by Michael Sisson

First collect your materials. Honey: the neon messages of corolla colors clash like advertisements in a language absolutely material: sap secreted in the center of buckwheat, clover, goldenrod – names that allude to pastoral origins, essential experiences, reality, that of which we can not speak: a summer meadow populous with blossoms and bees. Mix it all up: honey and water, yeast and he chemicals: sodium bisulfite, ammonium nitrate: the latest last words from Western civilization.

Find some good books for pounds to the gallon, days of fermentation, myths and gifts of eloquence for the bards.

Put it in a quiet corner-no bright lights, no barking dogs-let it work, froth and foam and smell like unspeakable natural processes. Siphon the good liquor off the top into a clean carboy: each time you rack it there's a draft to try: the first is too rough, too cloudy, too acid, too yeasty, redolent of its raw sources: many rackings, many drafts, always leaving behind the lees, and finally when it's clear as a simple declarative sentence, when a single glass can make you hear the humming of wildflowering fields, bottle it, age it and give it a name. Honey is the bees' poetry: this wine is mine.

Vicky Rowe
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