A Porcelain Creamer

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Haibun Monday:  “How Wonderfully Imperfect”-Wabi-Sabi  (posted by Victoria Slotto)

The story is told of a young man who went to a renowned Tea-Master to learn the Japanese ritual known as the Way of Tea. The Master, to test him, asked him to begin by cleaning his garden. After doing so to perfection, the student approached a cherry tree and shook a branch so that a few flowers would fall on the cleanly raked sand. The inspired student pleased his teacher and became recognized as one who had a deep understanding of beauty.

Wabi-Sabi is the art of imperfection. It is the recognition that everything real is transient and imperfect. It recognizes the circle of life—that things die, break, disintegrate—and to find therein beauty.


A towering china closet owned a wall in my grandparent’s
living room. Grandma called its inhabitants, tchotchkes.
Creamers, pitchers, sugar bowls, and ceramic figures
were endless sources of fascination to me.

Grandma loved wearing red nail polish, and displaying
her few pieces of jewelry. After she passed away, I inherited
her diamond engagement ring–which I wear every day– 
and a little flowered sugar bowl and creamer, with its
fragile handle broken off.

standing regally
marked with black lightening streaks
a lovely flawed tree


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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22 Responses to A Porcelain Creamer

  1. Sara, this is so perfect. I have a gorgeous chipped china piece of my grandmother’s in my china cabinet. I’ve always turned the chip to the back…think I’ll turn it around. The haiku is so well done.


  2. Grace says:

    The link is fixed already. Thanks for joining us.


  3. This is quite beautiful. Yes, things are more than their thingness! Any object that can evoke a wonderful family memory is far from broken. Your haiku is a nice echo of the sentiment in the haibun. Nicely written!


  4. Ahhh…Grandma’s things. So poignant a piece.


  5. Gorgeous haiku to flow from those memories, a regal lady 🙂


  6. lillian says:

    Ah yes….”tchotchkes.” I’ve always loved this word. So very well described…that “china” on display cabinet that many a grandparent had. Collections of tea cups and saucers. I’ve inherited these from two of my husband’s aunts….the cups are so small in comparison to the popular mugs of today. The design on each set is different. A beautiful violets one; another with tiny red flowers. I also treasure them. And yes….the memories within even the chipped are special to us. I wonder if our children will see their value?


  7. Frank Hubeny says:

    Nice remembrance of your Grandmother’s china and her ring. These things she probably found close to perfect in their imperfections. I liked the description of the lightning-flawed tree in the haiku.


  8. Imperfection, made perfect wrapped in memories. Loved the haiku too!


  9. MYRNA ZACH says:

    just lovely



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