“i doN’t like green tea usually” i say, the monk just smiles

brandenburger toor, berlin

brandenburger toor, berlin


i drink tea with a korean monk
in the heart of Berlin,
“this is good” i say, it’s

east & west,
north & south,

& FindiNg

a connection to our soul,

we’re talking borders,
i’m familiar with them, we all are–

“last time when i was here”, i say,
“there was a wall, un-crossAble,
splitting up her heart,

today at Starbucks, a man
in front the Brandenburger Tor
blows bubbles in the air,

they sTRetch– strEtcH
towards spring’s blue mouth &

ploP PloP Pop

drop on the ground
in rainbow hues,

Beauty at their fading,

taking another sip of tea, i
put my boots back on,

“it was a pleasure, talking to you”

then turn towards the Siegessäule,
(east– all east, forEVer east
they thought, we all–) &
join the bubbles
in the air,

soon i’ll cross the Rhein,
that winds, a liquid seam
at my home town’s feet,

on her chest rest Switzerland,
Germany and France, siSters,
brotHers– noW,
nurtured on her breast,

pull my scarf around me,
watch her dark face
glisten in the moonlight,
night-deep, cool wind on my cheeks,

her eyes a million dreams,
a thousand untold stories

on her gurgling tongue–


today at dVerse, Pamela is guest-hosting and has us writing poems about the place we live.. i’m just coming back from a business trip to Berlin, the capital of my land. was standing at the Brandenburger Tor once when there was still the wall that divided our country into east and west. was so good to see it open. in my home town, the river Rhein marks the border to France and oh i would love to have a cup of tea with her as well one day… just listening to her stories.. smiles


46 responses to ““i doN’t like green tea usually” i say, the monk just smiles

  1. I know people who have small parts of that wall ~ they went over esp to see it come down and snaffled a bit or two ~ a thought-provoking poem Claudia …

  2. I have a few pieces of that wall! Nicely broken.
    It is the river I adore:
    “soon i’ll cross the Rhein,
    that winds, a liquid seam
    at my home town’s feet,”
    What a quilter that joins the world here! While the bubbles have rainbows of promise. To me this is a meaningful picture, too. The entire poem and presentation are breathtaking.

  3. very cool…love the interaction with the monk…as when i go somewhere meeting people is one of my fav…its funny you go there and meet someone from somewhere else…when you turn, toward the end, to you home…your vision of her is beautiful…the dreams in the eyes and the 1000 stories….excellent…smiles…

  4. I like this:

    “this is good” i say, it’s

    east & west,
    north & south,”

    Makes me think that green tea is good no matter where it’s consumed, which it is!

  5. To me this poem speaks of borders. Some were artificial / manmade, such as the (former) Berlin Wall you mentioned. (My friend Ulla gave me a piece of the wall once…it is in my dresser, in a little box. ) Others are natural, such as the Rhein River! Perhaps even oceans. But despite these borders, whether they are in place or not (thinking of 38th Parallel right now and the Korean monk, we ARE all brothers (you used that word in your poem), aren’t we? This poem triggered a lot of thoughts in me, Claudia. Nice!

    • “east & west,
      north & south,
      & FindiNga connection to our soul,we’re talking borders,i’m familiar with them, we all are–“last time when i was here”, i say,“there was a wall…”

      Ah! the title, your [kewl] photograph, and your wonderful poetic words:

      splitting up her heart…”

      [postscript: I like the way you also played with your words in your poem: ]
      Thanks, for sharing…I hope you are enjoying your business trip too!
      deedee 🙂

  6. It was very nice to meet you Berlin…and beyond.

    on her chest rest Switzerland,
    Germany and France, siSters,
    brotHers– noW,
    nurtured on her breast,(love these lines and her gurgling tongue!)

  7. Just wonderful, Claudia! A true work of art coming from a true artist. I was there with you all the way. You are placing in me a desire to run away and lose myself in Europe. Love the photo too. My mind drifts back to when a wall divided the same city and a curtain divided a continent. The young ones shall never understand what it was like to live three minutes before midnight on that Dark Clock. To don a gas mask. Another age… You are right. It is more civilized to don a cappuccino at Starbucks. Or to drink a cup of green tea while browsing the internet… 😉

  8. Now if those people who write geography books would take a lesson from you…more people would remember locations…just a beautiful description of where you live.

  9. That gate still chills my heart – went there recently with my children and had such a hard time trying to explain to them what it used to be like. ‘We’re talking borders’ – so much said and implied in such a simple phrase.

  10. Beautiful poem. I share the same sentiments about the wall that divided Berlin. i can’t even begin to imagine what it was like during those years. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  11. i remember when that wall came down, how i cried for joy (as i am now, reading your poem) – now you’ve made me fall in love with your city, beautiful…

  12. I enjoyed your bubbles popping and walls dropping–with spring in the air.
    A lovely brew of light-heartedness.
    You reminded me I have green tea cooling in the kitchen.

  13. Claudia, you look great in boots! 😉 Another lovely sensual poem. The bubbles, the cool wind, the tea and then the ending:

    her eyes a million dreams,
    a thousand untold stories

    on her gurgling tongue

    REally LoVe that! 🙂

  14. Love the personification of home… looks like you’re enjoying your travels… coming home tonight?

  15. I also loved the bubbles. I thought of the monk and contemplation of impermanence (including the Wall) and felt the bubbles were a rather beautiful Momento Mori.

  16. Can’t work out what made you take your boots off in Starbucks.
    You are giving the horses up top a run for their money: real competition in your smart city outfit.

  17. I love the river as a seam, it’s so true, rivers are the lifeblood of so many places. A wonderful portrait of inclusion too…drinking green tea with a Korean monk… I like that!

  18. Outstanding, Claudia, as I could feel the personal warmth you have for your homeland; also I cannot imagine how it was for many before the wall came down …loving the first line..you do come up with some excellent ones that pull us right in and it must be lovely where you live 😉

  19. I agree with film director Wim Wenders in his film WINGS OF DESIRE–there are angels residing in Berlin. You are one that flew off as soon as your wings supported you and promoted flight; but how sweet, how righteous you still love the visit the city that nested you. A fine glimpse of both you & Berlin; thanks.

  20. Her eyes a million dreams–very, very good! Great work all around, but if this one line was all you had, it would be enough.

  21. Strange how physical borders, its existence and removal, influence our recollection and ideas.

    Your poem is very moving – in many directions, Claudia.

  22. i have seen a piece of that wall as well .. in the amazing shrine to Fatima near Lisbon.. and loved how the Rhein is portrayed here.. i can hear the untold stories you mention..

  23. This took me back 3 years to meeting an online poet friend at that Starbucks by the Brandenburg. They showed me their wonderful city, took me to a Russian tearoom at the top of a museum, where we sat on cushions on the floor. I vowed to go back, but so far no luck. Thank you for the trip, Claudia.

  24. As usual you paint a beautiful picture with your words, both of Berlin and of your home, far off to the south and west.