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"Tea Time" with Poets

In September, we had a "Tea Time" with poets. It was a themed prompt asking artists and writers to use their "CREATIV-I-TEA" and write or paint or sketch how tea makes them feel when sipping it. Does it spark their muse? Does it ignite all the senses in motion? Does it take stress away? We chose 5 poets out of thirty-six to feature here on ILA . The first five poets on this page are the "Best entries" chosen, yet the other poetry featured, I chose within another time frame, many poets who shared their thoughts of "tea" beforehand, on ILA saved and most fitting for this special highlight and to give prominence to the wonderful poets that grace this special page.


"Tea Time"

I learned to drink tea In Japanese style With many patience. While I am drinking, I am writing a haiku About a Japanese play. I am drinking tea And the time stands still Calm, without changes And the past echoes old pages. © Bogdana Gageanu



"Chai Chai"

chai chai... sounds of the train and words slowly fuse to one the clay cup of sweet milky tea its many layers humming moving with the running train the running sky the running horizon the first sip stuck like fighting of sky bound kites of kebab long back like a long lost fragrance breathing again the train picks up speed old thoughts old living old ghosts and much more invade again through many a window the clay cup I hid under clothes in my travel bag. A gentle reminder of chai living and loving the train too was going back only the old man fort in semi closed eyelashes bowed down picking brittle memories left by. © Amitabh Mitra East London, Eastern Cape


"Universal Beverage" No geographical region No season No disparity among rich and poor You enthrall each palate and gut A favorite for all ages The firm and to the fit, you treat them the same. An elixir in rain and mist A life saving potion with a bread crumb Dust or leaf with or without cream The affluent enjoy your steam The down-trodden feels you their lifeline San frontiers you are everyone's favorite pastime I write these few lines by having you at my side With each sip, I find my creativity coming to fore. © Sai Prakash India


"Tête à Tête, Among Others" "Do not announce my death yet, to the bees and to the tea trees, I am just a lonely breeze." - Ernesto P. Santiago

Do you still remember how we usually walk the many variations of silence hand in hand through the roji path, a pathway of stones that hears all the talk about the weight of finding our inner Zen, to the forlorn table for two where we reflect in the sun's rays our tranquil world in the state and shape of love? You never leave me to unmerited praise, but rather you smooth the lines and angles of my faith, more rustic than the echoes of a fall prolonged by timeless tunes that comfort those left behind. You are to my personality, an intention, a call, and a reason why without fail, I bear in my mind to stay off the tracks of wandering words, for a "me" time. Whether or not I am sad of happy, you will always be here for me like a shadow, loyal to the ground, as loyal as my rhyme. Whether or not I am cold as ice, with joy, you will warm me. Whether or not with lies, I am inflamed and loud as I please like a summer sun, you will cool me with patience. Whether or not, I am stressed like city trees bent by wild ways of men, you will cheer me in your presence. Whether or not my motivation is super driven to work like perfect storms, you will calm me to an emotional reboot And, whether or not I am like marching gun fire - like cry of white stork or the dirty secret of earth, in me, you will not mute the flute.

You know, I am so thirsty of your mouth feel of "yum," "mmmm," "aha," and "ahhh" that I have trouble knowing the true color of my thirst that in me, I shall instill. That's true, you reinvent my reflective soul, and I am thrilled to know that you can characterize "who I am" from "what I am" of "I am what I am" as I am. Moe like a delayed gratification that you can help my eyes to find my lost self in the last line of an epigram of my mood that is still unhealed, but longing to be healed and freed from writer's block in shades of blue. Ah, please tell me, what good of peace will I yield every afternoon of my sun without you? O Muse, spices and herbs so sacred, I will gladly spend and be spent only for you, blessings of temptation, set your mystic charm upon my ease! Art beacons to be reborn into my flesh from a loose leaf of your scent, and what is a god or a poet who does not levitate with you, O Tea of Glories...

© Ernesto Santiago



"A Cup of Tea"

Everyone seeks in anxiety or tension That hurts a person But in your presence, I feel relaxed As if free from all hallucination. Lessens the stress of work pressed Making me agile and conscious For the assignments I have taken One of my best friends, indeed Works for me like a guide Takes me to make a fresh start. A refreshment for a moment of boredom Injects, stimulates to accomplish the half done Once attached never two be abandoned What a thing which drives away loneliness Makes me speak a lot in utter silence. © Ramesh Chandra Pradhani




The vapors of tea powder, spices and ginger ensorcel the ambience and the flavor lingers, drowsiness dissolves in its aura, some even add chamomile flora. The tea of different varieties stimulates souls, lethargy runs heater skelter, alertness finds a happy shelter.

The thoughts race toward the tasks of the day A cup of tea has its tea of say, the tea world loves a daily replay Tea lovers love the tea refills, every sip makes the drinker forget the worries of bills and pills. Cheers to a cup of tea. Many cups clink in glee. © Rupali Gore Lale USA


"A Cup of Tea and Sunrise" Yet the complete morning Has not invaded We head on up to Sarangkot An excitement already prevails A little tired in curiosity I among my friends in the chilly wind It's 5:30 A.M., December A smoky vapor from mouth And the frosty of the surroundings Blister agonizes me Looks strange Smeared, the sky dimly ablaze Shred with a part of dawn Hardly I could notice the tracing sky Clad the mountains with calloused clouds Anguishes might pervade yesterday I puff one stick in a hope of morning Wheezes the smoke in cold wind Misty appears in eyes and The mind oozes in the brim of the hill Shivering the body, I then wobble Yielding a warmth of hope again then Take a little rest For a complete landscape The Fewa Lake's serenity Whispers a tranquil love song An affluent within, I devour the valley Distant stream Whitish shore A veil within the endlessness Flows in a silent majesty Meantime, A country girl appears From inside a tea shop A soft smile of beauty Wearing of a traditional gown Singing her story in my ear I get little wonder Beauty veils across Closed eyes for a moment A spun curiosity adds rather Oh! So beautiful sunrise! In the crescent smile of that lady I read her smile among All those passerby She stops sunrise Just for a cup of tea With the lenient eyes To al those viewers, she belongs The, I ride the moment Along with gold smeared Mountains Singing sunrise. © Hum Ale Pokhara, Nepal


"Not Everybody's Cup of Tea" Leading a life successfully and with contentment Is not everybody's cup of tea, it requires A combination of many virtues joined together In the crucible of our ancestral knowledge And self-accumulated experience throughout the years. Many times, the cup of tea is Placed near us in solitude by the invisible Hands of Almighty, but we fail to hold The cup and take a sip; similar is The story of life when opportunities come Suddenly in our way but we falter At the threshold. The cup of tea, whether put on a Wooden plank in a deep forest, or Placed on a table with marble top in A posh hotel, is known by its flavor And the fragrance which permeates into The thin atmospheric layers attracting Tea lovers like a mad crowd, similar Is the story of men in angelic form Which draw people around them through The aroma of good deeds spreading Like the wild fire. A good life is a concoction of a Bunch of virtues, and like the tea, It is brewed in the kettle of human endeavors. © Rakesh Chandra



"Cup of Tea" Chirping of birds Morning sun's rays Dew drops And a cup of tea. Rising smoke Deep sighs Shattered thoughts And barren heart. Intoxication in every sip Getting drunk in your love It was always a great pleasure Fulfilling dreams with eyes open. Some real-life moments become past But remain fresh in the memories You were not my cup of tea The desolate soul of Spring. © Farhan Anjum Pakistan


"Mother's Reunion Day" Tell me... Did you today Pick up your Phone WhatsApp Messenger Car keys Or lightly take a stroll Over to your Mother today In any small way Paused to offer The greatest hug Or placed a simple silent kiss On your Mom's rosy cheeks Or cherished your Mum's hand In her busy schedules Just to... Type Write Smile Or whisper I LOVE YOU MUMMY And have every Misunderstood day No matter tussles Along the way Did you ever Take the chance To look into Her eyes When she cares for the world Or asked your Mom's mind to rest On your lonely shoulders Or merely sat beside her If only for lil whiles To comfort her daily frowns While she concerns herself With another of life's bothers But let me ask silently When was the last time You made your Mum A lovely cup of tea Or placed your empty arms Around your Ma And made your Mommy feel Your heartbeat For her, is real. © Paul Barnard South Africa


"A Cup of Tea" A cup of tea early in the morning Is something I always love taking While I lie abed, My mother makes it ready on the table With some warm toasts of butter. Toasts, you know, I like the most As in my childhood When I was not feeling good My siblings would bake the buttered bread Inside the hearth and my mouth waters there. I would cry out for a piece, but They would heal me by their scary glances And started to sob under some hope To be well very soon. Now, as the days have passed by And the tastes changes by chance My yearnings for the morning toasts With a cup of 'Kashir Nun Chai' Is still there in my daily routine And I, like some peckish man, waits and waits for the morning to come. © Sahil Mudasir Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir


"A Cup of Tea"

My evergreen shrub Immortal herb Completes my thirst If it is cold or hot Aromatic steam rises Madness for fragrances Intoxicates in sips Flavors of apple, peppermint pep Milky is tasty It's a cup of serenity The more you drink More you think Have a cup of tea. © Sabrina Rubin Dhaka, Bangladesh


"My Tea Time!!!" I'm ready for a momentary break A cup of tea as a refreshment Try to make it by pouring love For cheering up the exhausted mind Is it the sole thing of life How can suddenly a storm rise up Uplifting in such a harsh way Sparkling as thunderbolt strikes How can the mind be managed Such a tempestuous choice Lovely thoughts turn to attack As a bullet from gun to crossfire Hold thy tongue Calm down dear mind Be positive, be kind Flitter-glitter sounds of love Blessing drops of God To drench the excited plot To provide the serenity Tea time, a relaxing platform.

© Afrose Saad Dhaka, Bangladesh


"At Morning Bench" Cup of hot tea, cozy morning scene somewhere, I felt nudged, Vapor, in pouncing vagueness, bid for tinting mood for a cause just ! I tucked to some pretty cast to compile sweet dreamy stuff ! Added imagination quotes to be tied to knocks and jolts of mind, To swing to and fro, like a pendulum paced in a curved line! I whetted prying quest, zest to lean on churning fellow tune, I plunged into flashed track of gliding spell, in mirth lit croon ! At distant, I stood with self and stared at round sweep of belt, Only quietness prevailed and served with tranquil blend ! So I steered way to my cup of tea and tray around the table, Moved to right and left with deep heave, humming no tale ! I shrugged and toed to explore the vacant seat part, at face beside, There missed past part of jolt or slip of life, hovered like hurling tide. I took up cup of tea and tucked to it, like querying kid in melange of blithe ! © Shiv Raj Pradhan

Siliguri, West Bengal, India


"My Frightful Ordeal" Sentiments ajar my grief I have lost the battle of life Gods are luring my simple love To lose my feelings I am in a state of numbness My cold blood has forgotten the warmth of love I am unreachable I am lost in my thoughts I know not which path to follow Death is perceived near and around me I shudder in pain and sorrow And wish to befriend it For at least I shall have a friend Whom I have longed for Some fear then tells me it's not right I then walk alone to the nowhere And find a tree to secure my coming sleep But at morn the sky is clear The chirping of birds give me a sense to mobilize And I walk leaving everything to God. I am then found by my loved ones And it feels good to be back home To live my life And have a cup of tea And narrate to my family My frightful ordeal. I then tuck myself in bed to fall into peaceful sleep. © Radhika Tytler India


"QUARAN-TEA" When I get up in the morning But there's no tea in the kitchen What I answer to the crowing chicken: "Good morning, Rooster, with reservations!" I usually start my day with a cup of tea Nothing sets me too mirthful Or at least soothes my soul Than a sip of the aromatic tea Just enough to perk the spirit, alert the mind, keep the body awake! Hippocrates once said, "Everything in excess is opposed to nature" Take not more than what you need that life will be long and fondly lived. More to that quote: Your cup of blessing, tea, poetry or time, share unto others, Tis the reason of our being. So I share my tea with a poem To fellow tea lovers Who were asked to stay home And also those on the front lines Tastes divine! What a gift! From the Lord of heaven and earth A metaphor for life, love And the pursuit of he meaning of life. Blest, the Lord, my soul Morning 'til evening That cup of blessing I call, quaran-tea

© Dex Amoroso Philippines


October the night is cold. Typically October I am cold. You left me. I am lonely. A cup of black tea helps fill out the emptiness. © Mónika Tóth Romania


Give me a single cup of tea and a slice of evening time I will fix my disturbed mood! © Thasneem Aala India

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