three coveted cups of coffee and a crisp croissant

“Why, yes, I could start my day without coffee. But I like being able to remember things like how to say words and put on pants.” ~ Nanea Hoffman

Good Morning. Let’s wake up and smell the coffee!

Happy to see you’re wearing your spiffy pants and speaking in full sentences. Do you owe it all to coffee?

Yes, I thought so. Sip, sip. Ah, arabica!

I must confess to being an anomaly when it comes to jump-starting the day with high octane java. Don’t know why, but I’ve never actually had a cup of coffee in my entire life (all 29 years). 😀

I mean, I LOVE the smell of freshly brewed coffee — walking into the kitchen with that divine aroma greeting me — but I’ve never  been tempted to pour myself a cup. Strange, no?

Guess I’m just a diehard teatotaler. English Breakfast, Darjeeling or Yorkshire Gold for me, if you please.

Still, I can appreciate coffee’s universal appeal and certainly enjoy seeing how it’s inspired poets and artists. 

Today we’re serving up a little sampler of coffee poems paired with Karen Eland’s amazing coffee art (yes, she painted these pieces with just espresso and water). And, because I can’t imagine having any hot beverage without a little something to nibble on, please enjoy a croissant.


“Girl With a Pearl Earring” by Karen Eland (2006)
by Dory Hudspeth

The day begins with order
and quiet, broken
only by the small ringing
of the spoon against coffee mug.
If this small ritual goes well,
no spilling, no drips,
there is hope for the day.


“Winged Heart Latte” by Karen Eland (2007)
by Marge Piercy

I love you hot
I love you iced and in a pinch
I will even consume you tepid.

Dark brown as wet bark of an apple tree,
dark as the waters flowing out of a spooky swamp
rich with tannin and smelling of thick life—

but you have your own scent that even
rising as steam kicks my brain into gear.
I drink you rancid out of vending machines,

I drink you at coffee bars for $6 a hit,
I drink you dribbling down my chin from a thermos
in cars, in stadiums, on the moonwashed beach.

Mornings you go off in my mouth like an electric
siren, radiating to my fingertips and toes.
You rattle my spine and buzz in my brain.

Whether latte, cappuccino, black or Greek
you keep me cooking, you keep me on line.
Without you, I would never get out of bed

but spend my life pressing the snooze
button. I would creep through wan days
in the form of a large shiny slug.

You waken in me the gift of speech when I 
am dumb as a rock buried in damp earth.
It is you who make me human every dawn.
All my books are written with your ink.

~ from The Crooked Inheritance (Alfred A. Knopf, 2006)


“Sleeping Beauty” by Karen Eland (2014)
by Mary Goehring

Early every morning he brings me coffee
tiptoes across the long length of house
into our dark bedroom
careful not to wake me

Every morning for the last fifteen years
of our 43 years of marriage he
reaches his empty hand into the shadows
finds the round coaster on the nightstand corner

and quietly places the hot brew
Each day I can tell how tired he was
by the number of brown spots along the route
his bare feet took on the chilly white tile

This unintentional Hansel
and his morning invocations mapped
so I might know the path of his love


“Two on the Loose (Blueberries and Croissant)” by Peter Dickison (2017)
by Linda Pastan

I sing a song
of the croissant
and of the wily French
who trick themselves daily
back to the world
for its sweet ceremony.
Ah to be reeled
up into morning
on that crisp,
buttery hook.

~ from Setting the Table (Dryad Press, 1980)
“Croissant” by Akira Kusaka


Hope you enjoyed this little coffee break. BTW, must mention that I’m not alone in my no coffee weirdness. Apparently Steven Spielberg doesn’t drink the stuff either (he’s hated the taste since childhood).

For those thirsty for another cup, here are a few more of Karen Eland’s wonderful paintings. She also paints with beer! Check out her Official Website and Etsy Shop to purchase prints.

“Destiny” (2011)
“Mona Latte” (1998)
“Coffee in Paris” (2014)
“Manet’s Barista” (2013)
“Espresso at Lavena Cafe in Venice” (2008)
“Alice in Wonderland” by Karen Eland (2014)

So tell me, what’s your favorite kind of coffee or the best you’ve ever had? Are you one of those people who simply cannot function without coffee?



Thanks for all your wonderful comments last week. It certainly was nice having Ashley Wolff back to talk about her new picture book. We are pleased to announce that the winner of our giveaway is:

*drum roll, please*





🎉 Congratulations, Carol!! 🎃

And thanks to Ashley for generously providing a signed copy of the book!!


The lovely and talented Laura Purdie Salas is hosting the Roundup this week. Scamper on over to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up around the bloggy world this week. Happy Autumn!

Another satisfying sip?
And another buttery bite!

I have measured out my life in coffee spoons . . .

*Copyright © 2021 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

60 thoughts on “three coveted cups of coffee and a crisp croissant

  1. I do drink coffee m, but only in the morning. After that it us tea for the rest of the day! In fact I am having my first cup as I write this comment. Happy Autumn!🍂🍁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was finishing off my morning cup of coffee while I read this! Caffeine doesn’t affect me much, so it’s not for the “wake up.” So much goodness in this post, Jama. I love Akira Kusaka’s Croissant, and “Sleeping Beauty” made me smile. “The Warmth of Coffee” is a lovely tribute to a seasoned marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that beginning quote by Nanea Hoffman and the creative ideas for her paintings by Karen Eland, Jama. “Drink Me” indeed! Yes, I am a coffee drinker but only in the am, and do go without when I’m in a hurry. My mother, however, all day, in every way. My favorite comes from tasting the delights of coffee from Costa Rica, first with students. And we even visited a coffee farm! Happy fall to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve had 1/2 cup in my life, when it was the only choice and I was freezing. Don’t like the taste and the behavior and wild-eyed look of people when “there’s no coffee???!!!” But I love this post! Hope you post a paean to tea, Jama!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’ve seen that wild eyed look too. Caffeine addiction. But there are supposedly health benefits to drinking coffee every day so I can’t find fault. I remember the reassuring sound of coffee percolators in the old days with my parents.


    1. You’re a good human, coffee or not, Dorothy :). Croissants make me happy — have you ever tried to make them? I once attended a croissant class and decided it was too much work to make my own.


  5. This says it all Jama! From my upcoming book!


    To pour
    then hear the grinder’s
    whirl and crunch,
    to scatter the dark
    scent, bitter
    and nut-hued,
    bring forth water to bathe
    and seep so
    grounds become
    brew become
    joy, medicine,
    ordinary elixir–
    earth magic alive
    on the mortal tongue.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I despise coffee, Jama, and even the smell of it, so I couldn’t properly appreciate the coffee poems. But the croissant poem–that’s a whole ‘nother matter! Yes to that crisp, buttery hook–and thank you for the amazing coffee art!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well now I don’t feel so freakish about my coffee avoidance, though I do like how it smells. 🙂

      I tried to post a comment at your PF post today and don’t know whether it went through. I’ll wait until after comment moderation and check again. In any case, congrats on your new picture book and I did enjoy your tanka!


  7. Her paintings and titles, your poem-pairings — all so very clever and chuckle-worthy! I’m with you — a tea-totaler, though I have drunk an entire cup of coffee (liberally creamed and sugared) on occasion.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I like tea too, but alas can’t indulge in caffeine any more so I have hot water with ginger and lemon–never really a coffee drinker though, perhaps because I had to drink that awful instant coffee from vending machines while in college… Love your entire post all the art is s’wonderful and with expresso coffee– we sometimes use coffee with watercolors too. I also liked your two croissant paintings and especially “the brown spots along the route” from Mary Goehring’s THE WARMTH OF COFFEE, thanks Jama! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a fabulous post, Jama. You never disappoint! The paintings are astounding, and the poems so delightful. Love it all! I have gone back and forth with coffee and tea. These days I have a big mug of coffee in the morning and herbal tea for the rest of the day. Too much caffeine makes me buzzy. A croissant is always welcome😋.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I hear you on the croissants! Coffee in the morning and herbal tea for the rest of the day sounds like a good plan. No wonder you’re so productive :).


  10. Right – I need to get Himself that mug now to go with my tea mug! I do love my tea, but – shh! – I am not that fond of croissants! I have discovered the HORRIBLY good Taiwanese milk bread at a nearby bakery, and I am a sucker for these huge, tender taro buns with my tea now! I know! I have forsaken the French buttery flakiness! But, I am a happy girl. (Wish I could send you some… but they’d not be very good by the time they got there, and that bakery is only on the West Coast. ::sigh:: )

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s tea for me all the way! I do love the smell of coffee, and enjoy coffee ice cream, but coffee just does not agree with my belly (and neither do croissants for that matter).

    My favorite tea is a loose leaf tea called Nizza Sahne Tee from Germany and we buy it by the kilo :).It’s a black, aromatic tea with cornflowers. I cannot live without it!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I adore those paintings by Karen Eland, and the poems you paired with them. Lovely post! I normally only drink coffee in the mornings (it gets me out of bed), and tea the rest of the day, but for this post I had to go make a cup at 4pm. Enjoying it with a chocolate bar now! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Love this post—the poems, the paintings, the caffeinated joy of it.

    I gave up coffee for three years because I thought it was bad for my health. ( I was wrong. Coffee has many health benefits. ) Also I didn’t write one word during those three years.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Saturday breakfast at our home means coffee & croissants fresh from the oven. We spread our croissants with locally grown & made raspberry jam. Delicious weekend treat. Coffee? Breakfast & for elevenses & no more for rest of the day. Do you know the old saying? Tea; the cup that cheers. Sure does for afternoon tea. Love the poems & artwork.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Jama, what a fun and beautiful post. This quote by Nanea Hoffman had me guffawing: “Why, yes, I could start my day without coffee. But I like being able to remember things like how to say words and put on pants.”

    I too am a tea drinker. My husband is the coffee drinker in our home. We can make all guests happy with cupboards full of hot beverage supplies.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Good Morning, Dear Jama. I am right now sipping my favorite coffee which is a latte, really. It’s mostly coffee with a lot of milk, stevia, cocoa powder & a drip or two of vanilla extract. Thank you for this post. The paintings are just WOW!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I also do not drink coffee (though unlike you, I have had several cups of it!), but I love this post anyway. My favorite line is “unintentional Hansel.” My husband often leaves a little trail too, of his coffee and my tea. Ruth,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So you have both tea and coffee every morning? You’re an equal opportunity hot beverage drinker. 😀 You’ve reminded me I need to use my tea cozies more.


  18. I can a;most smell the coffee in your post Jama. From the opening quote through the inspired art work and the tribute poems to coffee your post is brimming. There is also your revelation regarding your own coffee abstinence to comprehend. I drink cappuccino in the morning and English breakfast tea in the evening, so I have foot in both camps.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Count me among those who come awake each morning cradling a hot cup of coffee. The best coffee I’ve ever had was from a place in New York City, in Grand Central Terminal, called Grumpy Coffee. I brought some (not enough!) back with me from that trip, and periodically still lament having run out. Thanks for sharing this collection of odes to one of my favorite beverages!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you, thank you, Jama, for the delightful coffee break and the wonderful news that I won the giveaway. I told my little granddaughter yesterday when she and her sister stayed over. Her first response was, “Where’s the book, Grandma?” We will have a wonderful read aloud time when the book comes to the house. While I am a decaf coffee drinker, I have been out shopping for strong seasonal coffee for my son and husband. The fall season has me thinking about all the delicacies. The art and poetry were very much appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know you’ll have a great time sharing Ashley’s pumpkin book with your granddaughters . . . maybe complete the experience by baking a pie or pumpkin bread/muffins? 🙂


  21. What a fun post! I drink a cup of coffee on the way to work in the morning, but it’s always tea in the afternoon. I love all of these poems, but “The Warmth of Coffee” is my favorite. So poignant and tender. And Linda Pastan now has me craving a croissant!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. How did I miss commenting on this coffee-rific post last week?? I remember reveling in all this coffee goodness, so I must have gotten interrupted before I had a chance to leave a comment. This is the kind of post I want to hug. 🙂

    Once again, you exceed all bloggy expectations, Jama!

    Liked by 1 person

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