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Black as tannin, as bitter,
But with aroma deliciously beckoning,
Coffee is best drunk from a
    transparent cup
To open the sight of its dark inner secrets,
    the steam rising to meet the air.
But not tannic taste, this, as
    the energizing rush of finely ground seed
    steeped for the correct period,
    floods the palate.
I inhale, slightly, through my nose as I
    sip, letting all senses suddenly spark,
    even though I knew it was coming.
Like a fine wine, like time-honored brandy,
    but like none of this,
The dark fluid pleases, liquid as water.

The camp-pot of course is a different species.
On cold, visceral-shivering mornings in the
A pot of the stuff hisses like wind in the
Let the stream water come to boil, add the
    special dirt, let boil again,
    then dump a cup of fresh cold stream right
    on in, the grounds magically settle.
And not so much the Oxford aroma
    as the feel of warming tin in stiff
    hand, is the benefit of a poured
Dawns are best greeted this way.

To be sure, the seeds are plucked some
    thousands of miles south where parrots pass,
But here they sit, their blood transformed
    to black wine
    so many nations away.
We are gatherers still,
    tribal traditions live well in the
    collected seed -
    what better retains the tie to our
    Pleistocene parents?
In demi-tasse or espresso steam, mocha'd
    or whiskey'd, tinged with goat's milk
    or bee's honey,
A human evolution brews in every mute
    vessel, liquid history book, pre-history, now
    enjoyed for reasons no different
Than in the Early Days.

But one need not understand history, or
    even subscribe to evolution, to enjoy.
The weight of the mug, the humid vapors,
    the gurgle of pouring, these suffice.
Pity the rich, whose servants do all but
    drink it for them, who never feel the
    smooth bean, watch the magic changeling
    of water, tend the stove,
    prepare the additives
    and comdiments,
    or release the spent fuel,
The grounds, rich as humus, loamy as
    the finest earth,
Giver of morning rituals and evening
Were we so free!

        - bruce g marcot


Note:  This piece is an "object poem," which is a poem that focuses on a particular entity or object, that does not vary or wander in its focus, and that explores the imagery, even the sensual nature, of the object.  Writing object poems is great fun because it forces you to fully experience the object yet also see many hidden dimensions to it.

- bgm

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