Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oolong Tea

Ella's prompt at Poets United's Wonder???? Wednesday is this intriguing teacup, which Ella gives the history of over at Poets United. Photo of the teacup by Ella's Edge

I find this ghostly woman at the bottom of the teacup mesmerizing. She takes me back to all I have read about Japan, the days of the courtesans and geishas, war time romances, sometimes forbidden ones. I shall invent one here about the lady in the cup, between an occupying American soldier and a young Japanese beauty. 

He was tall and ruddy-cheeked, 
noisy and full of laughter,
startling the reserved 
and dignified household
who were providing him with
temporary lodging.

She was small and delicate,
almond eyes mysterious
and downcast,
shy smile hidden behind
a fluttering fan.

When his bold eyes fell on her,
she blushed,
her hands trembling
as she knelt
to serve the tea
in tiny cups,
beautiful in her
cobalt blue kimono
with white long legged birds.

Later, he could hear her
with her sisters, 
all of them giggling
along the hallway
like a flock of cooing doves.

He could not keep his eyes away,
though she frowned, turned away,
tried to discourage his glance.
It was, of course,
There would never be 
more than those glances,
those responsive,
uneasy flutterings 
of her heart.

Duty to family
was everything,
no young girl's heart 
strong enough to withstand,
in the face of centuries
of tradition.

He gave her, secretly,
a monogrammed lawn handkerchief
for remembering.
And when he left her father's house,
he pocketed
one fragile ceremonial teacup
engraved with her face.

For the rest of his life,
he would see her looking 
back at him
from the bottom of 
his morning cup
of oolong tea.

Kids, my computer goes into the shop today. I will somehow get around to your sites tonight to read and comment, even if I have to commandeer my sister's computer!!!!!


  1. Very very sweet and probable. I like the domestic feeling behind this romance.

    I too have seen so many Western images of the East. I never understood why a Butterfly would find a poor American soldier more interesting than a wonderful settled man of her own land. Seems highly improbable, doesn't it?

  2. AWWWW, Koko, love the way you spun the last stanza. It is so lovely and it fits so well.

    Now I know about oolong tea and things like that,haha.

  3. I love the romance in this haunting charm filled poem~
    So tender and filled with the wonder of what if?!

    Loved it! oooh, spooky about the oooolong! lol

    I love the tenderness of your poem!

  4. This reminds me of Shirley McLaine's My Geisha. I love comedy. I have only a faint recollection of the movie. Beautiful take Sherry!


  5. I like this story. The more I read your writing, the more I am impressed with your imagination and creativity. It seems bottomless, endless. And of course, it is divine.

  6. Very tender. Beautiful descriptions of etiquette and tradition.
    If you've never seen the movie you may enjoy seeing Tom Cruise in 'The Last Samurai' It's an epic movie, very colourful and has a lot of Japanese tradition in it. Your poem reminded me of that.
    Beautifully crafted Sherry.

  7. Love in a teacup, pity it wasn't stormy love at the end :-)
    Nice write Sherry.

  8. Oh, I love your romantic story, Sherry...too bad strong cultural differences kept them apart...but they each had their memories... Sweet.

  9. Lovely romance. I can just hear the sisters "cooing like a flock of doves!" This is chock full of fantastic images, Sherry!

  10. What a touching poem, Sherry! Seems so real, and just MIGHT be.

  11. Lovely and touching poem Sherry, Thanks for sharing

  12. Very nice poem of longing love Sherry. I like your "cobalt blue kimono".

  13. very prettily and believably told Sherry ... I like this a lot

  14. A very beautiful tale of romance,sweet and bitter

  15. What a lovely romance you describe in your poem. I enjoyed reading it.

  16. Tripping through computer links... and glad I found this. I'll have to stop on over now at Real Toads to read the history (or herstory).
    I really like what you did with this.
    Ingrained traditions of all cultures are fascinating. If only we could always share the positive ones...

    I popped in via Elizabeth's Musical Notes...sort of. Hope to see you there today.

  17. Ah Ella's prompt - Poet's United...! ...where did I get the Toads from... ??
    Cheers from an addled brain.

  18. Lovely story, Sherry I completely understand the attraction of the American soldier. We all have our versions of "the bad boy." And now I have that haunting aria playing in my head.

  19. As I sit here and read your entry I am drinking my oolong tea, but actually I drink it all day, every day. You would be amazed at the health benefits in a cup of oolong tea and now that you have added a romantic twist to it, it all the more desirable. :-) (I have research and written about it.)

  20. Such a great poem! I could just envision an old man staring into his empty cup!

  21. A real feast, Sherry, from beginning to end.
    I especially like these lines:

    he pocketed
    one fragile ceremonial teacup
    engraved with her face.

    along the hallway
    like a flock of cooing doves

    Well, hope her destiny is better than Madame Butterfly's!
    (Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting)

  22. hope your computer comes home working better than ever!

    i loved your story ~ what a lovely remembrance to have.


  23. Nicely served and it reminds me of Shogun, one of my favorite stories.


I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!