Monthly Archives: November 2017

Ginger tea

Dear Readers: as I recover from cataract surgery (left eye this time), I am choosing to wait a bit before taking on any of the longer articles that I might feel inclined to write. The surgery went very well but the eye takes time to heal. So, in the interim, I thought I’d post a poem I wrote some weeks ago. I submitted it to a local literary magazine that is just starting up – but alas, it was a reject. 😦 Such a wonderfully humbling experience. 🙂

However, since I enjoyed the poem, I thought I might share it here. Knowing you to be a compassionate group, I gladly open my work to your comments, critiques and even interpretations. What is this poem about anyway?  (Small prizes will be awarded for particularly insightful, insulting or interesting comments!)

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how to make ginger tea

 

do not trust those little packets

found suffocating in boxes,

like a well-trained choir

in an airless oratory.

 

no, ginger is a wild root

and it must be hunted

in the fresh open air

or it will not sing.

 

try to capture a fat one

its buds still green with life,

and break not its bones

as though it had no spirit.

 

speak to it with gratitude

as you gently skin it,

for it has given its life

that you may be consoled.

 

then slice it and dice it

with swift, firm strokes,

mercifully extracting its soul

as you draw forth its essence.

 

choose a vessel that is pure,

whether pot or cup or jar,

and give the ginger to dwell there

as it awaits the holy surrender.

 

prepare now the kettle,

filling it with all earthly tears,

and ignite the fire beneath it.

the ablution will soon begin.

 

allow the kettle to scream a bit –

it too must release its pain.

then grant it time to rest;

it has labored for this moment.

 

it is time to fill the vessel.

as you pour out the libation,

feel its steam upon your face

and listen for its song.

 

you will smell it,

deep and rich and earthy,

drumming its music in wafts,

rich flavors for the soul.

 

as it thrums and steeps,

slice a bit of lemon to add –

for the journey has been

both bitter and sweet.

 

drink it while it is hot,

allowing its song to warm you.

fear not the wildness of its dance

as it flows like a river within.

 

absorb the ancient comfort –

drink and be cleansed.

sing the root, be lost in song –

until the cup runs dry.

 

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