Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Poem of the Week - Rituals 16/Nov/2010

Selected by Eileen T O'Neill

This Poem can be found at:

Paul Andrew Russell . com


Stumble into the kitchen, bleary-eyed. Luckily
I filled the kettle before I went to bed last night;
it’s the little breaks that matter
first thing in the morning.
Flick the switch,
go to the bathroom,
put in eye drops,
stand with eyes closed,
swaying slightly;
balance isn’t what it used to be. Good
job it’s only for a minute
or else I’d be asleep again.
Bleary eyed once more,
shuffle back into the kitchen.
Two mugs from the cupboard,
one spoon of sugar and coffee
in the first, a teabag in the second. The ting
of metal on ceramic as spoon escapes my grasp.
Shuffle a couple of steps to the fridge,
door squeaks as it swings open,
grab milk, a splash in each mug. Door
squeaks as it closes again.
Kettle switches off.
Pour water over teabag,
leave second mug for later,
wait a minute
or thereabouts. Remove
teabag, burn fingertips again,
curse, drop it in garbage can.
A poor way for an Englishman to
make a cup of tea;
I’m a tea philistine at six-thirty
in the morning, no time for connoisseurs.
No one around to witness my beverage crime.
Walk into the living room,
sit on the couch, take a sip of
the elixir of (old man’s) life,
sigh, stare into space.
Try to reconcile the pain of morning
with the joy of not dying in my sleep;
Or is it the joy of morning and the pain
of not dying in my sleep?

~ Paul Andrew Russell

(This poem was selected by Eileen T O'Neill.  She is currently one of our contributors and poets found here at Poets United.  If you would like to learn more about Eileen or read some of her own poetry you can  visit her blog "Words and Thoughts".  Eileen is a poet and writer who has been a wonderful supporter of Poets United since its start.  We would like to thank her for all of her hard work.)


  1. Thank you Eileen, Robert and Poets United for featuring my poem. I just popped in from work and found this lovely post. :-)

    I'm honoured to be included in the 'Poem of the Week' section of Poets United.

    Thank You.

  2. Brilliant! I do think that just by virtue of being born an Englishman, being a tea philistine is not an option and in fact is moot. The coffee is always appreciated ;)

  3. Paul a lovely poem and congrats!
    Eileen excellent pick.

  4. Good choice Eileen.

    It is always good to read Pauls words and this one really paints a vivid picture.

    Congratulations on being featured here Paul, it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy! ;-)

  5. Love this poem. I can see why it made poem of the week. I lived the morning through these words and the clear scenes , smells, they emotions they produce. Surprise ending is perfect. Congratulations!

  6. I enjoyed the closing reconciliations!

    Congratulations Paul!

  7. OH MY GOD! I have probably witnessed one of the most finest,subtle and easily prophetic meditations...:)

    I agree with Susannah,an excellent choice indeed...:)

    I am surely in love, P.A.Russell, with your poem,that begins as a romantic age meditation set in modern world,but towards the end takes an amazingly beautiful note...:)

  8. Thank you everyone for your comments on my poem. I really appreciate your kind words.


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