Illinois State Poetry Society
Poems by ISPS Members
April, 2022
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Poems on this Page:

Growing Old

by Charlotte Digregorio
Mother's illness
i wonder if i will meet 
the same fate
lapsing into a coma

i watch my endearing hound
half-blind and deaf
nosing the floor to his bowl
of cooked meat

for a moment
through my imagination
i dream of finding peace
by uncapping a blue bottle
to inhale soothing salts

i leave my house
walk the forest
in contemplation
follow the wood thrush's song
discovering cheer

(A Tanka Sequence)

Saturday Morning

by Gail Denham
...ten line prose poem
I strip sheets off our King-size bed, gather the pile, and think
back to Mom pulling sheets off the bed I shared with my sis,
saying: "Rise & shine. Time to clean." I'd still be groggy from
sneaking in past midnight, when I'd revelled in the freedom of being
a teenager who could drive. Today I fill our washer and thank God
I don't have to pull bedding through the wringer on Mom's old
machine. I marvel at how fast time fled between those Saturdays
of washing, sweeping, mopping, while records belted out Gilbert
& Sullivan, and today. I often wish our wash days ended as those
had, with sweet line-dried bedding odor, and Mom's fresh cookies.

Spring Cleaning

by Carole R. Bolinski
There's a rhythm to how one does their spring cleaning:
A Rock n Roll attitude while tossing out anything that looks too Classical.

Leave all the Seasonal, all bold colors
symbolizing a Funky Hip Hop style—it's attitude we want!

Get rid of all pots and pans that have Heavy Metal. 
Put them away with the Alternatives; 
the ones that were given as presents and never used.

Wait for a Calypso tempo to come dancing through the house
or a Latin Rap to get you into the mood.
Clean up any Chamber remnant that's still hanging out.

Dust away those Blues, and Pop into the new season 
with a Jazzy outlook. Then relax with a Scotch, 
and be content with the Country you live in.

stone rosettes

by Tom Chockley
stone rosettes
in the church wall
sunlit whorls
            each time she returns
            the fingerprints match

Spring on the Prairie

by Marie Asner
Early morning drive
with fresh air through open windows.
From the gravel road, we see fading
blue lightning and behind the wet meadow,
hush of morning as Venus holds
the sky alone then slips into mist.
Breezes murmur about the taste of rain
and furry things nestle in dry leaves
blown there from oaks far away.
The road narrows and we can brush
our fingers on prairie grass,
waving hello to visitors.
Sun begins to rise, embroidering
our faces in yellow threads of beams.
The wind begins its morning work
ahead of the car. Unfolding like
bolts of pink satin is primrose country,
being proud and sassy with the
lone milkweed, who wishes he
were someone else.  


by Janice Doppler
Footsteps. Silence meets my tentative call of "hello?" We listen for several minutes, hear only rain on the tarp attached to our screen tent's frame. It keeps us warm and dry, but limits visibility. Stories of women attacked while camping go unvoiced. We resume our Scrabble game. Grunts. My wife turns off the lantern. Are we being stalked?

We dash for the car, game left on the table, screen tent door unzipped. We sit in silence ... watching. We see no movement, but there are no lights in this tents-only loop. All other campers are in the RV section too far to hear us if we scream. We hold hands, discuss sleeping in the car all night. We relax ... a little bit. After about ninety minutes, we drive to the main bathhouse with its heated bathroom and lit parking area. The grunts were probably an animal and none in this area are dangerous. The footsteps were probably a falling branch. We decide to risk sleeping in our tent.

tooth brush time—
at the edge of lantern light
three raccoons


by Hanh Chau
Life is a learning journey
like a sailing boat
                                    that it takes to different form
                                    of path

through the unpredictable set
of expectations 

                    with good and bad  
			        ups and downs
			        happiness and sadness

in seeking for the best
and preparing for the worst

                             Take life it as a precious gift
                             With a sense of gratitude

To understand with its purpose
in achieving for the goals

                            So live life to the fullest potential
                            With no regret

Stay humble and be genuine 
Display with a positive attitude

First Day in New Old Town

by Debbi Brody
Wild crocus, cultivated crocus, grape hyacinth,  
eight white tails, beaver, porcupine, wild orchid, black walnut,
    catfish, coots, geese, red and grey squirrel, cardinals, robins, wild 
garlic ramps, you.


by Candace Armstrong
A tall grey lady steps from the woods
at twilight, green ringlets in her hair.

She stalks with foot falls
flinching earth and ether.

Her shrieking breath blows carnage,
razes like a conqueror.

Lightning flashes from her
clenched white teeth, 

thunder responds to the flick
of her black-gloved hand, 

anxious clouds cry rain 
in her wake. 

Then she glides away, gone.
Her scarf trails disaster. 

(2nd Place, Nature Category, 2019
Poets and Patrons of Chicago)

April 15th

by Camille A. Balla
I dust off a lawn chair, step out
into air that's fresh. I stretch my legs,
relax, my denim capris drawing warmth
from 3 o'clock sun. I wiggle my toes,
count 20 minutes of sunshine
When in past years I scrambled
to get numbers together—in time
to give to Caesar what is Caesar's,
but days ago I balanced the scales.
Today I breathe in Springtime,
delight in red-petaled tulips,
a purple hyacinth,
the excited chattering of birds.
A lively breeze stirs grass,
leaves; awakens blossoms
on flowering crab trees,
bringing whiffs in the offing.
Swirling, it brushes my face,
tousles my hair—ah,
I take five minutes more—
to give God what is God's.

(Published in St. Anthony Messenger,
April, 2012
Your Daily Poem, April 15, 2013)

On US Highways

by Bakul Banerjee
Temple parking lot has a cover
of honey locust twigs and leaves
A squirrel jumps in front. I swerve.

The October morning is bright
The road to home from the temple
is awash with smiling sunlight

I pass the brown, lifeless, Paramount
Theater boasting Kinky Boots on marque.
Hollywood Casino dozes on a mound
sitting on a bifurcation of the Fox River
under the shadow of a short bridge.
Two Nepali women hurry along as a sliver

of sunshine hits their traditional garb.
At traffic light, the giant man hammers
down a wooden form to fix the curb.

Thickly tattooed arms are peeking out
from his bright, neon green safety vest.
Arm wrestle with him? Will I? I doubt.

The road snakes thru fields of corn stalk,
a few not yet, but others mowed.
A man in a beanie hat is out for a walk

perhaps a resident of motels I passed,
Country Court or Sunshine, yet to be
dislodged by suburban homes on tract.

Muddy furrows left behind by tractor
tires glisten under sunrays. Stubbles turn
into shards — a repeated design factor.

Scene changes to greens of a golf course,
sod farms, and tract homes — a familiarity.
I am grateful for the view and find solace
                                 on US highways 

More ISPS Poems | Haiga Gallery

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