The Kitchens - a Guided Tour

That's not a pneumatic drill but a giant's wazzer
for puréeing soup. Cast an eye on this identity parade
of carboys filled with dressings - caraway, juniper,
mustard and cumin seed. Cooks waltz in and out.
A coldchest, winking between three and four degrees,
is temporary home to French smoked chickens,
Danish salamis, sliced rolled Wurst, finest pancetta,

a fat hand of heat-sealed chorizos. There are no muses
for the stockman's art, for the whisker's knack
and the slicer's craft, the guile you need with pastry.
That's a sink deep-filled with chilling cos; coffers
marked glass cloths or linen only; tubs of 'TASKI profi'
and 'Suma shine' lie ready. A primed supply
of toast racks, ramekins, cakestands and the eggcups

show their little faces below the WANTED shots
of waiters-of-the-month. Here's the infernal machine
where dirty strainers, streaky cleavers, oily woks
and steamy colanders go to get clean. Hot - don't touch!
Dinner plates are sent to their doom in the Comenda
and set back fresh in stacks of pearl, bubblegum
and bottle green; we want our glasses 'all to polished'

and there in a corner, a breakage tray like Kim's game
gone wrong. Planning to serve Glayva and tablet?
Here's a 'how to' demo photo. A regiment of milk jugs
is ready to advance. 'FIND OUT - FIND OUT EVERYTHING'
A Crypto Peerless, on its dinner-hour, waits to knead
whatever you need to knead. We are cosmopolitans -
Brazilian figs, Dutch courgette fleurs, Canary toms,

our baby fennel is Pyrenean. Our oatmeal is pinhead
stoneground Scotch - seeing as it's you. Remember,
we read the guests, anticipate their needs!
And we anticipate their tongues, we anticipate crumbs,
we anticipate sighs as they un-notch their belts
and sit back, sighs of satisfaction rising in the atrium,
the last mouthful of merlot still to be savoured.


This poem is from a forthcoming pamphlet The Bubble Bride, due from the Scottish press Akros some time in May.

If you've any comments on his poem, Roddy Lumsden would be pleased to hear from you.