Here are the next four poems from our recent Twitter poetry party. The subject of tea takes a business, then political, and finally a personal, turn.
The prompts came from The Republic of Tea: The Story of a Creation of a Business as Told Through the Personal Letters of Its Founders by Mel and Patricia Zeigler.
Governments of Tea
By @mdgoodyear, @llbarkat, @SandraHeskaKing, @arestlessheart, @doallas, @cfraser83, @jezamama, @mattpriour, @togetherforgood, @MeganWillcome, @charsingleton, @TchrEric, @JennyTiner, @gyoung9751, @ThinkArtWorks, @thegypsymama, @PensieveRobin, @ElizabethEsther, @mxings, and @moondustwriter. Edited by @gyoung9751.
Where the Leaves Grow
I wonder where these leaves grow,
I wonder what they look like when
they’re green. And then
sold drunk, sold stored, sold crushed
to souls torn by the long day.
more tea, more baskets
brought down from the mountains,
the hillside air aromatic with
Tea steeps overnight in a pitcher,
a vacuum filled with brown or green
Sleeps well. Awakes strong.
And more to steep,
more color to drain,
more to chamomile nostalgia
poured into blossomed cups,
two blossoms cupped in the hand.
Gentle are the hands
that take me more and more
like tea takes the emptiness of old china
What is truth, he asked, but this cup
before me, a cheap steep here and now?
And what is tea, he asked, then took a
sip and breathed his last.
I hold a photograph, sepia,
of a plantation of tea. It is
still a fragrance in the dying light,
within the sips of another life,
another age more graceful than
my hurried shoes.
Before the republic, the colonies
stake their place, a thousand months
carving this wilderness into tea,
Plantation mint, black and spearmint
mix, rich in antioxidants,
sweetest when unsweetened.
The sound is not; stillness reigns on
sweet-tea summer porches
on warm-tea winter nights,
the same warm winter nights
you held the spring.
It was an empire of tea,
an empire built on tea
an empire afloat on sips of rose hips,
green and currants, peaceful flows.
Tea dumped in Boston harbor
sent the English home,
The party of tea overthrew
the empire of tea.
A rebellion of tea created
a republic of tea.
A Stillness of Tea
Within the stillness, a further pleasure
sought: apres tea.
Apres tea, le deluge.
The water flows over bag and leaves
a mixture of honey and chamomile,
a sleepytime blend of flowers and
sweetness, a still pleasure,
a pleasure still, further and further.
A double-dipped bag, a further
pleasure, stillness waiting for
the weary leaves; home to more
tea, a stillness after the war,
bitterness softened by cream.
Within the silence, you;
within the sea, me;
between the two,
Earl Grey crème.
When I was a younger girl
my friend’s mother made
tea in a great big pot,
Time made the water strong.
The English way, no doubt.
A further pleasure: how could
I have known when I first chose?
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