Nine Moons

Sunlight pierces
the wet skin
of city streets

'tea sutra'
painted in shadows

steam curls from cup
warm breath
in winter

Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose
scent of a new moon

a dark-clad figure
comes and goes
behind the orange curtain

your Assam leaves
in the metal strainer

the long narrow room
seven eastern windows
a floating island

something adventurous?
spicy citrus

clink of china
slow voices
the pour of water

falling in love again
never wanted to

facing the same direction
by accident
two elephants

steal me away
Oolong dragon

tracing the braille
of the blinds
their lost garden

she sips Yunnan
the queen's favourite

1940s Newcastle
before the trolley-bus home

a 'quite large' chocolate cookie
fissured like rock

with one finger
he circles nine moons
on the steamed glass

bamboo leaves
a shoal of green fish

how will Percy Street look
ledges splashed
with tulips?

when tomorrow comes
it will taste of sweet tea.

A genius loci renga
at Tea Sutra,
Leazes Park Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
on 21st January, 2012.

Birtley Aris
Linda France
Enid Lee
Ellen Phethean

As Linda France explains on her website, "Renga is a collective writing experience where the process is as important as the poem that has accrued at the end of it. There are many variations on the form but essentially a group of people will spend a day together to create twenty haiku-like verses of alternating three lines and two lines. There is a schema for each season, guiding the attention to when it is appropriate to offer verses set in a particular season, mentioning love, say, or the moon or flowers. A renga will always begin set in the season during which it is being composed and will always end on verses set in spring."

Nine Moons was composed at - and inspired by - Tea Sutra teahouse.

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Nine Moons © 2012 the participating poets: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poets: please do not download or republish without permission.