Our First Haiku Contest: Tea and Creativity!

Tea and Creativity

Posted by Deborah Atherton

It often helps us, as we struggle to find time to do our creative projects, to have a little prompt, some gesture that tells us that it is now time to get serious, and sit down with our work.  We tell ourselves, “After I finish reading the paper, or cleaning up after dinner, or eating lunch, I will go ______ (you fill in the blank – paint, or sort out my photographs, or edit some video, or write).

For me, this is most often a cup of coffee or tea (you can see my earlier post on coffee and creativity here ). I wake up with coffee, and then switch to tea later in the day.  Coffee is my first burst of inspiration; tea sustains and comforts and helps me bring ideas to fruition.   

 Tea, like wine, has its devoted connoisseurs, the people who will tell you that if you do not drink the white tea made from buds that bloom only for a week and a half every other year in some obscure province of China, you have not really experienced tea.  Like Captain Jean Luc Picard, I enjoy a nice cup of Earl Grey, hot, when it is available, but honestly will settle for lesser brands, at any temperature, when it is not.  It is the making of the tea, the ritual of heating the water, pouring it over a tea bag (or sachet or leaves, if we are being elegant), that creates the moment of peace, the little separate space, that allows you to launch yourself into the next hour of your day, the hour when you will have a little peace to do your creative work.

As firm believers in the drinking of coffee and tea to support  creative endeavors, and to help inaugurate what we are sure will be a wonderfully creative New Year, The Intuitive Edge invites you to participate in our first annual haiku contest with seventeen syllables on the subject of coffee or tea and creativity.  Use your vivid imaginations – and we know enough of our readers to know that this is not in short supply.  The traditional Haiku form used in English is 17 syllables (5-7-5), but this is the Intuitive Edge: give yourself a little room for creativity.  

We offer this haiku from the great Japanese master Matsuo Bashō, who some say invented haiku, on starting your mornings with tea:

drinking morning tea
the monk is peaceful
the chrysanthemum blooms

The prizes for the winning entries will be, of course, be Starbucks cards (we are here to support your creativity in many ways!) to help you break new creative ground in the New Year.  All entries must be in by midnight, January 22nd, GMT (which seems to be the clock WordPress runs on.)

Please post your entries here in the comments section. You will retain all rights to all seventeen syllables after they have first been posted here.  Good luck, and we look forward to your entries!  

I leave you with these final words from Matsuo Bashō: “The haiku that reveals seventy to eighty percent of its subject is good. Those that reveal fifty to sixty percent, we never tire of.”


18 Responses to Our First Haiku Contest: Tea and Creativity!

  1. marcusbales says:

    white, green, and post-fermented,
    yellow, oolong, black

  2. k10ld says:


    If I have more than
    a half cup of regular,
    the muse freaks; I’m hosed.

  3. lsylvester9 says:


    A sweet aroma,
    Driving the pen to paper
    Then again a sip.

  4. kpancoast8 says:

    teaspoon of honey
    dissolving in morning tea
    twelve bee’s lifelong work

  5. marcusbales says:

    … sugar in your tea?
    what’s all these crazy questions
    that they’re asking me?

    • deborahatherton says:

      So this haiku is from the point of view of a writer attempting to compose a haiku in a coffee shop, and being annoyed by the insistent waiter? (I am envisioning a whole scene here.)

  6. nothing impels me
    to write like the slick hiss
    of milk being steamed

  7. First draft steaming hot
    dreams fill the cup of the mind
    rewrite in the dregs

    Warm ink in a cup
    steam paints sonnets to the air
    send chai to my heart

    A measure of sweet
    over dry and bitter leaf
    serve it to your muse

  8. Eric Ember says:

    tea percolating
    like ideas from the ether,

  9. Eric Ember says:

    cupped in both hands tea.
    steam rises, aroma wafts,
    ideas percolate

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