A Poem to Commemorate the Completion of Book 1 – On Theory, Meta Theory, and Culture

The Editorial team and I have just published the final installment of our first book in the series An Introduction to the Art and Science of Chinese Tea Ceremony.

Please do check it out on www.teatechnique.org!

To commemorate the publication of the first book, I’ve written a poem for the last chapter, which is cross posted here:

Brewing alone, all the teas I enjoy,

Only my own preferences to consider, not a god or guest to entertain;

Paused on the path of progress, watching small groups stumble along,

The white or soiled sails of piloted ships carry many against the river current;

Kettle cool, a welcoming caravan approaches, together now down the path,

Perhaps towards the shipyard in the distance? The once welcoming now focused group grows,

determined to construct a ship of our own, a vision of white sails alight on the wind,

How many can such a ship carry? Passion ignited is a siren song, a fleet of masts follow in close wake,

Our ship but one of many, countless sailing across time, others shipwrecked on the banks of the river,

Former sailors smiling as they brew alone, just a stare while we sail on and past,

Time rips members from our grasp, recruitment bolsters our numbers for now;

The time we have is not time enough, our members disembark and scatter like pollen on the wind,

Now near the end, I brew alone, all the teas I enjoy,

Different now with different wares, a new location more beautiful than before,

Years to arrive and lonely in all directions, only a few small groups of travelers visible on the steep trails below,

Those above, further up the mountain, invisible, hidden in their hermitages or shrouded in the mist that hides the way;

Will I ever make it to the summit? The thought drifts away as I sip my tea alone,

The muffled voices of a small group approaching, tempted to join, yet kettle hot I let them pass,

Maybe the next one? Maybe the next one….

- Jason Cohen, Dec 16th 2021

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