"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 Romania "Chai Chai" chai chai...
sounds of the train
slowly fuse to one
the clay cup of sweet
its many layers
with the running train
the running sky
the running horizon
the first sip
of sky bound kites
of kebab long back
like a long lost
the train picks up speed
the clay cup
I hid under clothes
in my travel bag.
A gentle reminder
the train too
only the old man fort
in semi closed eyelashes
bowed down picking
© Amitabh Mitra
East London, Eastern Cape "Universal Beverage"
No geographical region
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 Philippines "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 India "Tea" 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
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
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
A veil within the endlessness
Flows in a silent majesty
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
© 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 India "Cup of Tea"
Chirping of birds
Morning sun's rays
And a cup of tea.
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"
Did you today
Pick up your
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
I LOVE YOU MUMMY
And have every
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
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
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
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
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
the night is cold.
I am cold.
You left me.
I am lonely.
A cup of black tea
helps fill out
© Mónika Tóth
Romania Give me a single cup of tea
and a slice of evening time
I will fix my disturbed mood!
© Thasneem Aala