Welcome to OpenLinkNight everyone! And for our USA friends, we are wishing you Happy Thanksgiving!
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 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, I would like to feature the poems by Ross Gay and you can read about his background in Poetry Foundation.
Poem to My Child, If Ever You Shall Be
BY ROSS GAY
—after Steve Scafidi
The way the universe sat waiting to become,
quietly, in the nether of space and time,
you too remain some cellular snuggle
dangling between my legs, curled in the warm
swim of my mostly quietest self. If you come to be—
And who knows?—I wonder, little bubble
of unbudded capillaries, little one ever aswirl
in my vascular galaxies, what would you think
of this world which turns itself steadily
into an oblivion that hurts, and hurts bad?
Would you curse me my careless caressing you
into this world or would you rise up
and, mustering all your strength into that tiny throat
which one day, no doubt, would grow big and strong,
scream and scream and scream until you break the back of one injustice,
or at least get to your knees to kiss back to life
some roadkill? I have so many questions for you,
for you are closer to me than anyone
has ever been, tumbling, as you are, this second,
through my heart’s every chamber, your teeny mouth
singing along with the half-broke workhorse’s steady boom and gasp.
And since we’re talking today I should tell you,
though I know you sneak a peek sometimes
through your father’s eyes, it’s a glorious day,
and there are millions of leaves collecting against the curbs,
and they’re the most delicate shade of gold
we’ve ever seen and must favor the transparent
wings of the angels you’re swimming with, little angel.
And as to your mother—well, I don’t know—
but my guess is that lilac bursts from her throat
and she is both honeybee and wasp and some kind of moan to boot
and probably she dances in the morning—
but who knows? You’ll swim beneath that bridge if it comes.
For now let me tell you about the bush called honeysuckle
that the sad call a weed, and how you could push your little
sun-licked face into the throngs and breathe and breathe.
Sweetness would be your name, and you would wonder why
four of your teeth are so sharp, and the tiny mountain range
of your knuckles so hard. And you would throw back your head
and open your mouth at the cows lowing their human songs
in the field, and the pigs swimming in shit and clover,
and everything on this earth, little dreamer, little dreamer
of the new world, holy, every rain drop and sand grain and blade
of grass worthy of gasp and joy and love, tiny shaman,
tiny blood thrust, tiny trillion cells trilling and trilling,
little dreamer, little hard hat, little heartbeat,
little best of me.
BY ROSS GAY
If you find yourself half naked
and barefoot in the frosty grass, hearing,
again, the earth’s great, sonorous moan that says
you are the air of the now and gone, that says
all you love will turn to dust,
and will meet you there, do not
raise your fist. Do not raise
your small voice against it. And do not
take cover. Instead, curl your toes
into the grass, watch the cloud
ascending from your lips. Walk
through the garden’s dormant splendor.
Say only, thank you.
Here is his poetry reading – Poetry of Happiness: