Illinois State Poetry Society
Poems by ISPS Members
February 2002
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Poems on this Page:

On the 12th Day of Xmas

by Tom Roby
The sanitation

          Santa Claus

                   slings his sack

                               onto a garbage truck.


by Bob McCarthy
sing a song

tell a joke

paint a picture

perform in a play

strike a pose

wrote a poem

Nature's Love

by Scott Frost
Nature's sweet embrace captures my heart,
It's delicate wrapping, it's profound solitude.
The Kankakee river flows easy this time of year,
It's relaxed and unhurried,
The way love flows sometimes.

I've been away from nature too long
It seems that I must re-introduce myself
To every tree I use for shade
And every bird that calms me with musical charm.

There are still a million paths I need to take,
A million trees I need to climb
But I'll take small steps,
Unhurried like the river,
Unhurried like love.

The Guniang Dilemma

by Larry Turner
The photo shows
a Chinese-American woman approaching thirty, under five foot tall,
a Norwegian-born man in his forties, way over six foot.
Yet, side by side on our sofa, with our cat nestled between them
they look the perfect couple.
I have to send her this photo,
but she has moved I donít know where.

I emailed her parents for her address
saying only that I have a photo for her.
The immediate reply: Guniang is moving again.
Send the photo to us.

Soon afterward, Guniangís message came:
Donít tell my father youíve met Olaf.
In Chinese culture itís an insult
for the fatherís friend to meet the boyfriend
before the father. My parents oppose our dating,
but soon weíll be married. Iíve committed
no crime. Olaf makes me happy.

Which email should I answer? Isnít my loyalty
to her family, friends since Guniang was a toddler
sitting on her motherís lap at our dinner table?

But then Iíve always questioned the myth
of parental wisdom. My own father tried
to prevent my marriageónow in its forty-fourth yearó-
even recruited my uncle and brother to convince me
marriage is overrated, sex is better outside marriage.
I never forget that when young Chinese and Korean
colleagues talk about their successful arranged marriages.

Or maybe Iím just a troublemaker, wondering
what will happen if I tell her parents.

Or maybe I relish the role of Friar Lawrence
to a twenty-first century Romeo and Juliet.


by Pat Petros
March winds give the earth a shake
coaxing nature to awake.
Grass greens up in freshening rain;
we hear the robins' sweet refrain.
Yellow and purple flowers glow
through the quickly melting snow.
Spring has come with bursts of blooms
as winds of March play wake up tunes.

January Adagio

by Alan Harris
Tonight at 10:30 I went out
for my walk. In the distance
I heard a major commotion
of geese. At first I thought
a flock might fly overhead,
though the hour was far too late
for geese to be aloft.

But the sound wasn't moving.

I heard a train's rumble,
then its mournful horn.
A freight was crossing
the railroad bridge
over the Fox River
close to where the geese
were overnighting.

As I turned around toward home
I still could hear them fret and scold
in chaotic counterpoint with
the diesel's basso continuo.

And the stars tonight burned
bright holes in the sky, decorating
bare tree branches overhead
like lingering holiday lighting.

After the train had rumbled off
to where nocturnal trains all go,
the neighborhood assumed a hush
perturbed only by my footsteps.

Hardly anything is quieter
than distant sleeping geese
and star-bespeckled trees.

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