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The Teetotaler

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In Ordinary Cups

The blades of winter grind into the ice
like blood on a bitten lip
two lovers spin and twirl
The days pass from teacup to teacup
in the peaceful silence of a solitary nest.
From gentle easy sunrise through sheer white
to the subtle fall of accordion night.

The echoes of childish laughter tremble
across the cracked surface of plaster walls.
Random squeaks in oaken floors return 
the footfall of father, coming and going.

Long lost cat's paw prints impress carpet
dragons from Shanghai with ghostly ease,
and every loved and loving one returns
in peace, to rest beneath the tapping fingertips
upon a porcelain cup of tea from China.


Re-formed for Roy the Verse BELOW

The Teetotaler

The blades of winter grind into the ice, flirting
with the rosy cheek of puppy love, snow-crusted mittens
cling, like chapped skin on bitten lips; scarfs twirl; they spin.

As steam rises from the cup, reminisce, the first kiss,
across swamp-grass hummocks, rotten ice, lace tripping
with the rosy cheek of puppy love; snow crusted mittens

cling. Black hair, fair skin, Irish-eyed, he cajoles a grin.
In the steam, not the leaves, she remembers him
across swamp-grass hummocks, rotten ice, lace tripping;

they spin. Assam seeps in porcelain, another cup
she pours. In an empty nest the cup clinks saucer,
in the steam, not the leaves, she remembers him.

From sunrise through fall of white, she sees the mist
falling accordion-like into chinks of memory.  
She pours. In an empty nest, the cup clinks saucer.

The recollections of youthful laughter cut, tremble,
across the cracked surfaces of her mind's walls
falling accordion-like into chinks of memory. 

Random squeaks in the oaken floors recall returns, 
these images mist swirl from the tea-of family,
across the cracked surfaces of her mind's walls.

A long lost cat walks shrouded through silent the scene 
in peace, they rest beneath her tapping fingertips
these images mist-swirl from the tea-of family,

Every loved and loving one returns mist-born
within a porcelain cup of tea from China;
in peace, they rest beneath her tapping fingertips.


Copyright © | Year Posted 2015

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Date: 4/26/2015 8:39:00 PM
I will have a great night.
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Date: 4/26/2015 7:03:00 PM
thank you for the reply
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 4/26/2015 8:06:00 PM
Have a great night Linda.
Date: 4/19/2015 2:00:00 PM
Sorry that I am so late on the congrats, just recently found out the contest was finalized.. Big congrats on your win!!
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Date: 4/18/2015 5:27:00 PM
Congratulations, Debbie...PD
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 4/18/2015 7:31:00 PM
Thank you Linda
Date: 4/14/2015 5:19:00 PM
Debbie, congratulations on your top placement in this contest! Both of your versions are wonderful! Your writing is superb, and I have read all the excellent blogs with your inspirational offerings! Hugs, Sandra
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Date: 4/14/2015 1:06:00 PM
Debbie: After writing poetry for 18 years to keep my mind from atrophying, I still consider myself a novice at the different forms of poetry. After reading such poets as yourself, I was astounded by your choice of words in either poem and it is a pleasure to dwell in the same presences you, Thank you for kind comment on my Knights Crusade. It was patterned after Dylan Thomas', " Do not go gently into the night". Someday I hope to steal your thunder (ha ha)
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Date: 4/13/2015 11:50:00 AM
Debbie both versions are superb - Roy made an excellent choice with his first place winner. Debbie - your poems, your creativity and your blogs are inspirational - I learn so much from the more experienced poets here... thank you:-) Hugs jan xx
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Date: 4/13/2015 3:40:00 PM
I will do an e book of one of my poems - it is a very special poem to me - simply because it is something I never ever dreamed I would do when I posed my first poem about 14 months ago when I first started to write - I feel have come a long way - I know I have a lot to learn but I simply am having the time of my life:-) Hugs Jan xx
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 4/13/2015 2:58:00 PM
Jan, thank you! It is my joy to be of help and to see others grow in their art. I just pass on the results of my mistakes and the advise given me in hopes all of you will get your verses accepted for publication.
Date: 4/12/2015 7:38:00 PM
No surprise that this would be top-poem !! Excellent choice that Roy has made....I would have been thrilled to be the author of either version!
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Date: 4/2/2015 10:18:00 AM
Ok here comes my opinion of 'art' so hold on to your knickers. I appreciate that poetry scholars exist. I accept that poetry groups love style for the sake of style. Great that poets are out there writing for the connoisseur but what about the laymen. The first piece is brilliant. If there is going to be an argument of style can we call it "words written"! I guarantee you the first can be appreciated by any reader. I love the second one too but you will lose half your audience. Love you, Armand
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Date: 3/25/2015 6:07:00 PM
A beautiful reminiscing of conversations and memories of the past. They are brought to life once more through richly detailed imagery... A really lovely poem, Debbie!... Thank you very, very much for your nice comments :)
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Date: 3/25/2015 6:42:00 AM
Your images are as full-bodied as a steaming cup of orange spice tea! Every word paints a picture.
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Date: 3/24/2015 2:20:00 PM
Am reading both versions for the first time today; on finishing the first I thought that it couldn't get any better, but I have to admit that the second is just as good and even more 'filling'. For a 2nd version I might have been tempted to call it 'The Teatotaler':) // paul
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Date: 3/24/2015 9:30:00 AM
I do love tea and these went quite well with a cup. Beautifully penned and with full blossoming imagery.
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Date: 3/24/2015 9:04:00 AM
These marvelous writes make me enjoy more my evening tea (with milk) my very dear friend, Deb. So enjoyed! It's also my great joy and honor to read from you this evening. Thank you so much! love lots and biggest hugs, Leonora
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Date: 3/23/2015 11:00:00 PM
What a ravishing beauty you have created in both the verses but the first one enchants the reader with its lofty flow and heart touching lines. Being a tea lover too I would say it's Gem created by you. It goes as a favorite one of mine dear friend. Thank you dear friend for your kind words on my Swagger's Song. Love and best wishes always....Ravindra K Kapoor
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Date: 3/23/2015 11:17:00 AM
Interesting work..Way to go for the contest..Thanks for stopping by..Sara
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Date: 3/23/2015 9:23:00 AM
Debbie, both versions of the poem are beautiful, they reminded me so much of my grandma who believed a good cup of tea cured everything, I still hear her voice, come dear heart, I will make you a nice cup of tea, a perfect 7 rating and thanks for visiting my poem, it snowed . . .
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