There is a man who beats me to the local coffee house at least once a week. He’s rugged, wears flannel and combat boots. His beard, unkempt and longish. His eyes, deeply inset.
The barista asks him whether he’d like room for cream. He tells her cream is only good when it’s fronted by Eric Clapton, and catechizes that the highest form of coffee sacrilege is its dilution with dairy. She gives it to him black, for the love of all that’s holy, takes it from a carafe that sits off to the side. This is the container for the char-black sludge reserved for roughnecks, architects, and chemically-enhanced hipster students. Them and this John-the-Baptist of a man, that is. He pays a buck fifty, nods his thank you, and lumbers out the front door.
There is also a delicate woman who frequents the shop. She, slender-fingered and closer to 70 than 60, always orders cafe au lait, which the baristas have learned to make just right for her. She slowly swipes her debit card and thanks them softly with an authentic basin accent (Achafalaya, maybe Thibbideaux?). The young girls behind the counter smile their appreciation, tell her to have a glorious day. “I always do,” she says.
Each patron has their own way. Ken takes a macchiato. Amber, a latte, two-and-a-half-pumps of Cinnamon in a paper cup. Brian pairs his with a Texas-style Kolache.
The way I see it, coffee preferences are individual, say something about the drinker. And for this week’s poetry prompt, we’re exploring these preferences. With that in mind, consider crafting a work of poetry from this very simple question: How do you take it?
Tweetspeak’s January Coffee and Tea Poetry Prompt:
This month’s poetry theme at Tweetspeak is coffee and tea, and we’re composing poems that play with the theme. Perhaps you can gain a bit of inspiration from this month’s playlist, from the music at your local coffee joint, or from some other coffee or tea inspired piece of art. How do you participate?
1. Think about your favorite experiences, works of art, literary scenes, or songs that involve coffee or tea. Listen to the Tweetspeak monthly poetry playlist.
2. Compose a poem inspired by your coffee and tea experiences.
3. Tweet your poems to us. Add a #TSCoffeeCup hashtag so we can find it and maybe share it with the world.
4. If you aren’t a twitter user, leave your poem here in the comment box.
5. At the end of the month, we’ll choose a winning poem and feature it in one of our upcoming Weekly Top 10 Poetic Picks.
Last week, there were some great poems shared. Glynn Young captures the essence of the Café Du Monde in the poem by the same name. He writes in part:
To sit in the hottest part
of a hot summer’s day
in the most crowded part
of a touristed city
in the busiest establishment
on the busiest street
with the most taciturn waiters
in the world (outside of Paris)
Lynndianne of Poem in My Pocket tells a bit of a quirky story involving a newlywed coffee machine. In “For Better or Worse,” she writes:
He and she
received a shiny black coffee maker
as a formal wedding gift.
She, for he,
brewed a steamy pot every morning
as a dutiful wife.
He, for she,
drank his morning cuppa joe
as a faithful husband.
She, then he,
admitted (after the first anniversary)
that neither really cared for black coffee.
He and she
hid the coffee maker in a back cupboard
and drank orange juice for breakfast.
Finally, how could I resist posting Maureen Doallas subtle yet steamy tea poem.
In China I sip Dragon Pearls
fifteen hundred feet above sea level.
I am green as the hand-rolled leaves,
my yet-to-be-plucked bud needing
the most delicate handling
to yield you a cup of enchantment.
Now, let’s brew up some great poetry. Who’s first?