Celtic punk folker Anto Morra.