Arriving at the Gare du Nord,
I disembark from the train
to a guttural dawn chorus –
I’ve heard that sound before.
The morning platform’s cold,
tinged with piss and alcohol.

As I pass a street café,
a newspaper hawker’s cry
starts up the day
and Gitanes and coffee
grab me in a piquant embrace,
purring in my ear like Grace.

Kim M. Russell, 2018

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Grace

Our host today is Paul, who would like us to take a look at the word Grace for our opening Poetics prompt of 2018.  He asks what the word Grace conjures up for us; how it manifests in our lives and writing; and how we might weave it into a poem? He has shared two examples: one by Rumi and the other by Walt Whitman.


42 thoughts on “Libertango

      1. Thank you! I was watching a TV programme about Montmartre the other day and I had a strong urge to return to Paris – I have an ex-sister-in-law who used to live near Gare du Nord but she moved out to teh suburbs. I also have friends in Massignac I’d love to visit.


  1. Oh I love this, I love the sounds and smells of Paris…haven’t been since 2000…..must go back….We took the school orchestra there to play in the cities parks…they ate le Lapin and I neglected to tell them it wasn’t chicken……XXXXXXX

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this – all the smells. I too miss the smells, the hustle even. I haven’t been back to Paris since I married. I too arrived by the Gare du Nord. I remember it as grim, dangerous, smelly and totally marvelous. I love your to the point and beyond poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my God! I can’t reminisce with much of your poem (I can extrapolate a bit, having traveled on Greyhound and Amtrak), but it all came alive with Ms. Jones. Not the grace I expected! Lots of fun, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember years ago, going to Gare du Nord and seeking hot coffee to wake me. Jet lag was fogging my brain.
    Love the title here too — excellent description — I never mind the hub but of humanity in crowded places like this — but I can do without the alcohol and piss! 😳

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Kim–I took the Metro at the Gare du Nord daily for 3 months when I studied at Alliance Francais and lived in the 19th Arrondisement. What memories. I can picture and hear exactly of what you speak. Every day I passed this Patisserie with nary a sous in my pocket. Sheer torture. (That was in 1969, my nun days!)

    Liked by 1 person

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