Elegy

coffee1

Always you, until this morning.

You on the day breaking fair,
the enormous earth singing up
the sun through the soft, small
mouths of a hundred finches.

You on the day dawning foul,
my mind already choked by
ashen apparitions of all that
should not have happened.

Always you.

The throaty sound of your work commencing,
coaxing my ears from fitful sleep,
the water warming and pulsing
through the rich black grounds
that call me to begin, again.

All my life, only you knew how
to make the bitter sweet.

Oh, your fragrant breath,
your dark embrace of the awakening tongue!
Oh, your unflagging confidence,
contagious to my being:
Only drink, and this day
you can rise.

Always you.

You on the days the lover left,
and returned, and left.
You on the days the kittens played;
you on the days
the old cats died.

Always you, through
the births and deaths, through
the infinite in-betweens.
The constancy of your encouragement;
the one goodness that endured.

Always you, until this morning.

Some trouble vexes your secret workings;
your faithful heart pumps no more.
The carafe waits, and waits,
empty as a ghost haunting
the unspiced air, bland and insipid.

I am stricken.
And sluggish.
Also, crabby.

How I will miss you, always you —
flawless friend of my many mornings,
worthy, oh worthy, of the honorific:

Mr. Coffee.

brewing

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40 comments

  1. I agree to wake each morning because there will be coffee. What a wonderful tribute!

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    1. Thank you. My mornings would certainly be impoverished — if not impossible — without coffee. 🙂

      Like

  2. Wow! Oh, to be loved like this 😉

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    1. Indeed! But I have yet to meet a human as reliably, consistently lovable as a good coffeemaker. 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Now that’s what I call an ODE❣️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was inspired, especially after I fetched another Mr. Coffee from Goodwill and had some Joe. This is the only instance I can recall of grieving an important relationship, letting go and moving on without getting stuck for a good long while. 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  4. Michele Sproull · · Reply

    They don’t make ’em like they used to. The pond pump is just too big to be a drop-in replacement. Early mechanical failures are maddening. Your poem even makes a french roast even sound good.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Chele.

      Like

  5. I feel as if this were written for me! I’ve had to lay off caffeine AND alcohol for the time being. Tell me, is life worth living?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would be asking the same, in your position. May you be liberated to enjoy both vices again soon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Cate!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. This elegyis beautiful even for non-coffee drinkers like me (well, I could only drink decaf because I am a too nervous and energetic person, haha!). The whole poem sounds musical to my ears and the images are all well crafted. As a reader I perceive this elegy with all my senses with words like “The throaty sound of your work commencing”, “the water warming and pulsing”, “fragrant breath”, “your dark embrace of the awakening tongue!”. I like how you personify coffee that somehow becomes a character to help you out in life. Loved it!

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    1. Thank you so much! I feel honored by the attention you gave this poem, evidenced by such specific appreciation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome and sorry for the mistake at the beginning of my comment. This elegy is beautiful.

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        1. Typos aren’t really mistakes. They’re more like finger farts, but not as noxious and far more forgivable than the ordinary kind. Thanks again.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. You are welcome. I like the finger farts metaphor. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  7. As a humble follower of the goddess Caffeinia I must congratulate you on this glorious piece. It encaptures the joys and sufferings of us caffeinistas and I read it with great pleasure, already thirsting for my next cup.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brother! Thank you for your appreciation, as a member of our very large tribe. May your next and every cup feel rich and sustaining.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Superb! As to why we can’t replace human relationships as quickly… Perhaps they aren’t quite as necessary for our existence. Glad to have discovered your site through Bob.

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    1. Thank you! Bob was generous to share this poem. I love your reflection on human relationships, with which I tend to agree. A day with coffee and without human conflict is a pretty good day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Robert Okaji’s post had me visiting your marvelous poem, such a glorious verse of descriptive imagery.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much. I appreciate the time you took to read and comment — and Bob’s generosity in re-blogging this poem.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Always my pleasure.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This is gorgeous and full of heart… I am truly moved by this. I am so thankful to Robert Okaji for sharing your post so I could discover your blog. I look forward to reading more in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Bob is a marvelous poet and a kind man; it is difficult to say which I value most.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. Holy beans, but this is inspired!

    Oh, how I would have slept away so many finch-mouthed “days dawning foul”(I see what you did there…) were it not for my succession of Misters! Lol! ☕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly, fellow lover of many Misters. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on O at the Edges and commented:
    This elegy/ode is a must read for all you coffee drinkers!

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    1. A supreme and much-appreciated compliment from a poet I greatly admire. Thank you, Bob!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are very welcome, Cate!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. slukwago · · Reply

    Lovely and amusing elegy. I can imagine the stricken, sluggish and also crabby!

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    1. You are, of course, now beyond such petty heartbreak. 🙂

      Like

  14. I would certainly stand in line to choose replacements for certain individuals!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. there may never
    be another
    quite the same 🙂

    Like

    1. Literally; I think Mr. Coffee discontinued this model. I’ll just have to move on, practicing nonattachment. 🙂

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  16. Oh, no! We were forced to replace a loved one about six months ago…

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    1. So difficult. Yet somehow, I managed to move on immediately, which I have never been able to manage in human relationships. Why aren’t used yet perfectly good replacement people available at Goodwill?

      Liked by 2 people

  17. I am sorry for your loss. RIP Mr. C.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. My “new” thrift store Mr. Coffee and I are getting along swimmingly, for which I am grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. excellent. Drink up!

        Liked by 1 person

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