The Colour Of Tea by Amlanjyoti Goswami

The Colour of Tea

I once made tea in the forest

With twigs and dry leaves.

It came out yellow

As if the fallen leaves had something to do with it.

The colour of tea is usually blue,

Like the colour of your soul, melancholy with evening

The fall of light

Only you don’t know it yet.

Tea blends with scents of a place

Takes on a different colour

In your cup, brown. In hers, yellow.

In the pot, it looks for something to call home.

Then there is kettle pressure

Throwing off steam

Modern living.

Nowadays they can make tea out of nothing

Just a few floating bags would do.

But that says nothing about

Ginger and cardamom, clove and jaggery.

Try them. Empires rose and fell on them.

Sometimes, in the mood, tea becomes

Someone else – a stranger.

Another flavour.

Hinging on spice but not quite

Enough to wake up

Dying stars, mid-morning.

And have you ever tried purple tea?

I once fell in love with it

I reached for the colour of sky

And let those drops fall in my empty cup,

A trickle. It was the old taste of salt.

I added butter and thought of nirvana.

Amlanjyoti Goswami

Amlanjyoti Goswami’s poetry has been published around the world, in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, the UK, USA, South Africa, Kenya and Germany, and in the anthologies, 40 under 40: An Anthology of Post Globalisation Poetry (Poetrywala), A Change of Climate (Manchester Metropolitan University, Environmental Justice Foundation and the University of Edinburgh) and the Sahitya Akademi anthology of Modern English Poetry. His poems have also appeared on street walls of Christchurch, exhibitions in Johannesburg and buses in Philadelphia. His recent collection of poems, River Wedding, has just been published by Poetrywala and has been widely reviewed. He grew up in Guwahati, Assam and lives in Delhi.

About this poem

"Poetry is my morning tea. Its colours change with the lines."

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