“I drank coffee and read old books and waited for the year to end.” ~ Richard Brautigan, from Trout Fishing In America

“the tea smoke
and the willow
together trembling” ~ Kobayashi Issa

Internet was out until late today. I fell asleep in the wee hours of the morning and did not sleep well, awaking with a headache and heavy sinuses. Spent most of today dealing with customer service representatives. I am completely spent.

I can only offer you this . . .

My love affair with coffee is only surpassed by my much longer love affair with tea, which I began to drink when I was but a child. England, you know. Milky tea and hot bread and butter. Good times . . .

A cup of tea by tee-magazin.de


A Sweetening All Around Me As It Falls

Even generous August
only a child’s scribblings
on thick black paper, in smudgeable chalk –
even the ripening tomatoes, even the roses,
blowsy, losing their fragrance of black tea.
A winter light held this morning’s apples
as they fell, sweet, streaked by one touch
of the careless brush, appling to earth.
The seeds so deep inside they carry that cold.
Is this why some choose solitude, to rise
that small bit further, unencumbered by love of earth,
as the branches, lighter, kite now a little higher
on gold air? But the apples love the earth and falling,
lose themselves in it as much as they can at first touch
and then, with time and rain, at last completely:
to be that bone-like One that shines unleafed in
winter rain,
all black and glazed with not the pendant gold of
necklaced summer but the ice-color mirroring
when the earth is lonely and dark and knows nothing
of apples.
Seed-black of the paper, seed-black of the waiting
December’s shine, austere and fragile, carves the
visible tree.
But today, cut deep in last plums, in yellow pears,
in second flush of roses, in the warmth of an hour,
now late,
as drunk on heat as the girl who long ago vanished
into green trees,
fold that loneliness, one moment, two, love, back into
your arms.

~ Jane Hirshfield


Music by Maggie Siff, “Lullaby for a Soldier”


6 thoughts on ““I drank coffee and read old books and waited for the year to end.” ~ Richard Brautigan, from Trout Fishing In America

  1. Really enjoyed this…

    Lately I’ve been drinking Tazo Awake tea…. (in the morning…)

    Darjeeling & Assam are two of my favorites… I’ve seen Harney & Son’s tea in Harris Teeter, but haven’t tried it yet. Two Leaves & a Bud has terrific assam. Stash Tea has all kind of darjeelings loose. I’ve enjoyed trying some of those over the last decade…

    Imagining a cup of tea often gets me through some difficult periods of the day….

    I like coffee, but someone else has to make it. I just don’t seem to be able to make good coffee anymore… Same as chai at home. If it’s not from Starbucks, I just skip it…

    I wish all of you a good cup of coffee or tea…

  2. Oh, I meant to add–that I love coffee and tea. For coffee–the stronger (as in aromatic and flavorful, as opposed to bitter like some people think “strong” means) the better. When I was in elementary school, we lived in Germany, as my dad was in the Army. I grew to like the strong coffee brewed in the town where we lived, and Starbuck’s roasts remind me of that. :>

    1. Shari,
      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I’m glad you found my blog. I love German coffee. My German sister-in-law always brings me some when she visits. So rich.

      I hope you stop by again soon. New voices are always a welcomed addition.

  3. Hi I found your blog while looking for more info on Gavin the smiling fish. That fish is hilarious! Never having owned a fish–I’ve only had cute fluffy cats or dogs–I’m surprised to see fish can have personalities. But anyway, I love the look and environment of your blog. Forbidden Places is very nice. Thanks!

  4. Love this! Like you, I am a staunch coffee drinker and could not live without tea. I do not understand why one earth most people seem to feel you have to choose!?! They are both brilliant beverages, delicious, versatile and fit into all but the kind of diets practiced by monks who live in places where there is no access to either (or stupid diet gurus who write impossible to follow diets.)

    My two favourite brands of tea far and away are Dilmah for their astonishing Earl Grey – anything else just does not have the punch – I need at least two bags of Twinings and it still doesn’t cut it. And my other favourite is Harney & Sons – which at first glance I took as an overpriced novelty item, arriving in elaborate tins and encased in silken bags with an almost unlimited range of exotic falvours. But oh my! The tea surpasses the packaging! It is bizarrely expensive here – around $1-2/bag – in the shop, not in a restaurant. But it’s worth the indulgence…

    I am sure I consume at least as much tea as the folks in the Emirates…

    1. I have never treated myself to really expensive tea, the most costly being Typhoo, which I drank in England as a child. Darjeeling is my favorite, followed by Oolong. I was raised on tea, sweet milky tea, and I still firmly hold to the adage that there is nothing that a cup of strong hot tea cannot fix.

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