The Poetry of Tea (Four Short Poems)

Updated on October 12, 2017
Mark Tulin profile image

Mark Tulin is an ex-psychotherapist who currently lives patient-free with his wife in Santa Barbara, California.

Writing poetry at my favorite tea house.
Writing poetry at my favorite tea house. | Source

The Poetry of Tea: Introduction

Tea is my weed of choice. It is legal in every state and gives me the kind of high that makes me a better person without the unnecessary side effects.

For me, hot tea with honey is more than just a drink. It calms, focusses and makes me a more mindful person, not only as I take each delicious sip but throughout the day. When I drink tea, I stop what I am doing and become aware of its visceral sensations— just focus on the steam of the tea rising, the warm enamel lip of the cup and the gentle and fragrant liquid making its way down my throat. My eyes can see better, my mind can think with more clarity and whatever I am doing at that moment, perhaps writing a poem or just hanging out, I can do it with more ease.

A warm cup of tea not only soothes my throat and calms my body, but it does something more profound. Those tiny, delicate tea leaves that were harvested by careful hands and dried by attentive minds in a far off asian country brings with it a type of cosmic spirituality. It quiets my soul, makes me a more peaceful person able to fit in better with the world and universe.

I respond to life more acutely. It slows me down and stops me from rushing through my day like a headless chicken. I’m more aware of others and their needs. Not only that, drinking hot tea helps me to think about my own needs and priorities for that moment, for that day and beyond.

When I sit holding that ceramic cup at home or at the tea house, I am pleasant. I send out good vibes. I feel my muscles relax, the rhythm of my breath slow down and my heart beat regular. I become more agreeable, flexible and accessible. Drinking tea for me is like meditation without the meditation cushion, reading poetry without the poetry book. It is simply tea.

These four poems were inspired by drinking tea and its different varieties. They are my tribute to such a healthy, medicinal and calming drink. Enjoy my liquid poetry. Allow these poems to steep within.

Four Short Poems about Tea

Yunnan Red


He comes from an old grove

where the wild trees grow

on the side of the Yunnan mountain

where the sunshine is tempered,

the clouds are sparse

and the pristine leaves are picked,

cleaned and dusted with gentle fingers.


The sweetness is balanced,

clarity plucked from the red sky.

Bourbon, lychee, and red plum

blended into a magical elixir

that a wise man drinks without hesitation.


After a few mindful sips,

the hot brew steeps in his soul.

It thaws his cold heart,

warms his fingers and toes,

renders his spirit virtually invincible,

if only for a few hours.


Sprouted Oolong


Picked from a garden above the sea

during a warm snap in the middle of winter

arrives a lovely plant that oolongs with flavor.


Notes of caramelized ginger stirs in the mug.

Songs of golden cane sugar sweetens the pot

as the sprouted oolong takes to the road.



Snow Jasmine


Starry white snowflakes

blooming from the sky,

fall lightly on my tongue.


Sweet, like winter cherry

made of soft jasmine petals

that satisfy my thirsty palate.



Tea Meditation


While the tea steeps

I meditate with eyes closed

Upright on a meditation cushion

Filled with buckwheat hulls

Made by the mindful hand of a Buddhist monk.


I let the tea steep for five minutes

While thinking only about the steam

That flows from the savory tea cup

That rises from the peaceful tea gardens

Above the leafy green Chinese fields.

Four Tea Poems by Mark Tulin

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Glenn Stok profile image

        Glenn Stok 6 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

        Yes Mark, your love for tea sure did come through. I didn’t realize I left that out. So much good stuff to mention that I inadvertently didn’t mention the most important. :)

      • Mark Tulin profile image
        Author

        Mark Tulin 6 weeks ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thanks, Glenn. I hope my love of tea came through. Thanks for your wonderful comments.

      • Glenn Stok profile image

        Glenn Stok 6 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

        The way you included the introduction before the poems added a great deal of value to the experience that followed, as I read your four poems and allowed the thoughts to steep in my mind.

        Then it got even better still, as I listened to your poems all over again — only this time spoken by you in your voice. What a wonderfully creative way you put all this together Mark.

      • Mark Tulin profile image
        Author

        Mark Tulin 2 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        thanks Li-jen

      • Li-Jen Hew profile image

        Li-Jen Hew 2 months ago

        Hello Mark. Nice poems you got there. It's really a tea meditation. The poems have a calm feel. And you've included a video with you reciting, good idea.Thanks for sharing. :)

      • Mark Tulin profile image
        Author

        Mark Tulin 3 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thanks, CrisSp.

      • CrisSp profile image

        CrisSp 3 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

        Very soothing read. Love the visual as well.

      • Mark Tulin profile image
        Author

        Mark Tulin 3 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thanks, Robin.

      • RobinReenters profile image

        Robin Carretti 3 months ago from Hightstown

        Wow I love the way you balanced the tea with names od flavors tea I love so many blends I give you peace and tranquility this was a heavenly read thanks

      • Fatima Bah profile image

        Fatima Memija Bahtic 4 months ago from Bosnia and Herzegovina

        You're welcome:) these are wonderful verses, and your style is quite similar to his... Thank you for sharing your poems with us, they are really wonderful...

      • Mark Tulin profile image
        Author

        Mark Tulin 4 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thank you Fatima for introducing me to Wordsworth’s beautiful poem, I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud.

      • Fatima Bah profile image

        Fatima Memija Bahtic 4 months ago from Bosnia and Herzegovina

        When I read this poem "Tea meditation" somehow it reminded me of my favorite poem by W. Wordsworth, "I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud. The last part of your poem is quite similar to:

        "For oft, when on my couch I lie

        In vacant or in pensive mood,

        They flash upon that inward eye

        Which is the bliss of solitude;

        And then my heart with pleasure fills,

        And dances with the daffodils... Just with tea in it:)

      • Mark Tulin profile image
        Author

        Mark Tulin 8 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        You’re welcome, Tim. Don’t forget to add a little ginger or cinnamon to the mix.

      • tsmog profile image

        Tim Mitchell 8 months ago from Escondido, CA

        Awesome poems speaking a spiritual message to me of appreciation of the gifts shared with me by tea. It is a special time of delight when I partake of it. I think I will make brew of loose leaf tea now and continue my journey reading this morning. Thank you Mark for opening a door.

      • Mark Tulin profile image
        Author

        Mark Tulin 8 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thank you so much for the read, Dora. Enjoy your tea today.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 8 months ago from The Caribbean

        Beautiful poems--Tea Meditation, my favorite. I share your love of tea. It is my drink (hot or cold) of choice. I love your prose lines: "Drinking tea for me is like meditation without the meditation cushion, reading poetry without the poetry book. It is simply tea."

      • Mark Tulin profile image
        Author

        Mark Tulin 8 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thanks, Kristen. I’ve worn out two French presses.

      • Kristen Howe profile image

        Kristen Howe 8 months ago from Northeast Ohio

        Mark, I'm an avid tea drinker like you. These poems were very nicely written and poignant with good symmetry and visualization as well. Well done.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://letterpile.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)