A Spot Of Tea

At a teashop not far from where you are
Two friends who knew each other
Long before the sands began to fall
Met again and sat across the round table outside
Under a sun that never slept

I met a waitress down the way
Who, knowing me, in the style that a puddle knows a bootprint
Commented thus: for what is life but that of others
People sheltered in a bus

Ah! She asks the quest of old
The one we soundly contemplate
When we here find ourselves so situated
A volumed topic not spoken of lightly
Related until nightfall and only then the tale begins
But look! For tea arrives, and it is unruly of us
To watch it so, as it is written
Those whom the tea does not take time
Cannot make time to make it

Indeed, you speak truly
And before I take a bitter sip
A better tale I have for you
For what is life but a silent girl
So lighted by her countenance
That those about her know her not and should
As the music struggles to free itself
To passengers immersed in their own quarrels
Though she seeks inclusion or anything to cling to
She is with child, and that within beckons freedom
Happy the girl will be hers
Distressed her father will never know
The song lodges itself in her parched heart
Aiming both to strengthen and burden each step
As she longs to find her place in a frownworld
Her crowning achievement
Unfinished art in charcoal: wings of raven in bloom
As the baby arrives with none to assist
And, falling to the frigid floor, they tremble together
Their only linked action
Until one breath blinks out as the other cries its last
The not-quite-mother alone as the untouched snowflake
This is life and all it bears, from start to end
No more than this, I challenge you, friend

Dear fellow, I shall tell you something
You have not yet allowed the tea to cool
As it bites your brilliance rather sharply
Producing meaning that leaves some
More with alacrity than with contrition
There are those who suggest
And far be it that this, my thought alone
Should raise fire in that life appraises so
That there was a slight idea in the mind
Of an impoverished youth, laying near a sewer
Which yielded fruits of fettered filth
That would turn the upright scholar away
From any sort of movement made
By its mostly horizontal neighbour
And in this thought, he reasoned
The barest spark in a sea of dark
It lazed about for a spell, till something fell over it
So it must move for want of touch
It began in a roll, then a lumbering, then a swirl
As sparks are of no great substance
Before it swelled to an ember, to a torch
Then into fire, and finally into sun
What all of us share in growth
What each has in each other
The brightness that dawns and rests
The simplicity of a thought
A totality of feeling
But more than this, I charge you, kindly
This, you cannot answer blindly

My friend of old, what were I to tell you
If the spark was man
The falling object, woman
And the action between them
Well, there it is
Sharing substance in the void
Does that not link these secrets so

Very truly I tell you
Take pleasure in pondering lofty things
My answer is
Wait! The kettle sings