“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 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
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
Seed-black of the paper, seed-black of the waiting
December’s shine, austere and fragile, carves the
But today, cut deep in last plums, in yellow pears,
in second flush of roses, in the warmth of an hour,
as drunk on heat as the girl who long ago vanished
into green trees,
fold that loneliness, one moment, two, love, back into
~ Jane Hirshfield
Music by Maggie Siff, “Lullaby for a Soldier”