Below are six more poems edited from our recent Twitter poetry party, all inspired and prompted by The Republic of Tea.
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 6
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.
(Photograph by Jessica McGuire)
What’s found in the cup
I wanted to play but was
restlessly checking the boiler
Must keep the steam contained.
Containing the steam retains the
Can a cup be found that holds
My cup holds only tea,
Tea holds its place
in the space
by the cup.
Tea only matters in so much as
what it stands for -the pausing – to
celebrate the ordinary.
A leaf floats
A leaf aloof floats on the surface
tension of a steaming cup,
memorializing the laziness of
Could the cup hold more,
could it brim with spice,
could it overflow with honey
and swirling leaves?
Brimming with love, dancing with
memories honey sweet, the water
is only tense about the edges. Dip
your finger below; find its serenity.
Swimming in Tea
The naughty leaf warms the palms,
swirl sthe juice and reads the news
while we catch glimpses of our
memories swirled in the bottom of
I swam in that lake of tea, a warm
lake, brimming with fragrance of
the East. Now the
teacups are washed and dried,
stacked neatly on the shelves
until we meet again to share a cup
of life. I drank in a lake of warm tea,
I loved in a warmth of thee.
He take a name in vain
for the love of tea.
Father forgive me, for I am tea:
the pause, the confession, the
party that is joy in the morning,
repentance and mercy, secret grace
whispered, forgiveness given.
I wash my hands at this cup and
around your words.
The Commerce of Tea
Sell me your tea by the ship load and
I will love you a year’s worth of memories.
Fortunes like yours were sold down the river.
How much tea can we sell in our cabinet colony,
crammed like a psyche, soothed with cream?
How much tea can we sell, asked the business man?
How much tea can we sell in a year? Calculate that
not once but twice, walking up the side of our mountain.
For a ride up our mountain I would wait, silvered
Cup in hand. Tea leaves and tender hearts met
on the mountain. How much tea can we tax,
asked the tax man?
How much tea can we drink, was the reply.
The tax man grinned.
There was tea for sale under the ship’s sail
until taxed too much; then the taste was lost
and with it, the empire.
Empire, Tea and Destiny
The East Indian Trading Company
brought spices, tea and despair
to the Cape of Good Hope
The colonies opened their arms
to tea, that taste from home.
The colonies brewed their tea
in a harbor of revolt, a revolt
contained, at first, within a
bone china tea cup, so
impossibly light and elegant.
The Trading Company and all
these tea leaves had a history
For tea, you see, was an empire,
a colony, a republic.
Servants brought tender cups
of indentured time hot to their
masters beneath the jacarandas
who toasted themselves
with tea and croquet, which
gave way to tea and crumpet.
But when tea is hot it carries me
across the continent like sultry
jasmine opening up like a flower.
At the end of my journey to find
the true, the mountain was my destiny
our destiny is tea, cinnamon spiced,
a destiny written in the stars of the
Southern Cross; from the cross to
the cape; from the cape to the port,
the great tea port called London.
I rode with destiny, a teacup in his hands,
destiny, told in the stars or the bottom
of a cup, swirling leaves in silver cups,
- 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