Tea and Poetry Tuesday

This is what Sarah Engler has to say about Tea Time:

As the centerpiece of a cherished ritual, it’s a talisman against the chill of winter, a respite from the ho-hum routine of the day.

The Health-Food Diner
by Maya Angelou

No sprouted wheat and soya shoots
And Brussels in a cake,
Carrot straw and spinach raw,
(Today, I need a steak).

Not thick brown rice and rice pilaw
Or mushrooms creamed on toast,
Turnips mashed and parsnips hashed,
(I’m dreaming of a roast).

Health-food folks around the world
Are thinned by anxious zeal,
They look for help in seafood kelp
(I count on breaded veal).

No smoking signs, raw mustard greens,
Zucchini by the ton,
Uncooked kale and bodies frail
Are sure to make me run

to

Loins of pork and chicken thighs
And standing rib, so prime,
Pork chops brown and fresh ground round
(I crave them all the time).

Irish stews and boiled corned beef
and hot dogs by the scores,
or any place that saves a space
For smoking carnivores.

Tea and Poetry Tuesday

Tea Tidbit:

Sherpa tea is frequently used to raise the internal body temperature and prevent hypothermia in mountain hikers. It’s common practice to make it in the same pot that the last meal was cooked in and before the pot is cleaned. This salvages food from the pot and adds flavor and nutrients to the tea.

 

But a tree has
a long suffering shapeIs
spread in half
by 2 limbed fate
Rises from gray rain
pavements
To traffic in the bleak
brown air
Of cities radar television
nameless dumb &numb mis connicumb
Throwing twigs the
color of ink To white souled
heaven, with
A reality of its own uses

 

Tea and Poetry Tuesday

“Tea, though ridiculed by those who are naturally course in their nervous sensibilities will always be the favorite beverage of the intellectual.”

Thomas de Quincy

 

Drum Dream Girl

On an island of music
in a city of drumbeats
the drum dream girl
dreamed
of pounding tall conga drums
tapping small bongó drums
and boom boom booming
with long, loud sticks
on bit, round, silvery
moon-bright timbales.
But everyone
on the island of music
in the city of drumbeats
believed that only boys
should play drums
so the drum dream girl
had to keep dreaming
quiet
secret
drumbeat
dreams.
At outdoor cafés that looked like gardens
she heard drums played by men
but when she closed her eyes
she could also hear
her own imaginary
music.
When she walked under
wind-wavy palm trees
in a flower-bright park
she heard the whir of parrot wings
the clack of woodpecker beaks
the dancing tap
of her own footsteps
and the comforting pat
of her own
heartbeat.
At carnivals, she listened
to the rattling beat
of towering
dancers
on stilts
and the dragon clang
of costumed drummers
wearing huge masks.
At home, her fingertips
rolled out their own
dreamy drum rhythm
on tables and chairs…
and even though everyone
kept reminding her that girls
on the island of music
have never played drums
the brave drum dream girl
dared to play
tall conga drums
small bongó drums
and big, round, silvery
moon-bright timbales.
Her hands seemed to fly
as they rippled
rapped
and pounded
all the rhythms
of her drum dreams.
Her big sisters were so excited
that they invited her to join
their new all-girl dance band
but their father said only boys
should play drums.
So the drum dream girl
had to keep dreaming
and drumming
alone
until finally
her father offered
to find a music teacher
who could decide if her drums
deserved
to be heard.
The drum dream girl’s
teacher was amazed.
The girl knew so much
but he taught her more
and more
and more
and she practiced
and she practiced
and she practiced
until the teacher agreed
that she was ready
to play her small bongó drums
outdoors at a starlit café
that looked like a garden
where everyone who heard
her dream-bright music
sang
and danced
and decided
that girls should always
be allowed to play
drums
and both girls and boys
should feel free
to dream.
Notes:
This poem was inspired by the childhood of a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers. In 1932, at the age of ten, Millo Castro Zaldarriaga performed with her older sisters as Anacaona, Cuba’s first “all-girl dance band.” Millo became a world-famous musician, playing alongside all the American jazz greats of the era. At age fifteen, she played her bongó drums at a New York birthday celebration for U.S. president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, where she was enthusiastically cheered by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. There are now many female drummers in Cuba. Thanks to Millo’s courage, becoming a drummer is no longer an unattainable dream for girls on the island. [note from the author]

 

Margarita Engle, “Drum Dream Girl” from Drum Dream Girl.  Copyright © 2015 by Margarita Engle.

Tea and Poetry Tuesday

He brewed his tea in a blue china pot, poured it into a chipped white cup with forget-me-nots on the handle, and dropped in a dollop of honey and cream. He sat by the window, cup in hand, watching the first snow fall. “I am,” he sighed deeply, “contented as a clam. I am a most happy man.”

Ethel Pochocki, Wildflower Tea

Moment of Strength
by Kelly F. Barr

I open the door and step outside
Where all is enveloped in white.
Everything’s clean in a sparkling tide,
Peaceful and silent to my delight.

O, for this moment to last a bit longer,
For such is a day of which I dream–
Where I can breathe and grow stronger
And live carefree, or so it would seem.

The silence is broken by delighted squeals.
Children pull sleds and leave a trail;
Amid a snowball fight, their laughter peals.
My moment’s gone. My spirit frail.

Tea and Poetry Tuesday

Tea does our fancy aid, repress those vapors which the head invade, and keeps that palace of the soul serene.
-Edmund Waller
After the Earthquake
by Erica Jong

After the first astounding rush,
after the weeks at the lake,
the crystal, the clouds, the water lapping the rocks,
the snow breaking under our boots like skin,
& the long mornings in bed. . .

After the tangos in the kitchen,
& our eyes fixed on each other at dinner,
as if we would eat with our lids,
as if we would swallow each other. . .

I find you still
here beside me in bed,
(while my pen scratches the pad
& your skin glows as you read)
& my whole life so mellowed & changed

that at times I cannot remember
the crimp in my heart that brought me to you,
the pain of a marriage like an old ache,
a husband like an arthritic knuckle.

Here, living with you,
love is still the only subject that matters.
I open to you like a flowering wound,
or a trough in the sea filled with dreaming fish,
or a steaming chasm of earth
split by a major quake.

You changed the topography.
Where valleys were,
there are now mountains.
Where deserts were,
there now are seas.

We rub each other,
but we do not wear away.

The sand gets finer
& our skins turn silk.

Tea and Poetry

“I like cups of tea and reading books and poetry and old people things.”

–Bindi Irwin

 

My Love of Creation
by Kelly F. Barr

I love the outdoors, no matter the season.
I’ll step outside for any reason;
To smell the rain or a flower;
The antics of a squirrel, over me, have power.

To look at the stars in the dark of night,
To view the colors of the sky at day’s first light;
To take a walk beneath the trees
Or in fascination, watch bumble or honey bees.

To sit on my deck and write while birds sing,
I do not know of a more delightful thing.
In the beauty of creation, I find peace
And my favorite form of stress release.