Recently, my friend Shawna wrote on her Instagram about how she had to temporarily give up coffee. Shawna has four kiddos, and she homeschools, so you can imagine with what trepidation she was facing this sacrifice. I read her post right about the time I was making my own daily cup, and the combo inspired me to try out the new-to-me ode form in honor of the delectable devilish concoction so many of us adore. Shawna, and everybody, this is for you!
Oh hallowed nectar, rich and capped in white!
Strongest cup of daily refuge,
I love the bright
aroma from the centrifuge
that grinds your beans down fine with motored might.
Your honeyed drip, much anticipated
by old and young alike:
they start the hike
from dawn til dusk with sleep deprived minds abated.
A morning out of whack,
set right by java black,
or servings downright huge.
Mine I take with milk and sugar,
sweetness adding to the deluge
of caffeine’s jolting spur,
but however it might arrive,
we all agree, to some degree,
it helps keep us alive.
Tropical fruit, lovingly picked by hand,
prize of Cancer and Capricorn,
gift of the land,
of the valley or hillside born.
Fair trade helps farmers make a stand
for their commodity so highly sought.
From plant to roaster bound,
then freshly ground,
the whole production battle is a fight well fought.
What kind of brew today?
For here, or take away?
A klatch is gaily formed
where avid fans come together
with music. Hanging out’s the norm
no matter the weather,
in fact, the greyer the better:
we stay all day, we chat and play,
to the cafe tethered.
How we revere the skill of baristas,
turning cups of joe into art.
whose sly smiles always hit the mark.
Students, housewives, even fashionistas
come pay homage at their bar-like altars.
Espresso lovers know
what pressure shows:
a well run machine’s elixir never falters.
The very best of them
become our first-name friends,
tending us, heart to heart,
like doctors with shots of caffeine,
they understand our weaker parts
and what addiction means.
Craftsmen, painting pictures in foam,
they serve us well, and live to tell
customer quirks at home.
Delicious grail of warmth, disguised as fuel,
daily ritual well cherished,
both kind and cruel.
Too much of you is nightmarish,
still we seek you out for our renewal.
The process alone helps get us going:
while suspicions of dependency are growing.
The morning starts with haste
for your nostalgic taste,
where the cobwebs perish.
Sure, we could give you up, but why
start the day cranky and bearish
instead of feeling spry?
As long as you can wake us up,
gentle lover, like no other,
with you we’ll fill our cup.
Shoutout to William Wordsworth, whose piece Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood inspired the meter and rhyme scheme for my coffee ode.