God the Tea Master

Sally Ito

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All the weapons we marshal to confront the day

You ask to be left by the door before entering.

The sword in its sheath must lie on the grass,

the quiver and bow hung off a branch.

Daily mind, that dons the armour of thought,

does not shed the weaponry easily; too many are the tasks

that require its particularity – its thrust-and-jab conquest

of the hour, the arsenal of muscle and aim,

to kill one after another, disappointment,

discouragement, or to dent the thick underbelly of despair.

 

Confronting the day requires such armaments.

But You do not. Even the most shallow practitioner

of Your art is welcome into Your teahouse.

And You serve, as always, grace.

 

In the quiet sipping, the hours become an eternity,

a night of waxing and waning moons

in contrast to relentless day.

Naked and unarmed, the infant to its mother –

this is the way You would have us come

to You and be served.

Sally Ito, "God the Tea Master" from Alert to Glory. Copyright © 2011 by Sally Ito. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: Alert to Glory (Turnstone Press, 2011).