Kitsune and Tea

She faery dances into the tea room, in a spring kimono made of whimsical words, winks from an onion boy, and cackles brewing out of a girl-child. There is laughter in her obi—loving mirth that wears glasses and knows to tease her middle until she squeals night songs into midday heat.

Pour your tea properly, the world says, as we tell you. She wavers, for a second made of feathers… before sticking her head into her chest and seeing that Yatagarasu’s compass still points towards the madness of her choosing. I will pour my tea with my third tail, she tells them.

She flies out of the tea room on the back of her winged heart. In her kimono, the boy blooms a pride bouquet, the girl wishes to be just like her Kitsune, and the geeky obi falls in love anew.

a chic three-legged crow
bursts out of the heart of spring
to guide her to tea

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a wee note and stuff: Today is Rommy’s birthday. Rommy loves Japanese culture, a haibun feels appropriate. I’m linking this poem to Poetizing Japanese Folklore – Dark Poetry for the Cruellest Month, 2016 (Day 12)… and The Way of Tea, hosted by the birthday girl, over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. I brewed inspiration from this quote: “The questions of how to begin and what to think are matters for one’s own heart to resolve. Of oneself, for oneself—you must be your own teacher.” ~ Sen No Rikyu

Kitsune – Japanese word for fox. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom (so yeah, Rommy, just like wine).

Yatagarusa – three-legged crow (a guide) found in various mythologies and arts of East Asia.

Obi – a sash for traditional Japanese dress… part of kimono outfits.

Three-Legged Crow
“A Three-Legged Dapper Crow”
via

13 Kisses in the Dark

She thought it impossible to love anyone more than she loved her magic. Then he said, I’m yours—and meant it—and impossible was nevermore.

“I let them take you. I knew, and I still let them.” The dirt that had sucked her lover’s screams felt cold against her wet cheek. “I wish I could change it. I would give everything I am for a chance—” The idea hit her so abruptly that it was as if it had been born in someone else’s head.

Fueled by desperate hope, she took the shape of a white hare and ran to the Crafter’s cottage.

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“It’s not wise to walk these woods in your fur,” the Crafter said, without looking away from the parchment he was working on. “They’ve been felling trees and turning stones looking for you.”

Crossing the Crafter’s threshold and resuming her human shape, she said, “Can you write my husband out of wherever they’re imprisoning him?”

“I can write anyone anywhere, my girl. But—”

“I’m with child. I know they’re keeping my husband alive to use his magic to rip our babe out of my wound as soon as she’s big enough to breathe on her own… That’s in three nights.”

“They will track you, my girl.”

“Not if you write us into a story your masters will never read.”

The Crafter put down his quill. “Crafting a story world takes weeks.”

“What about that one?” She pointed at the scribbling-covered parchment in front of the Crafter.

He shook his head. “This is a place for punishment, a place where… they hurt people like us.”

“My husband and I will shield our child. We’ll do anything for her. That’s what parents are supposed to do. But I was wrong to expect—”

“They will burn you alive, in this story world,” the Crafter yelled, hurling his quill against a wall.

“We can hide,” she said. “You became slave to people you despise, so those you love could live. My husband and I would give up our magic to protect our child.” She put a hand on his shaking shoulder. “No story world can be too terrible, if we get to be together and alive, Father.”

“They will force me to tell them where I wrote you,” he said.

“I’ll drink your memory of me,” she said, placing a dusty tin cup on the table.

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By the sounds of quill and kettle, the Witch brewed a forget-me tea, and the Crafter wrote his daughter and her family into a story world where the wrongs of magic were made right by fire.

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She poured the tea in the cup. He handed her the parchment with the words she would need to escape their world. His face was warm and wet with tears, when she put her hands on his cheeks and began to chant:

Thirteen kisses in the dark,
they’ll taste of moon full
and of sun-bright;
thirteen touches of my lips,
they’ll make me yours
and keep you mine.

Thirteen kisses in the dark,
they’ll bring oblivion
and memory seep;
thirteen touches of my lips,
in your mind I’ll be nothing
after this sleep.

He slumped forward the thirteenth time she kissed his temple, sipping his last memory of her. Gently, she laid his head down on the table and watched him through blurry eyes until each line of his face was branded in her heart.

They had agreed to leave the empty cup on the table and some forget-me tea in the kettle. His masters would find him spelled, and realize he didn’t remember her. And they would never hurt him; not when he was the only living Crafter, and the other one was unborn and lost to them.

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Inspired by “13 Kisses”, winner of From Blackout Poem Bit to Flash Fiction or Full-Length Poetry, 3; and linked to Vanessa Valencia’s Witches Tea Party. Fly over to A Fanciful Twist and see what everyone else is brewing. Oh, and beware of tin tea cups… you know, just in case.

Tin Tea Cup, from Analogue Lifevia

Uncanny Brews

I was supposed to have a tea party with AlmaMia Cienfuegos and The Bloody Bride, but… well, I forgot. In order to correct my horrid error, I figured that I would teach you how to brew a perfect cup of tea… Then I realized that my tea brewing abilities aren’t all that hot… Besides, Sandra Chira can tell you all about “How the Experts Brew Tea”.

While desperately looking around the room, in an effort to ignore the time, my eyes landed on the Mad Hat sculpture I purchased from Touch of the Goddess. I was safe! When in doubt, my Witchy Luv, “Unlock the Madness”, I heard the sculpture whisper. And I listened.
Mad Hat Sculpture
For A Fanciful Twist’s 8th annual Mad Tea Party, I’m serving three uncanny brews:

Hoasca Tea – this tea steeps at the very center of the União do Vegetal church, a religious organization that uses the hallucinogenic brew for spiritual practices. União do Vegetal’s leaders have explained that the tea is a concentration aid that assists the members in their search for spiritual knowledge. In the early 2000s US Customs confiscated a large amount of the Huasca, which was being shipped into the states—one of the ingredients in the tea is a Schedule I drug in the United States.

“Just a woman with tea pairs on the chest (1890)”. This lady has nothing to do with the previous paragraph, but I found her during my search… and just couldn’t let her go. Cheers!
Woman with Tea Cups on Breasts

Panda Dung Tea – how much did you pay for the most expensive cup of tea you’ve ever sipped? If your budget (and lack of adventurous-tea-gene) is anything like mine, then it wasn’t anything near $200. However, if you want your lips to taste a brew whose main ingredient has been nourished by the best panda poo, then you better show the money. What were you thinking my Wicked Luvs? The tea is not made from panda dung! The poo is for the plants, of course. Perfectly clear *cough*.

Darjeeling Tea – this “highly-prized” brew is not as pricy as the one described above, but it seems to be loved enough to be often counterfeited. The real tea must come from the Darjeeling District in West Bengal, India. But it seems that this is true for only about ¼ of the Darjeeling tea brewing around the world.

This, dear Luvs, is my last-minute-and-somewhat-flustered contribution to Vanessa Valencia’s Mad Tea Party. Do go and taste a bit of what everyone else is brewing. 😉