Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mulling -- 1. Tea Way

It’s that time again,
and because all this takes time,
best to first brew a cup of tea.

Tea is first a vegetable,
then a medicine,
a meditation,
a poem.

To brew,
first clean the house,
cut the wood,
catch the stream,
lay the fire and light it,
then boil the water.

Set a flower
in a vase,
bowing to its smile.

Sweep the path,
from the gate to the house,
then call a silent invitation:
come, o my soul, come.

Enter in the gate,
follow the path,
your steps leaving no trace,
and enter at the little door.

Join yourself, seated.

Scoop tea into a warmed pot,
then add boiled water,
whisking lightly.

Contemplate as you pour,
meditate as you sip;
drink in the color and scent
of the bending and flowing flower.

First cup blesses thirst;
Second cup melts loneliness;
Third cup reads the book of unfolding;
Fourth cup chases fear out through the pores;
Fifth cup warms and clarifies;
Sixth cup is uplifting;
Seventh cup casts the lifted spirit onto the wind.

Ah, wherever I am,
am I here?

Indeed, it is so,
and that is a poem.

© 2012 by Elisabeth T. Eliassen

N.B. This is not intended to be apt description of an actual Asian tea ceremony.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

On The Beach

for H.M., my birthday twin

Footprints in the sand,
cool air in the lungs,
could you let it all go as a song
and just be done?

Breezes fly in your face,
Zephyr gently teasing
not to challenge or confuse,
but to brighten with a kiss.

Sand, beneath your feet,
falls away, unstable;
waves take care to undermine,
and you sink deeper.

From here to where?
All seems so unclear;
how much can we bear
of fog and rolling tear?

When you look back,
your trail is wiped away, gone,
as if it have never been;
it is time to move on.

You take a cautionary step;
the sand molds to your foot,
the sand holds you up,
yet is flexible about you.

And as a gentle rain comes,
to bless and receive you,
a light dawns within:
I am the way forward.

The shifting sands,
the flowing waters and winds,
they work with you, for you,
O Mother of Invention.

© 2012 by Elisabeth T. Eliassen