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POETRY CONTEST 2021 WINNERS

tea poetry contest

Our first Tea Poetry Contest was very well received with 23 entries from all over the USA.

The poems were judged by Lisa Boalt-Richardson and Dr. Kim Marie White Lewis. Boalt-Richardson is the director of the World Tea Academy and is a certified tea specialist. She is the author of three published books on tea and food. White Lewis is a professor of English and Communication at Lord Fairfax College in Virginia, and a published author.

After much deliberation, our two judges selected the following two poems:

FIRST PRIZE:  Renata Dumitrascu, Ashwaubenon, WI

Renata Dumitrascu was born in Romania where she spent an idyllic childhood before moving to the U.S. 

She has travelled extensively over the country, with interludes in Latin America and is now living in Wisconsin.

I Made a World

 I made a world for you and me

An atmosphere, a land, a sea

And if I swirl my little spoon

You’ll see appear a milky moon

Come walk with me beneath its glow

On sugared sand and honeyed flow

To friendship we may find the key

Come join me for a cup of tea.

RUNNER-UP:  Eldon Winston, Shepherdstown, WV

“Poetry has been an interest since “Roses are red…” and much later in a college class, I learned a lot I didn’t know.  Time passed in USAF, management consulting and human factors engineer and as a gardener and beekeeper. Poetry lets me say things that I have been thinking about but have no other way to convey.

The subject of tea provides focus on calm, care and life while enjoying a sip.”

More Than Just Water

Swirl the tea in your cup.

Rejoice as day starts and you sip the cup 

  of sweetened flavor.

Selecting the tea, heating the water and setting my place is quiet morning joy.

My morning cup of tea brings calm 

  to face the day. 

A late afternoon cup of tea helps recover 

  a peaceful mind.

We are alone together, my tea and me 

  before I start the dinner meal.

There is beauty in a sunny day, a wooded glen, 

  a gurgling stream but nothing as close to home 

  as my lovely cup of tea. 

Come join me at the table. The pot is full. 

  Your place is set.

The first-prize winner received $100 in products from The Larkin Tea Company and a copy of “Tea & Poetry” by Pearl Dexter, which is a compilation of poems about tea. The second-prize winner received $25 in products from The Larkin Tea Company and a copy of “Tea & Poetry.”

REMAINING POEMS ENTERED IN THE CONTEST:

TEATIME

By Ginny Van Dongen

 English breakfast tea puts a smile on me.

 Happy. Warm. Care-Free.

THE TEACUP

By Stacey Zawatski 

When the glue begins to weaken

And the cracks start to show

Even though it cause heart ache

You know it is time to go.

Always feeling empty

Never fully filled

Eternally being sweet

Forever being spilled

The chips tell stories

Of wars once won

But the earl grey has run out

Telling you the battle is finally done. 

TEA PERFECT DAY

By Norma Eisner

Come, spend some time with me.

We’ll sit under the big green tree and

   share a cup of Larkin Tea.

So calm and relaxing, we’re making new memories.

What’s your favorite aroma or blend?

It doesn’t matter, just so the moment doesn’t end.

No sugar or honey – the hour is so sweet.

Drink it all in!  Makes our day complete.

TEA

By Susan Ingram Heerd

Iced or hot

A glass, mug, or teacup

Milk or no milk

Sugar or lemon

Hot summer days or cozy winter nights

Early morning wake ups or relaxing wind down evenings

No matter how tea is brewed or when it is sipped

Tea is forever an enjoyable part of our lives

You’ll see appear a milky moon

Come walk with me beneath its glow

On sugared sand and honeyed flow

To friendship we may find the key

Come join me for a cup of tea

TEA MAKES IT BETTER 

By Susan Mcclellan

A cup of tea brings people together

no matter what the weather.

Never underestimate the power of tea 

between you and me

Hot or cold – tea makes everything better.

TEATIME HAIKU

By Joan Kosnosky 

Tea pot is ready.

Scones baking in the oven.

Relaxing moment.

SHORT POEM

BY Edwin Gregory

Take back the coffee you gave me

The angry maiden cried

The waiter gave her Earl Grey Tea

And she was satisfied.

HOW DO YOU JUDGE YOUR TEA? 

By Phyllis Merryman Cloyd

There are tea leaves in bags

A breeze to prepare

And tea leaves in caddies

Blended with care.

There are blends to be brewed

Just a minute or two

And some that take longer

The time’s up to you.

But the perfect pot of tea

Isn’t brew-time or blend 

It’s the tea you’ve decided

To share with a friend.

A CUP FOR EVERY MOMENT 

By Brianna Malotke

Sun streaming in through the crack

in the curtains of my bedroom,

the rays warm on my face.

Out of bed I go, ready 

to warm the kettle

and enjoy some Black Currant Tea,

the soothing floral notes

pleasantly send me off on my day.

Everything is go, go, go,

working hard and non-stop, in need

of a moment just to myself.

With a mug full of Jasmine Lavender,

my muscles loosen as the lively

golden cup of fresh jasmine 

and French lavender fills my body,

relaxing my soul, I can carry on.

Long days and wired brain

always turned on, thinking

about every single little detail.

In need to unwind and calm

down, I turn to my trusty kettle

and allow my Lullaby Tea

to work its magic before

heading off to dreamland.

TIME FOR TEA By C.H. Crawford 

Early in the Morning

As the sun begins to rise,

I anxiously await

For my daily surprise!

It could Irish, English,

Or Scottish (all blends of Larkin Tea).

Whatever my choice:

It’s always the best.

In mid-afternoon,

When time for a rest,

Irish Whiskey Cream 

Is always the best.

Then later in the evening

There’s Hogwart’s Butter Beer Brew

Or Grandma’s Pumpkin Spice

Made especially for you.

These I share with family

And friends,

As they choose their

Favorite Larkin Blends. 

GIFTS OF TEA

By Melissa Frentsos

  
A pen pal sends me long letters and she
Seems super fond of including some tea.
Her letters feel like hugs and mean so much
E’en more so in our world that’s missing touch… 

And soon, her gifts of tea whisper sweet things 
As my kettle whistles and my heart sings.
Her gifts of tea say, Be kind to yourself…
Don’t toss your needs on a neglected shelf.
It is not selfish to slow down a bit — 
So get yourself some tea, and savor it! 
My hands caress my mug – I close my eyes 
And imagine a world of butterflies 

And then I know that although life is tough
And I’m hard on myself… I am enough.

Or Grandma’s Pumpkin Spice

Made especially for you.

NO TITLE  By Hellena Tarallo

Sitting outside in the warm breeze

Watching the sway of the trees

On this summer day

Wouldn’t have it any other way

The pitcher of sun tea almost done

Been sitting all day in the hot sun

Mom brings out glasses of ice

On a serving tray so nice

On the porch talking about our day

Now there’s nothing left to say

Just sipping my glass of sweet tea

Nowhere else I’d rather be.

TEA AND ME 

By Joyce Wright Robison

Earl Grey, Lavender, Ginger and Peach/Mango are teas for me,

My spouse loves Black, Chamomile, Peppermint and Green tea.

Oolong, Ceylon, Chai, White and Jasmine are teas for friends,

Matcha, Sencha, Hibiscus and Herbals teas … It never ends.

The brewing, temp, type, and the CUPPA is a lovely tea..se!

HATTER’S TEA (Camellia sinensis)

By James Ph. Kotsybar

 The Hatter’s tea party was mad because

no tea was ever actually served.

It’s moot, as to which type of tea it was,

but rudeness was totally undeserved.

Teatime should be a welcoming moment.

Hatter’s shout of “No room!” from a distance

could only aggravate, irk and foment

disturbance of peaceful co-existence.

However rich, Pu’erh, Black, White, Oolong

and any other tea type you can name

share just one species to which all belong,

deserving place at the table the same. 

As with tea, so with people …” Dormouse said,

while Hatter placed an elbow on his head.

NO TITLE

By Delano Britt

Tea, tea, what shall I compose?

To guide your variety and flavor to prose.

Leaves or bags, hot or cold, may your luscious aroma not fail but be sold.

For everyone should enjoy, wife and husband, girl and boy.

Since you have eased so much strife, thank you, thanks, I’m a fan for life.

DINAH’S TEAS by Ivan Smason

Dinah’s teas brought amity

Their subtleties wrought loyalty

Her English high tea

Was known as a fixity

Her tea pots had a magical property

They turned realty into proper tea

They turned royalty into dynasty

They turned piety into pie and tea

Her green teas bought longevity

Her black teas, thought alacrity

Her white teas cured toxicity

Her oolongs caused felicity

With due respect for modesty

In all honesty and integrity

Her china teemed with honest tea

Dinah’s teas were teas of comity

CINNAMON by Clare Talbott

Outside,

Ginger leaves droop, turning to rust;

and London Fog covers windows

painted with raindrops;

Impatient winds buffet dying Mint plants,

howling over the chimney,

hiding the laughter of the kettle

sitting on the stove;

Chamomile flowers shine from tawny pages

as poetry closes on a bookmark 

made in warm months now forgotten,

swept away with wool sweaters and hot tea

Cinnamon and Cloves fill the air 

as boiling water splashes over the blend

of spices and Camellia Sinensis

warming the whole room;

bringing tea into the next season.

LORNA AND WILLIAM AND CONVERSATION OVER TEA

By R. Gregory Shaw

It’s gotten dark while we’ve talked.

        So soon? I hardly noticed.

Do you remember how we always had tea before I took you home?

        Of course. It was a ritual.

Shall I put the kettle on?

        Yes, please do. That would be nice.

And you’ll have a teaspoon of honey?

        The Brits would say, two sugars.

Did you see this evening’s news?

        It’s heartbreaking. When will we learn?

It makes me anxious when there’s little we can do.

        But a cup of tea always helps.

You may be joking, but it does. It settles the nerves.

        My nerves are hoping you have decaf. I need my sleep.

The cupboard is full. Earl Grey, oolong, lemongrass – whatever your pleasure.

        Surprise me. It’s been an evening of surprises.

Would you be surprised if I confess that I was somewhat sly those nights we kept our tea ritual?

        Did you think yourself clever to fill the pot with chilled water and set it on a tiny flame?

You knew?

        Water shouldn’t take twenty minutes to boil.

I didn’t want our conversation to end.

        Nor did I. We were young. But tonight, already, I hear the whistle from the stove.

I promised not to keep you late. I’ll fetch the tray. I’ve special cups for a special occasion.

        William, these are the largest tea mugs I have ever seen. I wonder, should I be suspicious?

Lorna, there is so much I’ve wanted to tell you.

MAKING TEA By Tim Ross 

She makes her tea today spurning bags bought at the store

Using loose leaves as she did in Canada, before the war. 

Fresh cold water into the kettle placed upon the burner

Gas lit with a click then to the pantry she turns

To choose the tea, not tea; today let’s be proper with our words:

Camellia sinensis, Latin, like in church.

White, green, black? Yellow or Oolong?  How long

Have I had these how long will they keep? How long

Will anything stay? That leaf out the window just fell.

A maple. Not long ago I watched its seed twirl as it fell.

Red maple like Canada. Red hair he had and the curl fell

Across his forehead; that fine Scot forehead I could tell

That he could tell that I would gladly go from my porch

With him to the church, but mine was Latin; his was not.

The tea! Which? Oolong? Black, green, white, yellow?

Quick the water bubbles, find the ball in the drawer where’s the fellow?

Long unused, ‘twas a gift from someone, make up your mind

Camellia sinensis, Thea Chinensis, Brant Canadensis? No, that’s a goose!

Perhaps the ball is gone, but there’s the strainer; I’ll put the leaves in loose.

The tea! The water boils, which? Green or black or something stronger

Lapsang Souchong? Earl Grey? Black and lavender; he brought me lavender

Once. He knew my favorites, his eyes were gray or fading blue, to remember

Isn’t easy and when you do… it’s time to heat the pot, swirl the water, it was September 

The last time he went away, swirl, swirl, the pot grows warmer. 

The tea! Which? Oolong, black, yellow, white, green?

Yes. Yes, all of them, how much longer would they keep?

Splash the boiling water in and let it steep.

Let the flavors suffuse and mingle, let the caffeine release

Its power to tingle our resting nerves and yet, bring us to peace.

The tea is made, albeit old, now to sip before all goes cold. 

Cup of Comfort 

By Elaine Hoffman                                              

Pu’erh tea bushes firmly entrenched

solidified rocky soil 

inherited gems reaching skyward

tightly furled into memory…

balm to my cloistered soul.

Out onto the hills of the Himalayas

Black’s first flush bursting forth

singular hands reaching gingerly

basketed in the pulse of sultry air

withering sun awaits.

Betwixt and between comes Oolong

row upon row over earthly hills

special soils nurturing particular treatment

awaited flavors amidst wither

golden scents waft in the afternoon.

Greener pasture; gentle breeze

two leaves and a tender bud

lined up in attendance

await the moment of release

carefully rolled into sweet Gunpowder!

Sunshine meets the smile

of newborn daffodils

beckoning gingerly and delicious

come join me for that cup of Comfort

at our corner on songbird place.

I AM TEA

BY Sara Tamblin 

She turns on the faucet

And I rush out….

Clear, gurgling, reflective…

I’m guided into the copper interior of the old family teapot.

I know what’s coming….

The gradual intensity of heat

Until I find myself bouncing off the sides of

This piece of cultural history that’s about to transform me

From a boiling chemical compound to something delicious,

As she adds the aromatic dried, dark, tiny, tender leaves.

The heat subsides and so does my clarity.

Now I’m a new creation…

A warm, amber liquid bursting forth with flavor,

Unable to resist the invitation to leave my cozy surroundings,

I pour forth into one of her china teacups.

Again, I know what will happen. I await it.

To be part of this tradition is a welcome sacrifice.

To be part of this magical transformation is mystery personified.

I am water, but so much more. I am TEA.

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