Contemporary Literary Review India | Print ISSN 2250-3366 | Online ISSN 2394-6075 | Impact Factor 8.1458 | Vol. 8, No. 1: CLRI February 2021

Joanna George

An Ode to Southern Railways Tea

An ode to the drink we share, I write;

No, not the Starbucks 100 rupee coffee, we never drank

Nor for the bitter CCDs we chose, I write this ode.

But, to that five rupee tea,

on every station of the railway track, you find.

With lots of water like that of the elongated ever living Nile

and little milk, that colours the drink copper orange of the Egyptians.

Over which our discussions topple

Flowing like a river, rumbling

crossing civilizations, dams built by several hands.

Over that cup of tea, we waft like the aroma,

shipping galaxies and forests to our spot,

But, sometimes, it’s us who teleport to planets nearby.

In search of the missing milk, in search of the humanity lost,

in search of the greens that ruled once , in search of the air that’s never clear.

In search of us, we teleport through the chimneys of our conversation,

Over that cup of tea, wafting like its aroma.

And an ode stirs up the tea leaves on this page.


Joann George is a writer based in Chennai, India. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in For Women Who Roar, Literary Shanghai, Mookychick, Fish Food Mag and several other online and print journals. Her contribution to anthologies include, "Boundless" (Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival 2019) and "Love, As We Know It" (Delhi Poetry Slam).

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