The Ancient Modern

Teas Will Teach You /  Joshua Alan Sturgill

Tea will teach you how to pray:

            Less heat. 
            More careful expectation.

It isn’t necessary to boil the water.
The flavors are subtle, modest.

             Purity and wholeness matter.

Filtered wateryou want to taste only tea.
Unbroken leavesavoid 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

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