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 ~

Sure…

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.

Well…

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.

Nah!

I wish not for that bush tea from hell!

 

© Copyright Chattinatti 2016

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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.

Momordica_charantia_007

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: http://www.herbcyclopedia.com/item/health-benefits-of-bitter-melon-momordica-charantia-2

❤ CN

 

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