Happy National Poetry Month! To all our poets embarking on this daily challenge, good luck and happy poeming!
As you know OpenLinkNight is your opportunity to link 1 poem of your choice as this is no prompt-day. For those who missed the Mr Linky deadline this Tuesday’s poetics “Seeing Red” or any poetry prompts that you have missed in the past, this is the opportunity to share your poem. Out of courtesy, please link back to dVerse Poets Pub if you are sharing your poem.
Today, we will hear a lovely poem, What You Need To Be Warm, by poet Neil Gaiman. He reads his humanistic poem for refugees, composed from a thousand definitions of warmth from around the world.
A baked potato of a winter’s night to wrap your hands around or burn your mouth.
A blanket knitted by your mother’s cunning fingers. Or your grandmother’s.
A smile, a touch, trust, as you walk in from the snow
or return to it, the tips of your ears pricked pink and frozen.
The tink tink tink of iron radiators waking in an old house.
To surface from dreams in a bed, burrowed beneath blankets and comforters,
the change of state from cold to warm is all that matters, and you think
just one more minute snuggled here before you face the chill. Just one.
Places we slept as children: they warm us in the memory.
We travel to an inside from the outside. To the orange flames of the fireplace
or the wood burning in the stove. Breath-ice on the inside of windows,
to be scratched off with a fingernail, melted with a whole hand.
Frost on the ground that stays in the shadows, waiting for us.
Wear a scarf. Wear a coat. Wear a sweater. Wear socks. Wear thick gloves.
An infant as she sleeps between us. A tumble of dogs,
a kindle of cats and kittens. Come inside. You’re safe now.
A kettle boiling at the stove. Your family or friends are there. They smile.
Cocoa or chocolate, tea or coffee, soup or toddy, what you know you need.
A heat exchange, they give it to you, you take the mug
and start to thaw. While outside, for some of us, the journey began
as we walked away from our grandparents’ houses
away from the places we knew as children: changes of state and state and state,
to stumble across a stony desert, or to brave the deep waters,
while food and friends, home, a bed, even a blanket become just memories.
Sometimes it only takes a stranger, in a dark place,
to hold out a badly-knitted scarf, to offer a kind word, to say
we have the right to be here, to make us warm in the coldest season.
You have the right to be here.
Source: Brain Pickings
To join us for Thursday’s OpenLinkNight, here’s how to join:
See you at the poetry trail. ~Grace~
Welcome everyone to OpenLink NIght!!! Hope you are having a good day or night, staying at home or working from home.
Thank you for sharing the Neil Gaiman poem, Grace. I hope everyone is keeping safe and sane
Hi Kim, Keeping our sanity, while being cooped up in the office, is a challenge. There has been a lot of warning already to practice social and physical distancing as our cases here in Canada is rising. Our major concern here is that our next door neighbor, USA, is now getting so many new cases and deaths because they were “late” in implementing the strict measures. Hope you are well !!!
Thank you, Grace. The major problem we have here in the UK is testing. Germany has shown that testing keeps deaths low. We are also short on ventilators and other equipment, One good thing is that they are turning large conference centres into hospitals, The social distancing and self-isolation does work, but it has to be implemented quickly, no waiting to see what happens, it just has to be done. Stay safe!
Laura Bloomsbury said:
Thanks for hosting Grace and for the salutary reminder that life is tougher for some – imagine Covid-19 in a refugee camps
Catching up with Sara’s prompt as I do not know where the time goes now there is so much of it
Hi Laura. Good to see you. Despite our conditions, we are really blessed. I mean we still have our homes with internet and distractions. I can’t imagine the hardships of the refugees and those affected by war, with the onset of this pandemic. Take care.
Frank Hubeny said:
Very nice ending in Gaiman’s poem.
He had an interesting process – he asked the question in Twitter, and got many responses. He then chose some phrases to make it a poem. Have a good day Frank.
Linda Lee Lyberg said:
Hi Grace- thank you for hosting tonight. I hope everyone is doing well!
Hi Linda. Work is busy as usual (at home). We are fine here, doing all we can to self isolate and keep physical distancing, even grocery shopping and taking a short walk around the neighborhood. Hope you are well.
Linda Lee Lyberg said:
So far yes, and do is my husband. He is still going to work each day so I worry and pray.
Thanks for joining us.
Beverly Crawford said:
Thank you for that Galman poem, Grace! I identified with much of it, and I found it such a wonderful read, the last two stanzas poignantly touching. I will try to come back later with a poem of my own.
Hello Bev! Glad you enjoyed the reading and poem.
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Hello all… I just came from late work and some weekly corona shopping (prefer an empty store) … I will not write anything tonight but will try to pop into the tail end later…. No Netflix for this work@home poet.
Will be doing that grocery shopping in a bit too. Plus food delivery if I am lazy to cook. So challenging to work and manage the household, all from home. Netflix is good – entertains people in the house here at night. Also, since we are NBA fans, there has been re-runs of champshionship games in our TV – very enjoyable to watch and forget the harsh reality. Take care Bjorn.
Thanks for hosting, Grace, and for that Neil Gaiman poem. A lovely poem for our times. I’ve added mine, but I have to go back and catchup on reading Red poems. There’s an abundance of poetry right now–a good thing.
Hope everyone is well!
I am on twitter and its a lot of poems too. Glad that we have something to distract and give us some creative work. Take care Merril.
Oh I just f€&#king love Neil Gaiman! So big part of my growth.. Nevewhere, Sandman (which I find demeaning to call a Comic, graphic novels are more fitting. Phicvels? Gravels? Granos?), and later American Gods and all the rest.. Guy who gets stories are our life, imagination valuable and who has given me so much through his artistic work!
Yes, he is amazing, and gets the “real” folks. Thanks for your enthusiam and enjoying the pub !!!
Why, I do believe the praise raised should be only mine, for this nice establishment far exceeds mere Bar or Saloon..My, it is a total disgrace and den of writers, if you can believe me!
Colleen@ LOOSELEAFNOTES said:
Hello All. Happy to be writing poetry and glad it’s not like toilet paper.
Thanks for joining in.
Good evening Grace and every one else. I’m planning another week with the kids home as it’s time for Easter holiday, but without all the normal family visits and the traditional knocking on doors for candy, dresses as Easter witches.
With two kids under ten, mostly at home there is little time to get bored or write poetry.
For sure it will be different. With young kids, you have one busy and active household. Must be fun, smiles (says this near-empty nester) .Enjoy the weekend.
Vanessa Matthews said:
Hi all. Wow it’s been a few years since I’ve visited here regularly but I’ve just started writing again and thought I’d pop back in as I used to love it here so much. I don’t have an active blog at the moment but I shared my poem on my FB page and linked to dVerse to thank you for the prompt. I’ll share properly once I get my blog back up. Thanks for being here. Hope everyone is well.
Hi Grace thanks for hosting and keeping the pub open during these difficult times – seems quite a crowd tonight. Looking forward to a nourishing read later.
Thanks for joining in! Have a good weekend.
Thank you for hosting OLN Grace.
Thanks for joining in. Be safe and stay connected.
Thank you Grace, and you also.
Ali Grimshaw said:
Thanks for keeping the schedule going. After 2 weeks of being at home it is helpful to have the pub open. I will be checking in tonight to read all of the wonderful poems. My contribution is dedicated to all the parents who are navigating this pandemic challenge. Thank you Grace and be well.
A challenge in these trying times. Be safe, healthy and in good spirits.
Ali Grimshaw said:
I am leading some online writing groups and that is filling my soul. It feels so good to create connection for others right now.