Tea Poetry Contest 2022 Finalists

This is your opportunity to participate in our Tea Poetry Contest. Below are 17 finalists, selected out of 56 entries. The main criteria for this year’s contest is that the poem have, “. . . a significant and meaningful tea theme.” Now that our team of preliminary judges has narrowed the submissions, it is time for you to vote.

poetry contest announcement header

Vote For Three Favorites

Please use the form at the bottom of this page to select your three favorite poets.  Or use this link to the form to vote.

The finalists are:

Melissa Baysinger

Erin Bigart

Andrea Marie Brokaw

Joejuan Byrd

Peter Christy

Joann Condino

Elizabeth Coppel

Barbara Flaherty

Goran Gatalica

Cristle Griwach

Kimberly Harrison

T.L. “Drew” Kreuser

Gina Lane

Heather Lavoie

Marilyn Miller

James Norwood Pratt

Gloria Slomczynski

Tea

Not black as the night

Not green as the frog

Not yellow as the sunshine

Not white as the snowflake

Not oolong as the century

But beautiful just the same

A way to taste the colors of nature

     – Melissa Baysingar

Leave your walker here and sit by me, dear.

The water is brewing, our adventure awaits. 

Watch for Cape Buffalo and little springbok. 

Tie your kanga around you and wait until you see

the beautiful hue of this rooibos tea!

So glad we could visit: come sit by me, dear. 

The water is brewing, our adventure awaits. 

The Gaiwan is ready. This white tea is true. 

Can you taste the dew off the plant of the Silver Needle poured for you?

Feeling lonely? Come sit by me, dear. 

The water is brewing, our adventure awaits. 

The  Assam and Darjeeling have quite different tastes. 

The spices are varied, the cities are busy. 

Perhaps you’d prefer a cup from Sikkim or Nilgiri?

Wait until next week when you sit by me, dear! 

We’ll brew the water, our adventure awaits. 

We still have so much to taste and to see

Yellow, purple, green and smoky tea.

     – Erin Bigart

The Spider’s Tea,

A Love Story in Verse

 

The spider’s name is Geraldine.

Far above thee she doth tower.

Three meters great in height,

Make her the vastest spider thou hast seen,

The scariest spider thou hast ever seen.

Spoken of with naught but awe,

She doth make most fair folk cower.

But thine own heart knows no fright

For thou hast seen the teapot in her claw,

The lovely, earthen teapot held there in her claw.

The spider asks, “Wouldst thou like tea?

It’s sweet, but also sour.”

Thou stareth silent at the sight

As a teacup she holds out to thee,

A cute little tea cup held out to thee.

The spider, she doth offer cream

And honey, if thou wilt allow her.

The creature makes of tea a rite

Like a play borrowed from dream,

A most lovely and enticing dream.

At length doth thou sit and drink,

Then some biscuits thou doth devour.

And now thine heart doth take to flight

As in love thou doth start to sink.

In love with this spider thou doth now sink.

The spider, she begins to smile,

And most would flee straight from her bower.

But thou stayeth as the spider’s knight

For her tea made thou a spiderphile,

A blissful, tea-soaked spiderphile.

The spider’s name is Geraldine.

Thine love for her will always flower.

And as her skill is far from slight,

Of teatime she shall reign thine queen,

Thine gorgeous, eight-legged brewing queen.

     – Andrea Marie Brokaw

Herbs Of Tea

To pass the time of day             I load up rounds of rhymes to say

And spray my verbal arsenal at any time of day

Intention is to meet myself half way         like touché

Capturing precious moments in life before they float away

blessed with a sip from a cup tea over runneth as is every day

            i pen to paper indent      to whom this may concern might i say?

my sweet to the crossing all teas natural remedy?

I’m Still perplexed by the ability of a camera to this day

Freezing an instant of something untouchable in such a way

i Ponder these and other conundrums as they arise

As they pass and subside my weary  subtle hazey eyes

another sip   i ingest    excitement        to my taste buds prior to digest

as my experience      into the veins of these coupled couplets  i inject 

my sweet to the crossing all teas natural remedy my now reckoning 

my life   yet in what perception       as i like repo   tow    and recollect

fur most appreciation in all aspects    for your time to you much respect

my written renditions i create              no relenting for any auditions

attempts to have my words play as a fiddle    this starving artist is riddled 

steaming to a simmer     gulps i  intake          life glows from its glitter

humbleness it instills               my boiling point      brought to now chills

through my sweet to the crossing all teas natural remedy        my heart spills

peaceful vibrations and herbal tea     make for tranquility 

it seems at stake    dare i question my gumption   in this state?

the uncertainty within my self conscious assumptioning

one day   may i have a family in which i diminish such questioning?

Longing to love and see cultures in all nooks and crannies

teas indigenous to their land maybe mixed with berries

The idea of having jammies in them my little half uncanny

well    ill be sipping my teas    of all varieties      til hit with the whammy

my sweet to the crossing all teas natural remedy      my call always answering

      – Joejuan Byrd

whether green, oolong, black, or puer

tasting the full spectrum offered by the leaves

make us more whole

     – Peter Christy

Tea Routine

 

Days are defined by 

what tasks are done.

Week days – official work days

Weekends – chore days

There is a rhythm 

There is comfort in the pattern .

 

There is solace in routine:

We sche

dule meals  

when to wash our hair

paint our nails 

When to exercise

When to drink tea

When to breathe deeply

When to hope  

When to love

Then war comes

No routine 

No comfort

No solace

New pattern-

Fear

Death

Homelessness 

Smoke

Guns

Weekdays 

Weekends

Every day

     –  Joann Condino

Tea Time Ramblings…

We built a fire for comfort to relax

Maybe green tea to ease our backs

We put a kettle on to boil

Knowing our Pu-erh will never spoil

Soon we dreamed of taking Ataya in Dakar

While sipping rooibos from afar

Afternoon tea in London sounds so nice

We’d drink Earl Grey once or thrice

In the kingdom of the Czars

We’d make our tea with samovars

Over to the Outback for a cuppa

Make it from a root of yucca

In South America there’s no debate

Yerba Mate is just great

Back home with words of Lao-Tzu

Camellia sinensis, we love you!

     – Elizabeth Copple

Friendship Tea

Come sit and spend some time with me

And while we chat, we’ll drink some tea.

In this busy world of ours

There’s hardly time to sit for hours

To share a friend’s company.

We’re rushing here and rushing there

And don’t have time to sit and share,

A hope, a dream, a laugh or two.

I think it’s sad, don’t you?

So come and spend some time with me 

And while we chat, we’ll drink some tea.

     – Barbara Flahrety

with clear awareness

my father turns his tea bowl

clockwise twice

–  Goron Gatalica 

Warm, soothing  tea

Golden liquid fills my cup

And I swallow joy

     – Cristle Griwach

Sipping Simultaneously 

Tea for mom means 

Lipton tea bag

hot in the morning

iced and unsweetened by day

refreshing and bracing

I keep some on hand

for when she comes over

and for home remedy

like she taught me

for a stye or puffy eyes

nothing like a hot tea bag

with the strength to pull it out

I like my tea 

black or green

loose leaf

and ripe with fruits

pomegranate, blackberry 

or smooth vanilla black

a favorite

but also unsweetened 

hot in the morning

iced tumbler by day

I’d give anything

to sit together again

laughter entwining 

like steam 

over a cuppa

and talk as only

best friends do

we agree on hot tea

in the morning 

wonder if we’re sipping

simultaneously 

     – Kimberly Harrison

To Love

Step 1

Oh…the amber flow from the porcelain tip to the rounded-but slightly chipped…to get to where I now need to go—in my heart…I need to get…to go.

Slight splash up, bottom of this little, china cup, perched on an unmatched saucer that smothers a cloth linen I tarry from below.

I revere as I cradle all of you, because I wait…to my calming corner and more, a humble space here on a weathered chair out front  on a simple, tassle-knotted rug just outside —through just one door…

And out I walk…

Step 2

I nest you, my treat, on a sun-worn, cream colored, yet dented-lightly table, piled with reading and rocks to hold them down—the wait for be too—my outside, peaceful, simple space

And this mid-day moment lands upon me with peace, and comfort, allow me to calm—to leave the combat or this morning behind—this is grace.

Spring-sun peeks through the might oaks above, to alight the snaky, slithered steam-swirls over the vessel to my nostrils—-inhale, relax…let go…breathe.

…and then the sip enters my throat rightly and suddenly stops me to close my eyes and revel…and all of nature is here—the sip—exhales—inhales—relieve…

Oh..my mind, reaches for small reading glasses, my book on the table calls to read and escape.

This is what life should be for all. I pray…relief beyond what simple breath can give…

I am now alive with full life and liveliness. Herbs and flora and spice to tell me—it’s ok to be and to live..

For a beautiful moment, I can read in my wooded cathedral at peace..

I sip-slurp slightly—more, just a little more warmth from this warmed cup, and all my senses are alighted and aligned to relief. 

I then speak to myself-inside my head—and laugh—as I speak to my beautiful tea creation this universe gives me- to free me—to bind me to this love of this place—which frees me to love myself today—you —you all—all of you around me, things that bring me to this space—help me be whole.

And cheers this beautiful creation of warm, refreshment…and to the beautiful creation of space…and they all warmly whisper back to my soul.

Step 3.

I hold my beautiful tea now forward with both hands—and nod to it—and to all…and —now, because this space and love in my heart allows the worst to leave—to myself—and the worst is over and done…

The stress…the hurt…the pressure…whatever brought me here is gone…

Final step.

I love you.

     —  T. L. “Drew” Kreuser

“UniTEA”

UNITED We Stand, Divided We Fall…

To Bond in “UniTEA” I hope to in Inspire us ALL.

We are more the same than we are different,

And Sharing tea, conversation, & respect for each other

is time well spent.

We all have pride in our cultures and family ancestry,

And if you search you will find

We may share a branch on our tree.

So much is trying to divide us, but we need to hold strong,

Because to our World

We ALL belong.

Skin color, race, identity, ability, religion, and class…

Let’s cherish us all so the division won’t last.

I foresee our friendships beginning to brew

Into much like a cup of tea,

A special blend of me and you.

I believe our goals for “UniTEA” are within reach,

and as a model of “SolidariTEA” for all generations, let us teach.

So, we shall give of ourselves to each other…One and All,

Because UNITED We Stand and Divided, We Fall.

 

     – Gina Lane

Hot bubbles boiling

Rising mist happiness

My tea kettle sings

     – Heather Lavoie

A haiku for you

Come, drink tea with me

We can talk of happy things

Our world needs to love

     – Marilyn Miller

every night

he raises to his mouth

her tea bowl–

whose idea was it

to glaze it with the moon?

love

     –  James Norwood Pratt

Tea as Transportation

Soothing scents wafting from my mug

Allow me to gently ponder the world in its complexity

Yet allowing me to travel through my daily trials

In the most comfortable of vehicles.

     – Gloria Slomczynski