The Ancient Modern
Teas Will Teach You / Joshua Alan Sturgill
Tea will teach you how to pray:
More careful expectation.
It isn’t necessary to boil the water.
The flavors are subtle, modest.
Purity and wholeness matter.
Filtered water—you want to taste only tea.
Unbroken leaves—avoid boxes and bags.
(the First Word: Tradition)
Tea will teach you the outline of a path:
Method of harvest.
Shape of the cup.
Your actions yesterday will affect
your ability to receive today.
(the Middle Word: Sanctity)
Tea will teach you how to receive:
Sit alone, in silence. Sit with the sound
of splashing water, among a million drinkers.
Alone, you sense Another’s presence.
A ribbon of light; a merciful eye.
Where are divisions? Conflicts?
You are offered in your offering.
This cup is the sky. Plum blossoms
and the call of a robin. Water and light.
(the Final Word: Return)
All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2019 by Joshua Alan Sturgill