NaPoWriMo Poetry Challenge Day 9: “Bitter Bush” Tea

The prompt: “Today, I challenge you to write a poem that includes a line that you’re afraid to write. This might be because it expresses something very personal that makes you uncomfortable – either because of its content (“I always hated grandma”), or because it seems too emotional or ugly or strange (“I love you so much I would eat a cockroach for you”). Or even because it sounds too boring or expected (“You know what? I like cooking noodles and going to bed at 7 p.m.”). But it should be something that you’re genuinely a little scared to say.”

"Bitter Bush" - Scientific Name: Momordica charantia L.

“Bitter Bush” – Scientific Name: Momordica charantia L.


Bitter Bush Tea ~


I’ll have a cup of Bitter Bush;

you’ll hear me say never!

That vile green liquid

makes me shudder to think

how my uncle disguised it;

Boy was he clever!

And gave me a big, steaming cupful

to drink.

Bedridden for days with a cold

with a cough that just wouldn’t quit

he brewed his concoction

and gave it to me to get fit.


that first taste

was like sudden destruction!

I thought I’d pass out from the bile.

It tasted like

unfulfilled wishes

and all things upsetting and vile.

I must say;

despite my expressive convulsions,

I drank it

and soon was made well;

but never again have I tried it.


I wish not for that bush tea from hell!


© Copyright Chattinatti 2016


Author’s Note – This bush or rather vine is well known throughout the Caribbean but by various names.

It is known in Antigua & Barbuda as Bitter Bush (no guesswork needed there about the taste). There is a fruit which bears on the vine; it is orange-yellow with red seeds on the inside. Antiguans call the fruit “Fowl Batty” (which literally translates to Chicken’s Bottom)  🙂  Many children pick the fruits off the vine and eat them. The flavour is a bit tangy with a slightly sweet taste.


The leaves from the vine are used to make the tea and it is supposedly good for lowering blood pressure, curing colds and chest infections as well as a few other ailments.

The tea should not be made with too many leaves or drank too often as it could have an adverse effect on the health. **

Here is a link with more information:

❤ CN



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