Tag Archives: Coffee

Morning Ritual

Morning Ritual

Whey-faced, hollow-eyed,
the Penitent stumbles
into the kitchen; musters
faltering forces, begins
preparations for the ritual.

He wrenches his mind away
from endless recycling
of sins the previous day.

He sips chilled water,
through parched lips
into arid throat,
to wondrous effect.

He detects the first faint flickers,
the incipient signs
of salvation.

Penitent becomes Supplicant.
He intones a prayer;
focuses his belief
in the alchemy
of the ritual into each
methodical movement.

He sprinkles the first drops
of freshly-boiled,
purified water
onto coffee grounds;
watches as they
absorb the moisture,
begin to bubble into life.

He inhales
the hallowed,
holy fragrance.

The blackness of the brew
is befitting;
from darkness came light
in the beginning.

Sip by startling sip,
the black brew seeps
into his soul,
burns away
the bleakness,
bites into
the bitterness
of self-blame.

Sip by startling sip,
the black brew infuses
new spirit, scours away
suppurating sins
of the previous day.

Mesmerized by the miracle,
he mutters a prayer
of thanksgiving.

The journey from penitence
to salvation ends.
The ritual is complete.
The day begins.

I was a callow youth, living away from home for the first time, when I first started experimenting with coffee.  I remember I was on the verge of buying a percolator, which was quite a trendy appliance at the time, when an older, wiser female friend pointed me in the right direction.  “You don’t want to get a percolator” she said “They actually boil the coffee, which detracts from the flavour.  No, all you need to get is a simple jug with a filter; that’ll give you much better coffee.”  I followed her advice, and started to fall in love with the whole process of coffee-making.

Over the years, I’ve dabbled with different concoctions at breakfast-time, but I’ve ended up with a process of the ultimate simplicity: three spoons of ground coffee, into a coffee filter, in a cone placed on top of a pint mug.  Water is then poured from a kettle – just off the boil – directly onto the coffee, which drips directly into the mug.  Sheer heaven!  I can’t imagine life without my morning coffee ritual. 

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Coffee

In an earlier post – “Plums and Croissants” – I spoke about the relative scarcity of poems celebrating the simple pleasures of food and drink.  In my own small way, I am doing my best to remedy this deficiency, and the following short poems on the subject of coffee are examples.

Coffee is vitally important for me, at the start of the day – and I mean real, good quality coffee, not “Instant” (although I am advised that you can get quite good Instant Coffee, these days).  In the second poem, there are allusions to coffee having almost magical properties, and its transformative effects do tempt me, at times, to regard it as a magical potion.

The Day Begins:

Some talk to trees, or flowers.
I talk to my coffee machine.
I give it thanks for its daily duty:
ushering me from insensibility.

The blackness of the liquid is befitting.
From darkness came light, in the beginning.
Consciousness is stirred, unwilling,
to awareness vibrating with meaning.

Air resonating with my blessing,
the day begins.

Coffee – the Morning After:

My coffee is black.  I pour it
slowly, slowly, jug to cup.
Slowly, slowly, never looking up.
Slowly, slowly, mesmerised;
how it oozes, how it slides.

Black as treacle, black as coal.
Black as a death star in a black hole.
Black as Tartarus; as a cancer cell.
Black as the deepest pit of Hell.

But as I sip it, slowly, hot as I dare.
Slowly, slowly, with infinite care.
It works its wonders.  It banishes night.
Oh!  Its benison, burning bright!
Oh!  Its spirit, its soul, is white!

 

 

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