Monday, October 30, 2017

Tea Readings: A lesson by Kenny!


When I first learnt to
pour tea in Honicknowle

in those dark old days
before central heating

closed down open fireplaces
and lights went out in coal mines

and chimpanzees hadn’t yet
made their debuts on television

and two sugars
was the national average

and the teapot was the centre
of the known universe

and the sun was this yellow
thing that just warmed the air

and anthropology’s study
of domestic history hadn’t

quite reached the evolutionary
breakthrough of the tea-bag

and the kettle was on
in the kitchen of number

thirty two Chatsworth Gardens
where my father after slurping

another saucer dry would ask
in a smoke-frog voice for

another cup of microcosm
while outside the universe blazed

like a hundred towns
on a sky of smooth black lino

and my father with tobacco
stained fingers would dunk biscuits

and in the process spill tiny drops
of Ceylon and India

which I would wipe with a tea towel
from the corner shop

I read the tea leaves
as if they were words

left over from a conversation
between two cups.

~ Kenny Knight

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