Anyone of my graduate school classmates will tell you that I was either writing about coffee, having it, or both...
The Keurig is not all that bad,
i prefer the motion of baristas
adding that special touch of personality –
selecting a size waiting.
Appreciating the aroma of coffee beans
swelling within me hearing
the clank of mugs to spoons,
the machine’s sizzling release of steam,
wondering where it all happens.
Winnowing in the flat fields of Ethiopia, Arabica, or Brazil –
the green and red cherries dry in the sun,
their crumbly skins peeled by hands brown like mine
supple, or cracked in age.
Wet grinding in Sumatra, the slick mucilage
is carefully removed, as fingernails would
shells from thickened albus around yokes –
polished to mahogany and then sorted into piles of jute bags.
Their tilling leads to the filling of cups awakening
inviting their lives into our mugs,
making me consciously aware, as i sit – as i sip
peering beyond the bricks & street lamps of Tower Grove
becoming consciously aware of what I’m doing.
Enjoying a cup of coffee after knowing where it comes from, makes it more than a cup of coffee, but something more. My dad was an avid coffee drinker and one of the memories that stayed with me is the smell of it, as he brewed it early in the morning. They say we become our parents, and in my own way I suppose I am keeping his tradition alive. I was fortunate enough to have Cameroonian coffee and though it had the smell and texture that I was used to, it also held within it secrets that only those that harvested the beans knew of. Secrets that land on the lips, that rest on the tongue.
I am happy to have found the African Coffee Club, because it allows me to taste coffee not only from my ancestral home, but from other parts of Africa as well. And I look forward to helping to support another small business that is trying to support those that, like writers, take time out to cultivate. Here's to poetry and coffee.