Tea with Trolls

UPDATE 11/17/11

I have made a PDF for download of “Tea with Trolls.” All the same content with better, tidier layout, including the credits and poets’ websites.

Download “Tea with Trolls” PDF

When I first asked for poems, I expressed that there were two things that I simply adored writing about: tea, and trolls. What started out as a guilty pleasure turned into an abundance of material that made me squirm in my seat with glee. This was more than I could have hoped for.

I tried to arrange things in a neat order, hopefully to your liking. There is approximately 27 poets total represented with haiku, tanka, senryu, kyoka, haibun, haiga, and more. See a poet you like and can’t get enough of their work? Scroll down to the bottom for credits and links. Maybe they have a blog or website with more poems for you to explore.

And so, you are cordially invited to sit back, have some tea, kick up those feet after a night of trick-or-treating, handing out candy, or hiding behind your couch with the lights off so those pesky costumed kids will leave you alone. You deserve a treat; these poems were most certainly mine.

Happy Halloween, all!

Aubrie Cox, 10/31/11


earth tremor
the teapot sings

Roberta Beary

tea after fasting
now I realize
the balm-cricket’s song

Andrea Cecon




the last sip
of persimmon tea…
she hides her fears
under the weight
of a Noh mask

Pamela A. Babusci

hummingbird nest-
these five
jasmine tea pearls

Pamela Cooper




old age home —
the tea’s lemon slice
out of juice

Roberta Beary

autumn rain
deeper and darker
the taste of tea

Mary Ahearn

haiga by Terri L. French

leaves settle
to the pond’s bottom;
evening tea

Michael Nickels-Wisdom

tea time she knew the truth

John McManus

pouring tea
into a chipped cup . . .
loneliness returns

Pamela A. Babusci



waxing gibbous
the sea of tranquility
in my teacup

Margaret Dornaus

thick green tea

Pamela A. Babusci

in my tea cup
drowned insects…
zen meditation

Andrea Cecon

midnight tea
an unexpected guest
slips beneath the door

Terrie Relf




monster movie
I decide to turn off
the evening news

Christina Nguyen

full moon tea
my book of beasts
lies open

Stella Pierides



haiga by Kirsten Cliff




tea leaves
settling into shapes
I can’t believe
until I can see
our future clearly

Margaret Dornaus

tea leaves —
a fate worse than

Stella Pierides



bacon and eggs
over easy
when I was your age
I served trolls
wine and cheese

Randy Brooks

october rain
the princess invites her troll dolls
to tea

Angie Werren

her white gloves
to serve the trolls
Sunday tea

Randy Brooks



sweet tea . . .
mother listening
to my troubles

John McManus

measured words
she pours me another
spot of tea

Terri L. French

pending biopsy
I rub my troll’s tummy
for luck

Cara Holman



flea market
the troll with gray hair
staring back
with those big bug eyes . . .
my buried childhood

Margaret Dornaus

four kids
playing Bill Goats Gruff
to this day
my oldest brother
is still the troll

Christina Nguyen



“Beneath the Surface”

I always suspected that there was more to the seemingly innocent bedtime stories my parents used to read to us than met the ear. My five-year-old brain recognized them for what they were: cautionary tales meant to impart valuable life lessons. Still, knowing that didn’t diminish the pleasure of listening to my dad’s low rumbly voice as he read to me, even when he sometimes surreptitiously tried to skip an entire page when he thought he could get away with it. The moral of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” was obvious enough, just as “Little Red Riding Hood” was a thinly veiled tale about Stranger Danger. But exactly what the point of “The Billy Goats Gruff” was, continued to elude me. They were saying it was okay to dump my problems on my older sibs, and violence was justified?

mad tea party…
three goats negotiate
with a desperate troll

Cara Holman

burning bridges
the troll and the billy goat
share some tea

Terri L. French

trolls sit
on the bridge rail
no moon yet

Randy Brooks

Before crossing
the bridge
I make
my friend
a daisy chain.

Alexis Rotella

spring breeze
the bell sounds
for tea

Lauren Bellis

tea ceremony …
the elongated shadow
of a dwarf daffodil

Pamela A. Babusci



porcelain teapot—
a ladybug lands
on the cherry blossom

Pamela Cooper

summer over,
chamomile blossoms
in the teapot

Michael Nickels-Wisdom




autumn equinox …
the last sip
of chrysanthemum tea

Pamela A. Babusci

afternoon tea—
I drink the last
of the setting sun

Pamela Cooper



empty room
a teacup holds
the light

Roberta Beary

autumn rain
scrubbing uselessly
at the stain in my cup

Melissa Allen



deep in the wood
of the bedroom door
the gargoyle

Michael Nickels-Wisdom

the monsters
from my childhood
still alive and well
I leave the light on
in my daughter’s closet

Christina Nguyen



image by Susan Nelson Myers

full sail ahead—
where the wild things
drink darjeeling

Aubrie Cox



midnight parade
lazy tanuki
sips tea

Lauren Bellis




Ick the troll
scotch eggs noshed
at the peacock tearoom

Raymond French

too much rum
today I am amongst
the walking dead

Lucas Stensland




tea after the funeral
I promised my girlfriend
I’d come back for her

Lucas Stensland


“Try the round ones dusted with sugar,” he said, lifting a cup of jasmine tea, pinkie out. “The silly human tried to trick me out of my name, but instead I made crumpets out of his brain.”

picnic basket—
steam rises
from the graves

Terri L. French (prose) & Aubrie Cox (haiku)



such a gracious hostess. . .
finger sandwiches
and blood-spiked tea

Terrie Relf




backlit fog
the vampire
raises his cape

Lucas Stensland

drinking tea they forget
the World tree

Stella Pierides


All the chrysanthemums in Tokyo
unable to sate
Mothra’s hunger

Robert Mullen



Chanoyu (1) in Autumn
by Stephen M. Wilson

Hachi-gatsu (August)

Tama-matsuri (2)
Having tea with
Grandfather’s ghost

Grandmother watches
Daimonji (3)
Her grave still fresh

Ku-gatsu (September)

Around her caldron
The majo (4)
Brews a special tea

The harvest moon—
Around the koi pond
Nine zombies lumber

Jû-gatsu (October)

As we drink ‘her’ tea
In the night chill
Our eyes fall out

Naka-oki (5) —guests
Warmed by spontaneous
Human combustion

1. Japanese tea ceremony
2. Tea ceremony to celebrate the ancestors (Aug. 15 & 16)
3. Bonfire for escorting the dead (Aug. 16, part of Tama-matsuri)
4. Witch
5. To bring the fire closer for warmth and atmosphere




haiga by Rick Daddario





voodoo doll
if Aubrie doesn’t
select this poem

Lucas Stensland

monster birthday party
the imps dressed
as elvis

Lauren Bellis




autumn rain
a ghoul guzzles
green tea

Aubrie Cox

summer snow
the imps break
for tea

Lauren Bellis

haiga by Terri L. French

last train—
in its windows
a ghost train

Michael Nickels-Wisdom

fisherman’s net
full of kappa—
new moon

Lauren Bellis




barren field
radiating heat, a door
lies there

Michael Nickels-Wisdom




Ahearn, Mary.

“autumn rain” – Frogpond 32:1, 2009; Where the Wind Turns: The Red Moon Anthology of English Language Haiku 2009

Allen, Melissa. Red Dragonfly

Babusci, Pamela.

“autumn equinox” – Magnapoets 3, January 2009
“pouring tea” – Evergreen 12:2 (February 2002)
“tea ceremony” – Frogpond 24:2 (2001), 25
“the last sip” – A Thousand Reasons, 2009
“thick green tea” – A Thousand Reasons, 2009

Beary, Roberta. robertabeary.com

“earth tremor” – The Unworn Necklace, 1st hardcover ed. 2011 Snapshot Press
“empty room” – The Unworn Necklace, 1st hardcover ed. 2011 Snapshot Press
“old age home” – Second Place September 2011 Shiki kukai

Brooks, Randy. Brooks Books, MU Haiku

Cecon, Andrea. Twitter

“tea after fasting” – previously posted on Sumauma, Brazil

Cliff, Kirsten. Swimming in Lines of Haiku

Cooper, Pamela

“afternoon tea” – Haiku Canada Anthology 2010

Daddario, Rick. 19planets

Dornaus, Margaret. Haiku Doodle

“tea leaves” – Moonbathing 3, Fall/Winter 2011
“waxing gibbous” – Notes From the Gean 3.2, Fall 2011

French, Terri L. The Mulling Muse

“chashitsu” – Notes From the Gean, April 2011

Holman, Cara. Prose Posies

Mullen, Robert. skyraftwanderer

Nickles-Wisdom, Michael.

“barren field” – qarrtsiluni, December 22, 2008
“last train” – Scifaikuest (online edition) 6.1, August 2008
“summer over” – Asahi Haikuist Network, September 19, 2008

Nguyen, Christina. A wish for the sky…

Pierides, Stella. stellapierides.com

Rotella, Alexis. Twitter, Facebook, WordPress

Stensland, Lucas. my favorite thing

Wilson, Stephen M. @microcosms

“Chayou in Autumn” – Scifaikuest 5th Anniversary Issue (Sam’s Dot Publishing, 2007)

Werren, Angie. feathers

33 thoughts on “Tea with Trolls

  1. This is a magnificent collection, just in time for All Hollow’s Eve! Great job in selection, and great work on the part of the contributors. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Terri French says:

    What great timing. Thanks for putting this together, Aubrie. So much here to make me smile. Honored to be included and to read my husband’s first “published” senryu!!

  3. pamela a. babusci says:

    aubrie, you did a WONDERFUL job putting together
    tea & trolls! thanks SO much for including my poetry
    along side of such great haiku/tanka poets & haiga
    artists!! ciao bella!

  4. mary ahearn says:

    hi aubrie- this is just wonderful! I’ll be coming back to read and enjoy- so many riches!
    Thanks for including me-

  5. beautifully presented, Aubrie. I’m impressed with your insight into this layout process as well as the contributors you pull together here. a way fun assortment of tea and monster creatures… I’m delighted and honored that my work is included among these terrific visuals and writings around haiku. thank you for a monster effort. yeah, way fun. aloha – rick.

    they pack up well
    monsters in my dreams
    with tea

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