This topic lead us in many directions.
For Lesly, it brought back memories around working in the vineyards in the Coonawarra…
And the stories that happened during that time. Her poem reflects that.

There was a lot of learning from the incidentals.
The realisation of the physical demands.
The technical precision with setting up the vines on the wire, is more like an art.
The nature of the grape as to the wine.

We learned that champagne grapes are picked very green… that’s why it’s sour.
Some grapes are seedless yet they come from seeds?
And about how the vines are grafted…
Some red skins, produce white wine…

Peter’s poet about Black Rot, had us talk about common diseases that put grapes at risk.
We had Nigel visit, guess where… the Wine Centre!
Terry’s expression around the parallel lifeline of the grape to wine and a love journey…
And of course the memory of Lucille Ball, squashing grapes to make wine… hilarious.
And the thought that maybe there is something about organic wines, because of how they are produced.


Hanging on a grapevine,
There was a time,

Working in a vineyard come rain or shine,
Planting and pruning, hands cold from the pain

Grape picking by hand, in a terrible mess
In amongst the vines, watching for nests

Spiders galore having a wonderful time
Spreading their webs from vine to vine

Frosty morning, walking on ice,
The poor old toes, feel like they’re in a vice

People enjoying champagne, cabernet sauvignon
Pinot noir, shiraz
Sipping and sipping until it’s all gone
Let’s pop a cork
Have a wonderful time,



There was a bunch of us,
you know, hanging around.
When some-berry starts yelling,
black rot, black rot, black rot.
The chant spreads like wildfire.
Up and down the trestle wires.
Will we all get sick?
Never to be picked?
Mother vine is stressed.
She sends more sugar,
down through our stems.
Soothing, nourishing our stalks.
Peace returns, a false report.

Our friends, sun, rain and wind,
watch us grow and ripen.

The vibration of the machines,
Moving, closing in on our home.
Soon I will be shaken loose.
I will fall from my berry stem.
Single, alone, losing my skin.
To be crushed into a juice.
Left to ferment in a vat.
Slowly breaking down, then
siphoned to a bottle.
From where I will be consumed
and as I heard on the grapevine
I might end up being abused.

PJR    5.07.2021

Heard it on the Grapevine…

Knitting lace and filigree,
Wise counsel in amongst,
Who would ever realize,
There’s power in what they see.

Women’s circle,
Begins the weaving,
Talking and sharing,
Giving meaning…

Women meeting at the well,
Passing on what’s important to tell…

The innocence of the woven ware,
Sharing threads if they dare.

Wheels now set in motion,
On the grapevine,
‘I heard it through the grapevine
How much longer would you be mine?

We won’t know what we’ll wake up to,
Which grapevine will shine?
Depends on who was at the well,
At that moment in time…

The wind in the willows,
Whispering quietly in the billows,

Landing on the ears of time,
Is it ever going to be fine?

A circle that begins the grapevine,
The direction in which we take,
So be aware of the source,
For goodness sake!

So, circle plus grapevine,
Equals spiral up or down,
Which way, we do not know?
Until we hit the ground …

Can we feel the grapevine?
I suppose if there is time…

To smell the vines,
To stay in time,
To taste the wine,
Ah… so devine.

TLab 4th July 2021


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