MYSTIC BERRY 2016
A fasting Yemeni Sufi mystic
ate berries in the year 1230
after noting birds bubbling around the sun and back.
Eager for their gummy berry juice
his eyes became crystals
as enlightened taste buds
painted his way.
An exiled Mochan healer
roasted berries seven hundred years ago
to take away the bitterness and end his stomach’s claims.
He found it rock hard like the beans I got last week.
Dropped it into water on the fire.
The smell spread for the very first time
reaching its true home – nostrils, filled with the sublime.
He levitated, just in time to drink a cuppa joe
and celebrate his increase in status –
Saint Wine of the Bean.
Eleven hundred years ago, Ethiopian goats bounced about
after grazing on a berry bush.
The goatherd, in touch with his inner goat
followed suit and bounced to boot
all the way to a monastery in the hills.
Every ounce of sin was cast into the fire
with aromatic consequences.
After a mug full of chanting and pious prayer
holy men ground the roasted results
and, ah, what have we there?
However the story started doesn’t matter much.
You won’t stop me from sipping my
new-fangled abominable heathenish liquor
as described in an anonymous petition, 1674.
As I smell the steamy energy
I smile at the irony
of the apex of the Enlightenment
having waited for this darkest drink of all.
BITTER BLACK BEVERAGE
read the sign of
Jacob’s inaugural Oxford shop.
Qahhwat al-bun Kahve Koffie Coffee
The enamel pot startles my eyes
as I inhale
good morning darkness
my old friend.