Of All the Strange Things…

…that I have found myself doing in my “career” as a poet, teaching artist and sporadic public speaker, I never really expected to find myself in a church hall, surrounded by a society of good people associated with the church, giving a talk on tea.

The church in question was the St. James United Church of Christ in Havertown, PA, and my invitation to speak had come via my connection with the Schuylkill Valley Journal. The theory appeared to be that anyone with a British accent should have something to say about tea, but of course those who know me a little may also be aware that I do have a legitimate connection with the tea business, albeit by marriage–Mr. E worked for many years for Twinings Tea and still consults for them.

So, I took a presentation he had given to my daughter’s class last year, cut it a bit (a bit too much as it happened, but fortunately I had his version to refer to during questions afterwards), and naturally I added some poems which reference tea (“Tea Ceremonies“, “You Drink Coffee, I Drink Tea,” and “Hot Water,” which is a pantoum about, among other things, the fact that Americans can’t make tea.)

It all seemed to go down very well, as did the savories and pastries the society had provided to go along with their, unfortunately very Americanly made, selection of teas.

And now I’m home to prepare for another strange thing: Starting Monday I’m doing Creative Writing once a month in an assisted living facility for seniors with memory impairment.

Being a Poet/Teaching Artist/Editor/Junior Business Partner/Mother really does feel like being the proverbial Jack of all Trades.

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