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Green Tea

by Midnight_Sun 

Posted: 08 June 2011
Word Count: 220

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I started as a seed,
but grew
a beautiful green leaf.
I had the belief
one day they would pick me
with my relations from plantations
that lie on distant Eastern slopes,
and in my hopes
of a Confucian solution
to my fateful days,
through sways
of green, the dream
turned to reality
as I was plucked away
boxed, shipped West
at your humble request,
to meditate, sedate
in your kitchen cupboard,
above the washboard
anticipating enlightenment. Now,
be it Buddha or the Holy Cow
I have achieved the perceived

Through my silent mantra
comes light;
tonight youíve set me free,
into water you drop me;
swirling in your cosmic cup
you lift me up
to lips that sip.
As I float, inside this bag I steam;
Is this a tea fuelled dream
Iím crafting, through wafting
my aroma amid wind from your great mouth?

Your nose
sniffing; am I uplifting?
They say Iím full of
beneficial to your health;
great architect of my being
Iím feeling
rather proud - but wait!
Whatís this?

- Now youíve finished supping
you toss me from your cup
into the depths
of some darkened
Karmic dustbin;
Is my next life on the heap
of some rotting pile of compost;

no more a beautiful green leaf?

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Comments by other Members

James Graham at 11:10 on 11 June 2011  Report this post
Fun to read - and it reads as if you enjoyed writing it. This doesnít always follow - writing a quick-moving poem like this, with a plethora of rhymes, can be a slog. Was it hard to write? Maybe - but the great thing is, it feels joyful and spontaneous. The way you mix end-rhymes with adjacent rhymes gives it a dance-like rhythm.

Thereís still a lot of mileage to be had from giving a voice to inanimate things. The tea-leaf gives us its whole autobiography from seed to compost, but where I think it comes to life most of all is in the lines

As I float, inside this bag I steam;
Is this a tea fuelled dream
Iím crafting, through wafting
my aroma amid wind from your great mouth?

This is where we just about become the tea-leaf, looking up from under water and seeing this Ďgreat mouthí, all the while creating what the leaf was born for, the Ďtea fuelled dreamí. Those lines work especially well.

I like the Oriental references, just what we should expect from a tea-leaf. It seems to pick and choose among Confucianism, Buddhism and Hinduism - a nice touch.

I notice the rhymes fade out towards the end, where Nirvana passes and the compost looms. This is appropriate because the fate of the tea-leaf becomes sad after all. But I wonder if you might consider a more positive ending. I look at it this way: if the tea-leaves are to join the compost, they are going to continue the cycle of life. They will join cabbage leaves, apple cores etc to make rich food for new plants. Not tea plants obviously since this isnít tea-growing country, but other plants - runner beans, lettuces, lilies, roses. The tea leaf may become part of a lily leaf. An ending on this note would be as upbeat as the rest of the poem. What do you think?


Midnight_Sun at 16:08 on 13 June 2011  Report this post
Hi James,

thanks for your encouraging comments, I will have a rethink about the ending and try to create a happier vibe, I will repost an edited version. I have reposted an edited version of my other poem 'Melancholy', but I am unsure if you are able to view work in this way or do I need to repost it as a new thread again?

Thanks again,


James Graham at 12:31 on 14 June 2011  Report this post
It would be interesting to see how a 'happier' ending turns out. In general, whenever you experiment with alternative versions of poems, the original is of course still there if you decide you prefer it after all.

I've found your edited version of 'Melancholy' and will work on it. But as soon as you think 'Green Tea' has been up long enough, you could repost the two versions of 'Melancholy' in the group. You can do this anytime you revise a poem - it lets members see how the poem has developed, and usually attracts some more comments.


Neezes at 21:56 on 19 June 2011  Report this post
Hi there,

I enjoyed this one a lot. I thought the rhymes worked well and as James says, it gives it a light, dancing feel, combined with the short lines. I thought the first stanza is especially strong, with the possible exception of
I have achieved the perceived

I thought 'perceived' was one of the few rhymes that sounded a bit forced.

I didn't mind the ending, although perhaps you could lighten it a bit by removing the last line and ending on "compost" what do you think? I don't think it needs to be made positive exactly, but perhaps left more open to interpretation.

Overall there is a nice link between the life cycle of the tea leaf and the human cycle of life and love and loss, which as James points out is especially suitable because of the eastern religion link.

Thanks for the read,


V`yonne at 17:48 on 22 June 2011  Report this post
I liked the idea of the leaf thinking it had achieved Nirvana - Made me smile Even as compost there is still milegage here because compost can grow another life and those changes are like being born in a new form - a type of reincarnation. I'd run with that for a while and see where it leads. You may have a series here.

Midnight_Sun at 14:13 on 27 June 2011  Report this post
Thanks for the feedback guys,

much appreciated.


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