Tea and Poetry Tuesday

“There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson


an extract

i. in which the cartographer explains himself

You might say
my job is not
to lose myself exactly
but to imagine
what loss might feel like –
the sudden creeping pace,
the consultation with trees and blue
fences and whatever else
might prove a landmark.
My job is to imagine the widening
of the unfamiliar and also
the widening ache of it;
to anticipate the ironic
question: how did we find
ourselves here? My job is
to untangle the tangled,
to unworry the concerned,
to guide you out from cul-de-sacs
into which you may have wrongly turned.

ii. in which the rastaman disagrees

The rastaman has another reasoning.
He says – now that man’s job is never straight-
forward or easy. Him work is to make thin and crushable
all that is big and as real as ourselves; is to make flat
all that is high and rolling; is to make invisible and wutliss
plenty things that poor people cyaa do without – like board
houses, and the corner shop from which Miss Katie sell
her famous peanut porridge. And then again
the mapmaker’s work is to make visible
all them things that shoulda never exist in the first place
like the conquest of pirates, like borders,
like the viral spread of governments


The cartographer says
no –
What I do is science. I show
the earth as it is, without bias.
I never fall in love. I never get involved
with the muddy affairs of land.
Too much passion unsteadies the hand.
I aim to show the full
of a place in just a glance.


The rastaman thinks, draw me a map of what you see
then I will draw a map of what you never see
and guess me whose map will be bigger than whose?
Guess me whose map will tell the larger truth?

by Kei Miller

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

Today’s little tea tidbit is:

“The legend of tea’s origin is that it was discovered by Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2737 B.C., when a tea leaf accidentally fell into a bowl of hot water.”


Today I was inspired to write an original poem:

Too Long Summer

by Kelly F. Barr

Humidity and rain, humidity and rain,
The things of which this summer are made.
These summer months drag on and on
But I wish they were gone.

No sun and sandy beaches for me
As I prefer to remain burn-free.
Sticky clothes and sweated hair strands
Are more than I care to withstand.

I long for a cool breeze;
Colored leaves on the trees.
Scarecrows, pumpkins, Indian corn,
And gourds filling the horn.

Warm days, chilled nights
are my greatest delights.
The spicy tastes and scents of Fall:
My favorite season of them all.

Tea and Poetry

Today’s Tea Tidbit (from 365 Things Every Tea Lover Should Know):

In early eighteenth century Britain, tea was served in coffeehouses, which were restricted to men only. If women wanted tea from these locations, they had to have a man purchase the tea for them.

Today’s Poetry selection is one of my favorite fun poems by Jack Prelutsky:

We’re Four Ferocious Tigers

We’re four ferocious tigers,
at least, that’s what we seem,
our claws are at the ready,
our sharp incisors gleam,
we’re quite intimidating,
our start will make you blink,
our roar will make you shiver,
at least, that’s what we think.

We’re four ferocious tigers,
at least, that’s what we hear,
our ominous demeanor
will chill your atmosphere,
and yet you need not fear us,
don’t scream and run away,
we only eat spaghetti,
at least, that’s what we say.

Tea and Poetry

Today’s Tea tidbit is a quote by Charles Dickens (from 365 Things Every Tea Lover Should Know):

“My dear, if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should               better understand your affairs.”

And today’s poem is by William Wordsworth:

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I WANDERED lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once i saw a crowd,

A host of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.


Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way.

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance.

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.


The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed-and gazed-but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:


For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

Tea and Poetry

I’ve decided it was time to find something to put back on my blog for Fridays, and since my poetry posts were fairly popular I  decided to try a new twist for poetry posts.

You see, I have a son who attends a school in South Carolina and we went down for his graduation over Mother’s Day weekend, and because he had plans to leave, soon after, to go to Uganda for the summer, we decided to take a few extra days and do a family vacation. Therefore, I checked online for things to do in the areas where we would be and found that Charleston, South Carolina is the home of the ONLY tea plantation in North America. So, being a tea drinker, I thought this would be a great place to visit, and it was — our whole family enjoyed it and we got to taste different flavors of both hot and cold teas and I bought lots of great tea related items in the gift shop.

One of the things I bought was this cute little book entitled “365 Things Every Tea Lover Should Know”. That’s how the idea for this new Friday post began, not to mention that our youngest son and I incorporated a “Tea and Poetry” time into our school days this year and our son loves them. Therefore, each Friday, I will do a Tea and Poetry post, where I will share a great tea tidbit as well as a poem. However, not all of the poems I will share will be written by me. I will sometimes include a poem I have written, other times it may be a poem our son has written. It may simply be a poem our son and I have read in our own Tea and Poetry time, or just a poem I particularly like from one of my poetry books.

I hope you will enjoy this new Friday post and will visit often. I will begin this Friday with the following tea tidbit (from 365 Things Every Tea Lover Should Know):

“Iced tea was invented at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair by an expatriate Englishman      named Richard Blechynden. His hot tea wasn’t selling so he poured it over ice and had      an instant success.”

And here is a poem by Jewel Kilcher:



I feel

my heart


to vague depths


words there

are such

spaces that

I can’t help

but feel

My Heart



the pregnant pause

of all you will

not say

and all

I can

not ask