An old-fashioned bouquet of camellias
your grandmother’s tea service
have more in common than the sideboard
on which they’re standing.
The camellia bush with its shiny
green leaves and corsage blossoms is
Camellia japonica; the evergreen
tea plant, Camellia sinensis.
If left to grow in the wild,
sinensis can reach thirty feet high.
(In Yunnan province, China,
an ancient tea tree
a hundred feet over the landscape.)
Cultivated tea plants are pruned
to waist height to
The flush for finer teas
An experienced picker, almost
always a woman,
in one day flush enough
for nine pounds of finished tea:
1800 cups, six month’s imbibing
for a thirsty Brit
and his camellia-gathering
a found poem from The New Tea Book by Sara Perry, which means the words are (mostly) Perry’s; the line breaks, mine own.
This post is offered as part of Tweetspeak Poetry’s found poem project, Tea for Two.