My poetry

poem: tea prayer

preparing tea is its own kind of prayer –
one that heat and water pray for you.

the kettle’s keening. laughter bubbling up. the steady sigh of water
as it folds into the cup.

see the steam raise its arms to embrace
the sunlight peering in through kitchen window?

those swaying arms enact a psalm of praise
clear as voice or timbrel, or clapping trees of the field.

see how the water blushes, rich and brown,
as the sachet swirls within?

likewise are we saturated through
with Spirit when we open to Her dance.

each mundane task, each daily chore or act
overflows with blessing.

the whole world thrums with gratitude for God
Who permeates the stream, the steam, the sunbeam’s heat –

Who was with the leaves when they unfurled from the twig
to taste the pulse of the earth, its breath and light;

Who was with them when a hand reached up and plucked,
and Who is with them still, as they swirl within the cup.

If you use this piece, please credit it to Avery Arden and link this website. I also invite you to email me at to let me know how you’re using it!

Hear Avery read this poem on YouTube.

About this poem: This piece is about how tasks as mundane as preparing tea can become a prayer. I was inspired to write it by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg’s discussion of how Jewish law fosters mindfulness and orients a person towards God. I was also influenced by Sister Macrina Wiederkehr’s discussions on divinity within mundanity in A Tree Full of Angels.