Friday, August 19, 2011

tea for two hundred

Well, I thought I had been to the Lake District during my five years living in London, but clearly not--I would have remembered all these damp and dripping greens and greys. We're in a 16th c. house now mushroomed to a complicated and comfortable cluster of rooms, underpinned by a big old kitchen with two electric kettles that have served up at least 200 cups of tea to an ever-changing array of inhabitants over the last week. I do enjoy all the kerfuffle and banter of a large group of wonderful people, and the challenge that surrounds the mobilization of a party of 11 for a walk (we Yanks would say "hike") to Tarn How, or a party of 14 for As You Like It on the lake shore, or a party of 21 for dinner at the Black Bull pub...

But I must say I'm ready to be back, just the four of us (or even the two of us!), in our cozy kitchen at home.  From here at Coniston Water it would be fitting to post something by Wordsworth or John Ruskin or even Beatrix Potter, all of whom trod these rocky hills, but instead I'm thinking of the lovely interior poem my father selected to read at our little wedding, which holds out the promise of a quiet--but not too quiet--latter-years domesticity a deux.

Steve Scafidi

When we are old one night and the moon
arcs over the house like an antique
China saucer and the teacup sun

follows somewhere far behind
I hope the stars deepen to a shine
so bright you could read by it

if you like and the sadnesses
we will have known go away
for awhile---in this hour or two

before sleep---and that we kiss
standing in the kitchen not fighting
gravity so much as embodying

its sweet force, and I hope we kiss
like we do today knowing so much
good is said in this primitive tongue.

From the wild first surprising ones
to the lower dizzy ten thousand
infinitely slower ones---and I hope

while we stand there in the kitchen
making tea and kissing, the whistle
of the teapot wakes the neighbors.

~Steve Scafidi

Poetry Friday today at Dori Reads.  I hope Dori Drinks Tea, too!


  1. This poem is wonderful, Heidi! What a great poem to read at a wedding. Thanks for posting it.

  2. What a fabulous gift your father gave you on your wedding day!

  3. Heidi, This poem is beautiful. Thank you for posting it...tonight I will share it with Mark. How time carries all of us on! Continued congratulations! Enjoy your cozy-home-time. A.

  4. This has made me sigh and my eyes glisten this evening. What a beautiful beautiful poem to read for your wedding. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. while we stand there in the kitchen
    making tea and kissing, the whistle
    of the teapot wakes the neighbors.


    Many thanks to your Dad.

  6. This is absolutely lovely, Heidi. Thanks for sharing. Let the kettle whistle on.

  7. Lovely! Making tea will never be the same!!

  8. A beautiful poem to savor and live up to/into. Thanks for sharing, and continued wishes for much happiness.

  9. As a writer, I have to ask: after your visit, did you see Wordworth differently? or his work?

    I've never been there....


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