I have been reading my poetry occasionally on a virtual open mic based in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It is called Wednesday Night Poetry, WNP. For almost all its life, it has been live in person in a coffee shop in Hot Springs – until the pandemic struck. Because it is the longest running open mic in the country, Kai Coggin, the host, took it to Facebook to keep it going. We send videos of our readings, and she puts them together into a collage of poetry.

Kai is finally taking WNP back to the coffee shop on Wednesday, June 16, so this Wednesday, June 9, is the last weekly virtual offering. She is going to ease us into this change by continuing the virtual open mics on the second Wednesdays of the months July – December of this year.

It is my plan to go to Hot Springs someday, hopefully soon, to read in person. Since it’s only about a five-hour drive from Springfield, Missouri, where I am, it’s a very real possibility.

Kai has been introducing themes for the readings to stimulate ideas for poems. The theme for this final weekly reading is Love. I wrote and read this poem:

Real Love

I loved the idea of love,
how I imagined it could be
in its purest form,
something I aspired to
and dreamed could exist
in forever. I let that go.

What I kept is the
reality of love,
the miracle that it can be
experienced in the now,
with all the anger, fear,
and messiness that is life.

It still glows there
through adversity and pain
and holds me up
when life hurts too much,
or takes too much from me,
when I think I can bear no more.

Love is real and warm
in life’s cold loneliness.
It gives me hope
that I can survive,
and even thrive,
in its embrace.

If you are interested you can watch any of the readings on the Facebook page, “Wednesday Night Poetry.”

What is your definition of “real” love? Write all about your musings on this topic.

With whom have you felt real love based on your definition?

Write a love poem to someone, whether or not you intend to give it to that person. It will raise your spirits just writing it.

PS: Happy Summer (on June 20)!

4 replies
  1. Katherine D McQueen
    Katherine D McQueen says:

    Dottie, this poem is so honest and beautiful. There are lines that say so many complicated things in just a few words. You have truly captured “reality love.” Your words when “life . . . takes too much from me” struck me deeply and captured my own feelings.


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