Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Teapot Tuesday

Is it possible to have too many teapots?

old teapots never die, they slip away to the V & A

A Teapot is a Palace

A teapot is a palace where djinns and angels dwell

where wings of chamelia sinensis charm

the feathers out of ladies’ hats:

in sunny parlours the polished silver

beeswaxed wood and worn upholstery

(antimacassared for the Vicar)

gather round to pay respects at 3 o’clock

on Tuesdays

Smoke-filled dens of mahjongg tiles

where jade men with heavy bets watch

steam rising over eggshell cups

while fortunes and lives are lost and won

on gaming Tuesdays

Tuan tuan squat on their heels

before turning west to pray

taking their muddy  teh tarikh –

tea pulled through time like the

laterite Selangor roads to

Tuesday afternoon

Corduroy hills have aching backs

bend, pluck, toss and heave

bend again in endless row

No angels these who taste the crop

each Tuesday with their pay

But still, a teapot is a palace

corduroy hills in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Also linked to Magpie Tales Mag 94, where there are plenty more tea drinkers.


Cait O'Connor said...

Just found your blog, lovely. I especially love the first verse of this poem.

ds said...

Love this! In its entirety and also for "antimacassared" one of my favorite words. Wonderful poem, Isabel.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Travelogue via tea - and teapot. You have done some powerful conjuring with this. A wonderful format to share some of your widely-acquired knowledge, magical words. xo

jabblog said...

I love the 'corduroy hills' but the aching backs of the pickers are not so good.

anthonynorth said...

As an avid tea drinker, i really enjoyed this. Nice one.

christopher said...

How exciting to read someone who knows a thing or two about tea. A homeopath took me off coffee back in 2003 and I have never returned, taking tea instead myself. I used to be a bit of a tea snob, going out of my way to get "the good stuff" but lately I am taking the cheap stuff just fine.

I notice that you make a point of the harshness of the work but tea country so often looks beautiful.

The Cello Strings said...

hot and beautiful one.

It is perfect time for tea.

jane.healy said...

My mother collected teapots - I inherited just over 1,000 of them. In answer to the opening line YES.

I loved this response to this weeks prompt.

Tess Kincaid said...

I adore "corduroy hills"...

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

Merely the pic is awesome! And the words made this post better...


Helen said...

Ah yes, tea looks appropriate. Maybe a chance of high tea one day?

ninotaziz said...

I am absolutely in love with this marvelous tribute to tea on two accounts.

I love tea.

As a Malaysian, I envy your insight to Malaysia.

Brian Miller said...

nice...love some of your phrasing....like me some tea every once in a while...

Lyn said...

Your "Teapots", more than a palace...indeed, a world..just wonderful.

Ann Grenier said...

Yes, what is it about teapots that draws us to them-I don't even drink much tea but there is a romance in them, although I sense comfort as opposed to the discomfort and alienation of Tooker's art.

Suz said...

this was warm and aromatic
loved every stanza
truly loved it
...but I am a teapot collector

Margaret said...

Corduroy hills have aching backs
bend, pluck, toss and heave
bend again in endless row...

Is that really a photo of "tea leave bushes" Stunning. I've never thought of what they look like!

Trellissimo said...

Tea - universal panacea...

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Love it - just as much as I love a cup of tea!

Anna :o]

Roy Schulze said...

Thanks for your comment on (and your conclusion to) my cubicle story. It hadn't occurred to me that no matter what we do, we all do end up in boxes.

chiccoreal said...

"still a teapot is a place"

Yes, I sense this too! Wonderful poem, and I just had an argument with my hub as to what time, exactly is teatime? I said 2 pm he said 4 pm and not I learn it is 3 pm? A happy medium I suppose would be 3 pm. How did this come to be? Funny!