ron offen | winternacht

30 01 2008
Poetry Dispatch No. 209 | January 28, 2008

Winternacht by Ron Offen

Busy all day like children at play,
the snow grew tired, then suddenly
stopped and came to rest,
stretching out upon the fields
up to the pillow of a hill.

In sleep, a swirl of white enfolded me,
a bosomy Tante from an ancient time,
who cradled me as if I were a child
and sang a lullaby that said
I’d go where she would carry me
and dream and dream my life away.


The beautiful poem above, “Winternacht” by Ron Offen, appears in the recent Happy New Year flyer from Offen’s little but long-standing, extraordinary literary mag, FREE LUNCH (Arts Alliance), one of the best little mags around for any poet to land his or her poem. The mag has a long history of publishing poetry of substance and art.

Check for more of Ron Offen’s own work and more information on Free Lunch.

No, there ain’t no “free lunch” but then again there is or was…or might be. (At one time, in the early days, if I rightly recall, Offen indeed tried his best to nurture everyone with a free copy—a free literary lunch.)

The recent flyer addresses THE FREE LUNCH ANNUAL FUND DRIVE. So, that’s part of the answer and one of the reasons I am featuring both this poem and the literal message that goes with it:


issue38.jpgDear Poet or Subscriber:

Thank you for donating what you can afford to support Free Lunch. Even a dollar will help. If you can’t donate at this time or have donated recently, please excuse this request. Due to increased printing and mailing costs. and dwindling funding resources, we must ask for your support to maintain our schedule of publication. Not that all donations are tax deductible, since we are a non-profit organization. –Ron Offen

Amount of donation (Checks payable to Free Lunch)________

(Please cut on the dotted line and send to Free Lunch, Box 7l7, Glenview, IL 60025)


It’s a good cause, a good publication, and he’s a good man and a fine poet. He’s not asking for much…but he is asking for something to keep the stove going, the pots boiling.

I was going to take a friend to lunch today, probably spend around $20 bucks. Instead, in the spirit of what’s free and what’s not…I’m sending Ron the cost of a lunch I never ate—yet feel nourished just the same, knowing in due course (with a little help from a friend), more Free Lunch will be served for the literary needy.

Norbert Blei