Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Earl Grey

Mounting the snowcapped summit, muscles aching
from cold and effort, he unwrapped his face of wool,
let the scarf drop, brushed icicles from his beard.
His companion pulled a thermos from the pack,
then teacups and saucers.
Soon steaming liquid, stirred by spoon
while overhead, a mountain goat scuffs
at a cliff edge.
The two sit cross-legged, pinkies aloft.

camera zoom out.
In a distinctly American British Accent, the voiceover:

"Earl Grey. Bold. Beautiful. British."


My friend Betsy considers herself a bit of a tea expert;
I used to accompany herself and her fiance to Capitol Hill
tea dens where they would always order for me,
at least after the time I scratched my head and asked:

"Do you have any rasberry?"


Over brit-side, you needn't be an expert to know good tea from bad,
the important thing is that there be tea, period.
The offer requires no occasion— rather, occasions require IT,
celebration or consolation, "pour you a cuppa?"
being the universal comforter;
healthier than
"want a cigarrette"

but perhaps more indulgent than
"What you need to do is go for a run."

Its new to me.
Coming from coffee-capitol where we run fast and refuel faster,
it can't be coincidence that I'm now finally learning the
importance of calm, sip by sip, each afternoon, the therapy
inherent to stirring sugar in the face of a crisis.

This may be the one thing I take with me, whether or not
I scale any mountains or ever become an expert.
The moments while you wait for the bag to steep.
The way the milk swirls in. I may never be an expert
but perhaps that, too is something I’ll take from this.

And at least now I know not to ask for rasberry.

So I finished a draft of a story today. The story's called "My Ugly Twin" and it rose out of a prompt Becca gave while her, Shane and I were writing at the St. George Pub (yes, I'm already nostalgic for their visit) and it's a first-person account of two brothers falling out.

The above poem/spoken word was originally written sometime late Spring and I'd intended to clean it up a bit and see how it flies. May still suffer some tweaking.
In the interest of catching up, I'll post more stuff on Friday or Saturday.


Aaron Burkhalter said...

Hey I love the tea piece.

I've written three or four sentences and deleted them trying to explain why I like it, but I'm not coming across clear. I just really do.

When you write about yourself, you come across very humble, and somewhat self effacing like teasing yourself a bit about ordering raspberry tea, but never in a way that seems like your demeaning yourself or... I don't know... the point is I like it.

I'm going to stop trying to use words now... I worked at the paper yesterday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and apparently lost my ability to communicate.

graham said...

thanks aaron! I'm glad this one communicates, I wasn't sure if it would.