Tea Dialects

28 Apr

Afghan tea

Tea dialects

I flick on electric kettle
and offer chamomile, peppermint
Red Rose, Earl Grey, or green
pour steaming water over gauze pouches
into clear mugs that show off
emerging jewel colors.

Recall the ceremony of biscuits
and creamy English Breakfast on a tray
served in porcelain by an aunt
before breakfast in a Winchester cottage.

Dream of spicy chai, bought outdoors
just after sunrise from an Afghan tea-wallah
water heated over his smoky fire
poured from a copper teapot into a glass
and sipped through lumps of sugar.

Know that wherever I am
the warm, fragrant
language of tea
needs no interpretation.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

Prompt – Inspiration
Last January my friend Laurel and I wrote ekphrastic poems inspired by photos in the Shadows and Silhouettes collection, one of The Big Picture series in the Boston Globe. This poem was in response to photo is #20.

Laurel’s poem “Tea for Two” prompted by the same photo is HERE.


VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!



Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Joanne Early Macken at Teaching Authors.






Posted by on April 28, 2017 in Ekphrastic, Personal, Poetry Friday


Tags: , , , ,

11 responses to “Tea Dialects

  1. archerjl

    April 28, 2017 at 8:07 am

    So great to see this one here! I enjoyed that challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Violet Nesdoly

      April 28, 2017 at 9:26 am

      So did I, Laurel. Maybe we should…?


      Liked by 1 person

      • archerjl

        April 29, 2017 at 8:28 am

        Yes, of course we should…


  2. Kiesha Shepard

    April 28, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    This poem makes me feel perfectly cozy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jane the Raincity Librarian

    April 28, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Oh, I am always happy to celebrate my favourite beverage in verse!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kay McGriff (@kaymcgriff)

    April 28, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Your poem makes me want to steep a cup of tea.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mbhmaine

    April 28, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    The language of tea…universal and delightful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lindabaie

    April 29, 2017 at 6:50 am

    I enjoyed the gratitude in your poem, Violet. I’m not a tea drinker really, but now lately have fallen in love with Chai, so love “bought outdoors/just after sunrise from an Afghan tea-wallah.” Quite a lovely image there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brenda Davis Harsham

    April 30, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Love the poem and the taste of globalism that tea brings. It’s a unifier and a culture preserver. I am always intrigued by the tea ceremonies.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Linda Mitchell

    April 30, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Violet, this poem is wonderful. The idea of tea having dialects–that’s just brilliant. I think you could begin a really nice collection of tea poems/stories. That line about the tea-Wallah….wonderful. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person


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