Hot Tea! has been written mostly after the birth of the first of my children (indeed, Who Shall Sing, When Man is Gone contains a few poems from this period as well). They were also written as my life becomes somewhat more meditative, as my religious views and intrinsic Zen state become clear over time. Quite lot of the philosophical influences that are coming to fruition are expressed in some of the in-progress essays under my philosophy pages at http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/Philosophy/philosophy.php In these I attempt to articulate in simple prose some of the insights that are probably better captured in poetry.
At any rate, a number of the poems in Hot Tea! are generally Buddhist in nature, although I perceive of the Buddha as a philosopher and not as a religous figure and especially not as a god (e.g. incarnation of Vishnu, at least not any more or less so that any of us are that share in our hearts a spark of fire).
This collection also contains some of what I now view as my best poems, ones that I really do think can stand the test of time. Not to toot my own horn, but "An Open Letter to Humankind" and "Planting Season" are really good poems, as are quite a few of the shorter ones.
There are a few irreverent poems as well -- I poke a bit of fun at W. B. Yeats in "Driving to Byzantium", a more-or-less perfect translation of "Sailing to Byzantium" for modern times. I couldn't do this if I didn't love and even revere Yeats -- when my kids were babies I used to put them to sleep by reciting a variety of Yeats and Tennyson (Ulysses) to them from memory. Even now, if I start in with "It little profits an idle king..." I can make my eldest son start to nod;-)
The one final comment to make about this collection is that it is incomplete in that I'm still writing and adding poetry to it, and I'm also still editing and changing the poetry that is there. This is one of the benefits (or perhaps curses) of web publication and work processors. I work on poems for years, fixing a misspelling, altering a line to it scans better, sometimes rewriting whole stanzas. A poem you read today might be a different poem in five years -- perhaps better, perhaps not, but different nevertheless. Only my CVS tree contains the full revision history of my poetry, and even it only stretches back so far.
There is room in Hot Tea! for quite a few more poems before splitting yet again and starting a third book. At my current rate of production, it will likely take a few more years to complete. If you wish, you can bookmark the site and revisit from time to time to see if any new works have been added.
Feel free to let me know what you think of these poems. You can send me email or paper mail at the addresses given in the contact link above. If you like them, and find yourself returning to read them from time to time, feel free to drop a dollar in the metaphorical banjo case in the online introduction, and I'll gladly tip my next glass to your health!