Poetry: Tea on Achosie
You arrived at my door at some twenty o’clock.
I’d barely prepared before I heard your knock.
There you stood with your limbs and your head,
Towering mountains above me. I swallowed my dread.
“Come in.” I said proudly, in your native tongue
As I showed you the ‘welcome’ sign I had hung
To show you that I meant no harm. Did it work?
I’m not sure… but you smiled… or was it a smirk?
It’s too late now. You’ve arrived and I can’t tell what you’re thinking.
“Take a seat, I made it myself.” I said, winking.
I’d heard that’s a custom you guys find appealing.
You just glared at me slightly and I got that sinking feeling
That tonight will be hard. I’d been misled
On the rules of your species so it’s carefully, I must tread.
I’d found a book in a store on my home planet, Achosie,
Entitled, ‘How to host a Human-style party.’
I thought, that’s the ticket! It’s all that I need,
Once I befriend you, peace is guaranteed.
So I followed it’s guidelines, letter to letter.
I even learnt your alphabet and then the book got lots better.
Before that… it confused me… it made zero sense…
And I really didn’t want to cause any offence.
See, on Achosie we’ve been taught to fear you.
We know of your scary, questionable world view.
How we’d tire out long before
You’d finished throwing grenades at our doors.
You eat the feet of the animals that roam on your land.
So you’d probably eat me if you misunderstand
My greeting as hostile.
And you’d probably do it with that big, toothy smile.
I digress. And you actually weren’t that scary.
Your eyes kind of sparkled and your knuckles were hairy.
I’d made you some tea. I know how it’s made.
From weeds and from vegetables that have long been decayed.
I’d stewed them with salts from Achosie’s fine soil.
Then I brought some H2O to the boil.
The teapot, alas, was harder to get.
See, it’s not in our nature to hold things that are wet…
Like the tea… so I found a rubber mulch bag.
It looked great, if you’ll allow me to brag.
But it’s my fist time with this new fangled kit
I thought I did well. I didn’t expect you to spit
Out your first sip of your tea.
I’m ever so sorry.
I’m hugely ashamed.
“Blerrrgh! What is this dirt?” You exclaimed.
If I’d had cheeks at that moment, they’d be bright red.
I wished that you’d left the rest unsaid…
But you spoke more…
“Are you trying to poison me, you overgrown spore?
I’ve never tasted such muck,
If I could, I would have just disappeared.
I couldn’t even put my hands over my ears.
Because… I don’t have ears… or hands…
Oh! I wish I could have just got you to understand!
I said, “I thought this was tea.”
You said, “Are you trying to insult me.”
“No,” I did mumble.
And you just sort of grumbled
It didn’t make sense but your tone was quite prickly.
You rose from your seat
On to your big, scary, shoe-covered feet.
“I’m leaving at once!” You did trumpet.
“Wait! Wouldn’t you like to try a crumpet?”
I said sweetly,
Holding out the noxious buns, arranged neatly.
They didn’t look right, I know,
But at least I gave it a go.
Off you stormed, knocking over my chair
And I watched from the window as you flew into the air.
(In your spacecraft.)
Back home to Earth, where you’ll have a good laugh
So I packed up my sign and poured the tea down the sink.
Threw away the crumpets and sat down to think.
Was it all my fault?
I didn’t mean to cause such an insult.
I just wanted to befriend you,
To chatter and gossip over a brew.
I learnt that from my stupid book…
I bet it’s all that deluded advice that I took
That led to you hating the tea
And leaving before you had a chance to get to know me.
So I write you this letter to apologise,
I hope we can come to some kind of compromise.
Please do forgive.
I know that you probably don’t want to relive
my tea party again.
But next time I won’t make crumpets, I’ll make quiche lorraine.
(I read that in my book, but this time I’ll follow every instruction,
Perhaps that’ll save my planet from destruction…?)
I’m free the next one of your Saturdays,
Maybe we can meet half way?
Just give me a chance, I’m a really nice guy.
I eagerly anticipate your reply.
Mayor of Achosie.