An ancient, loving hand cradles the porcelain cup it made.
This fragile construct, holding all history, this sacred heirloom
Trimmed with golden line that circles the brim like latitude,
A vessel, shaped into the very Earth that keeps us as we live,
Is gift received from the dreams of the Maker's fertile mind.
After setting the cup on a tray of playful, silvery possibility,
The hand picks up a favorite spoon, molded from solid light,
Then scoops a heap of tiny leaves from bounty hidden in a box.
A quick turn of the wrist and quietly the brown flakes drift down
Into the cup and thus I was born to know the drink of life.
Even as these leaves settle into place and fully come of age,
The hand selects another box and the nameless herb within.
A second spoonful is gingerly removed and carried away,
Heaped with tea darker than soil and fragrant like autumn spice,
Dropped in the same cup, giving a body to the boy you became.
Now mingled at the cup's bottom, ordained by nature to delight
The very tip of the Maker's tongue, a dry mélange silently rests.
Pinches of essence, harvested from roots in gardens far apart,
Are joined from these lives and blended in anticipated flavor,
Lightly touching in a pause before the baptism soon to come.
At the moment of infusion, the Maker's steady, unseen hand
Dips the spout and pours inside a boiling surge of creation.
Leaves instantly scatter, spinning about and into each other,
Whisked away by water, whirling and alive with currents in chaos,
Saturating the brittle fragments until their extracts seep away.
The skins of dried plants dissolve, washing rapidly in circles,
Distilling an amber fragrance brewed in the ecstasy of steam.
Leaves stain the drink with their diffusing mahogany clouds.
The churning surface glints with blue seen only in your eyes
While the body richly swirls with the brown you see in mine.
Beyond all tears and salt in trails that trickle down the face,
I see our lives unfold, projected in vapors wafting like ghosts,
Crossing ripples and turbulence that may never find their rest.
The full bouquets of all we see and dream and speak aloud
Are only now released to bring their savor to our senses.
Brought together in this flood, our humble and dusty tea leaves
Are steeped and blended, binding us in secrets and fascinations,
Immersed in passion's scalding bath to make sacred from profane.
So share with me the tastes and touches and animal connections,
Foam on the drink we became to serve in love to one another.
About the Poem
This poem rejoices in the rich mingling that takes place when two people in love become a whole new living thing. It praises the joy of being joined, this delightful moment within the ceaseless play in the heart of God.
This poem is previously unpublished in print.