Snow Water

A fastidious brewer of tea, a tea
Connoisseur as well as a poet,
I modestly request on my sixtieth
Birthday a gift of snow water.

Tea steam and ink stains. Single-
Mindedly I scald my tea pot and
Measure out some Silver Needles Tea,
Enough for a second steeping.

Other favourites include Clear
Distance and Eyebrows of Longevity
Or, from precarious mountain peaks,
Cloud Mist Tea (quite delectable)

Which competent monkeys harvest
Filling their baskets with choice leaves
And bringing them down to where I wait
with my crock of snow water.


from Snow Water (Jonathan Cape, 2004), copyright © Michael Longley 2004, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Where next?

Recordings

Michael Longley

Michael Longley Reading from his Poems

1In Memoriam

2Leaving Inishmore

3Caravan

4Swans Mating

5Wounds

6In Memory of Gerard Dillon

7The West

8Skara Brae

9Man Lying on a Wall

10The Linen Workers

11Frozen Rain

12Thaw

13Self-Heal

14The Linen Industry

15Between Hovers

16Detour

17Gorse Fires

18Remembering Carrigskeewaun

19An Amish Rug

20Laertes

21Ghetto

22The Butchers

23The Ice-cream Man

24Autumn Lady's Tresses

25A Flowering

26Ceasefire

27The White Garden

28The Ghost Orchid

29The War Graves

30The Horses

31The Rabbit

33The Beech Tree

34Snow Water

35The Pattern

36Above Dooaghtry

32Etruria

Books by Michael Longley