This poem is partly about Robert's pie shop in Bradford, which stayed open during the Second World War, even after a bombing raid smashed its window panes.


Singing herb singe roast vapours Fray: Saturday
pie-floater in Rawson market; waxy peas island
gelatine-coated pink flush before comic stall.
Passionate friendship wanted with a Bentos,
good sense of meat to gravy ratio. Slim,
attractive suet looking for pudding love
with like-minded crust: no tin wasters;
Swiss-slapped paté on the brawn of pigley
-pie, ridged with needle precision and oh,
so delicately browned at the knobs, bow-tie
at the centre hot-puddled, pie de pundio,
fayre buttys of Porke smyte with Vele welcome.
Mint-chopped sausage baguette found abandoned:
police are savouring bent expenditum
at Bolton Priory in pyis et pastellis. Pie-purrs
undercut by cholesterol scam: police support nut diet.
Sought in attractive wastes of Uppermill: chips just so,
clay-coloured dish Delia-thick in hot top-slick
– ‘That’s not a pie, it’s boo-gloop with a bin lid’ –
pastry chocked round oval but peels off faced with fork.
Bramble for afters? No, two would be spoiling us.
Policy wonks hit pies with fat tax, fatties
who puttis fast at their vly pyiss, headlines
Yorkshire chippies’ favourite rag, The Fryer.
Finger buffet threat to national health:
Blair’s babes weaned on focaccia and lamb’s lettuce
forced into Mowbray tour of the bow-walled pie,
northern one-portion growlers and stand-pies
that stand-pipe Robert’s pie-house in Bradford:
Jerry bombs cobweb the glass but daily displays
defiantly steam. ‘Every puff’, puffed Priestley,
‘was defying Hitler. Keep your pie level
to avoid ungelled gravy dribble incident.’
The Fryer pastes the government’s attempt
to ration meat dripping – ‘Animal fat
for the dominant race. Animal fat
for the dominant county within that race.’
Cold balls lovingly brisked with milk yolk: Sunday chow
brought family together not gristle niblets
in bad butchers’ pork cast-offs. Bison pies
go missing in Salford posse mix up. Small shops’
warmers in sausage roll chaffage scandal:
police inspect gluten levels, mustard lovers,
cuckoo mayonnaise run off with sheer pie.


from The Land of Green Ginger (Salt, 2008), © Antony Rowland 2008, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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