Here are six more poems from our recent Twitter poetry party on Tea. And there are quite a few more to come.
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 3
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.
A Thousand Miles Away
I was a thousand miles away,
sipping orange with the Mandarins.
I was a thousand miles away from
home when I sat with him for my
first cup of tea, Tea made in a squat
I was a thousand miles away, and
in the unfamiliar morning
light fell into my cup, inviting the new.
I was a thousand miles through time,
past you, wishing for a return.
I was a thousand miles away tonight,
perhaps the sleepytime variety
wasn’t the best choice;
I am perhaps too still.
I was a thousand miles away in the
Stillness of steeping, seeping peace.
I was a thousand miles away, between
our cups, the contents of which
kept us close.
I was a thousand miles away
but still could feel your lips
sipping at my memory.
I was A thousand miles away while
a thousand cups were poured.
I was a thousand miles away, at
a thousand different tea parties,
sipping at the edges, hearing
the call home.
As I sip you, I lose my thoughts
a thousand miles away.
My tea is not fancy; it comes in a box
from a grocery shelf.
Some clerk stocked it; it was on sale
so I bought it to drink in
a slender class of splendor, or in
dragon pots with jade eyes,
three thousand years told in the
bottom of a cup. Or to allow the
tea maids squat their ceremony of
tea past wishing or sleeping or sipping.
Or to drink from the elephant pot
At Grandma’s house, part of her
collection, never pouring tea from
that ceramic trunk, of course, but still
drinking tea sweet and aromatic,
behind thin screens and scrolls
Perhaps I should drink my tea
in coffee mugs
Tea and the Nightingale
In the Far East, somewhere west of
the moon, a nightingale sings as she
waits, her tea steaming. She wishes
a wish of time, when nights end just
just like this, with a cup of tea and
poetry, a blending of sweet and
smooth with rhyme and verse, small
chips of love, porcelain sweet.
Tea, Madness and Alice
Away, away, awash in this sea of Pekoe
making my heart flitter, I find tea and
madness, madness and tea, just like
the story for King George III.
Tea. I am mad about tea. Haven’t you
Heard of the mad hatters and rabbits
and girls who shrink and go mad for tea?
I love my tea weak and iced; my coffee,
like my children, blonde and sweet.
The anti-purist father and daughter,
share tea and life surrounded by
stuffed friends for an afternoon
I am not mad about tea but if I were
I would never tell you because that
would be crazy, like Sipping loss.
it is true: nothing makes me forget I
am mad about you.
Tea and White Rabbits
Because it is not coffee, because
they are chasing white rabbits,
I am mad, mad for my tea,
my honey-bee, my honey-tea
myhoneyed Alice growing wildly.
Set up the table; do a jig and stay
still within the pot this time, this tea,
my madness gone, except for thee.
Oh, a verse with mad hatters and
white rabbits, or was that white
hatters and mad rabbits?
Perhaps white habits and mad ratters.
Curiouser and curiouser those
white rabbits at the tea party, their
madness fragrant in a sea of tea,
They were mad enough to drink it
in mugs, whatever they had at hand.
The cup crushed, the mug smashed,
she held hot tea in her hand.
The queen of hearts smashed her
tarts and poured out her tea like a
vein opened; the Hatter was mad, but
not over the tea, perhaps?
The blossoms make the delicate
jealousy rise, bubbles of air coaxed
from the water by the element’s
red heat. Is this thetea that makes
us mad or are we mad over the tea?
But this is a flavor too delicate for
rabbits. Careful of white rabbits:
such magic as they do undoes thee.
Hatters and peaches, creme and noon,
falling white rabbits trip, sip my dreams.
while chasing white rabbits to the party
of tea, she forgot to wear the hat.
she forgot her name was Mary Ann, a
name as old as this drink. Alice chased
the rabbit down that deep, deep hole
to find a cup of tea, the whisper of her soul
Tiny tea cups; crumpets and clotted cream,
a feast on lawn so green.
Five thousand rabbits jumped from the past
balancing teacups on their apricot hats.
Someone’s spiking their tea.
Temperatures rising, heat,
a summer night humid. Perhaps tea was
better left to autumn or winter weather?
The Hatter was mad, mad, mad but quick-
thinking, too, no doubt, as Alice did he save.
Five Thousand Years of Tea
As old as the drink, as young as her pigtails,
five thousand years, a girl’s first sip. Her
trembled hand and tumbled tea;
hope smashed in a china cup. Five
thousand years of leaves and steeping
and ceremony, a drink five thousand years
old, Egyptian, in the Nile Valley, perhaps,
first tea as first writing.
The universe within five thousand light years,
where light was born with the first cup of tea.
I poured the tea onto the ground, this drink
as old as the earth itself. I make no ceremony
for its age, only allowing it to endure in
its quiet way: in throats, down hearts.
- Poets and Poems: Paul Willis and “Somewhere to Follow” - July 13, 2021
- Poets and Poems: Claude McKay and “Harlem Shadows” - July 6, 2021
- Poets and Poems: Dan Rattelle and “The Commonwealth” - June 29, 2021