Leaf and Bone Harmony

Once upon a time, there was tea. It was a good tea. But it lived in the house of death.

“Some day,” it said, “Death will take me from this pot.”

In his bleak cathedral, Death turns towards the tea. He points a bony finger. “All things die,” he says. “All things end. There is no beginning that hath not an ending. Children shall die. They shall die in fire. In water. In sorrow. In pain. They shall be hit by busses. They shall be slain by tornadoes. They shall be killed by stupid people who don’t know any better, and nasty people who rather do. All their promise, snuffed out; and not because it is right, and not because it is better, but because this is the doctrine of endings.”

“Death will take me from this pot,
And he’ll put me in water.”

“The glories of the past shall be forgotten,” Death says, “and the glories of today shall neither be remembered. Wood shall rot. Stone shall crumble. Voices shall go silent. Cats no more go ‘meow’.”

“Death will take me from this pot,
And he’ll put me in water,
And he’ll steep me,
And all the goodness will come out of me and into the water.”

“ALL WORKS OF MAN ARE FOLLY,” thunders Death, and the sky outside of his cathedral lights up with summer fire. Softly, he says, “all works of man are folly; and if ye know not one thing else, know that.”

“Death will take me from this pot,
And he’ll put me in water,
And he’ll steep me,
And all the goodness will come out of me and into the water.

And he’ll drink me,
And it will flow into him.”

“There is no hope,” says Death. “There is only madness. There is only the knowledge that nothing you ever do shall have meaning; that the world does not love you, does not know you; that your time on this Earth is a passing dream.”

“Death will take me from this pot,
And he’ll put me in water,
And he’ll steep me,
And all the goodness will come out of me and into the water.

And he’ll drink me,
And it will flow into him;
And from there, into the world.”

“And the world shall know endless days of death and pain, and all the history of humankind in sorrow, until the Earth at last grows tired and surrenders to the burden of its age.”

“And he’ll drink me,
And it will flow into him;
And from there, into the world.
And the world will know that goodness,
And grow tea.”

Death puts on the water. He watches the pot. Time passes.

8 thoughts on “Leaf and Bone Harmony

  1. Is “angry melancholy” a recognized mood? Because that’s what I’d label the piece.

    Of course, that’s my mood at the moment too, so it’s probably flavoring everything, much like the tea.

    Mack

  2. The nature of tea is life out of death.

    It must be plucked from the top of the plant, and dried and rolled and graded and (if black or oolong) fermented. When done it is quite dead.

    When drunk, it imparts no calories. Just flavor. Clarity. And zing.

    And it fights cancer.

    Thank you for the tea, Mr. Death!

Leave a Reply