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

People of the Lagoon

by Mark Hudson
Lagoon is an amusement park,
in Farrington Utah, near Salt Lake City.
It operates from October to March,
it has attractions for the kiddies.

It has some roller coasters so unique,
Colossus the Fire Dragon is one of the last
double looping coasters quite so steep,
a sentimental journey to the past.

The Laser roller coaster closed in '08'
and moved to Germany in 2009.
One of the oldest coasters in the states,
that still is a coaster that still works fine.

Cannibal, has one of the steepest drops,
of any of the coasters ever made.
If in Utah, it is a place you can stop,
if you have children who need to play.

The Lagoon has five areas, in which it's divided,
the midway with its carnival games.
Pioneer village has exhibits provided,
and a water park with the Lagoon's name.

The first ride introduced was 'Shoot the Chutes,'
that was added in 1899.
People would get in their bathing suits,
and go swimming and rowing in boats at the time.

A carousel dates back to 1893,
with 47 animals engraved there upon.
A lion, a tiger, a frog in short pants,
a sea dragon, and a  chicken swan.

In 1989, Ryan Douglas Buckstead,
was on the Puff the Little Dragon ride.
Unfortunately, he fell and was found dead,
a six year old boy who fell and died.

Seven weeks later Kilee King,
fell off the coaster to the track below.
She fell to her death, a terrible thing,
both were buried near there years ago.
What a tragic thing to occur,
for roller coasters to kill a girl and a boy.
To think of what the parents had to endure,
is hard to picture a place full of joy.

If this place is fun like they say,
I can't say I'll be heading there soon.
I guess I won't go out of my way,
to see the people of the Lagoon.

Poet on Holiday

by jacob erin-cilberto
i wish i lived in Haight Ashbury
during the sixties
and could have sold my poems 
on a street corner
for a nickel a piece
Peace junkies might have 
paid for a fix
my words a diluted drug
but charming in masquerade
my street corner
my chapbook stand
two for seven cents
three for a dime sans 
the white pages with black markings
that look a lot like letters
inducing a rhyme
but little reason
shoot up a few haiku
you won't get too high
or take a bad trip past City Lights Book
i could never count
so 19 syllables will have to suffice
i'm the Beat poet with ice
in the veins of his pen
being run off the premises
for having no permit
to express
just simple savoir faire
"Stop the damn war"
"Stop hate, stamp it out
with soft sounding syllables
and wretched punctuation
who cares the editing is rash
no time,
have to sell the banding together of hearts
with verse pounding the pavement
of dreams,
that just have to be realized
before they die
of starvation.

I Am the Door

by Idella Pearl Edwards
Many are the choices along life's way,
Each with a promise to fulfill.
But only one will satisfy,
Others leave us wanting still.
Each choice is a doorway that bids us enter,
Some promise glitter and gold,
But one Door and only one,
Each promise will uphold.
Don't look left!  Don't look right!
Keep your eyes straight ahead.
Only one Door offers life,
Just as Jesus said.
"I am the Way, the Truth, the Life,
Come to the Father through Me.
I am the one and only Door,
Who is able to set you free!"
O Sinner, stand at the Door and knock.
Do not delay your choice!
Jesus will welcome you into His arms
As all heaven's angels rejoice!

Renaissance Hero

by Barbara Eaton
I had a dream about you
before I knew you.

Professor Gargoyle
shut the gray wooden door
of his office.

Only he and I
were inside
with the tapestry rug
and the carved wooden table.

He lifted me up
put me on the table
and just in time
to save me
from being ravished
you appeared,
the Renaissance hero
to the Medieval villain.

But it was only a dream.

In real life
I stepped lightly back
from Professor Gargoyle's kiss
told him I had a student waiting
and went directly down to your office.

You weren't there.

Prairie View State Park

by Joris John Heise
August, 2016
I drove her to the park that August day
Her wrath a tide of tears, reluctant rage
With words to match, and nothing I could say
Could quench her agony at this end-stage.
I drove her past white windmills that bright day
And found the place, its dark and lovely woods,
Some geese and turkeys, too, and sunlight play
On that small lake, a fisherman whose goods
Had wicker basket with his fishing poles.
More slowly as I drove, we stilled to see
And note rich nature nurturing our souls
And then I asked if she liked this small spree
She turned. She smiled at my heart to touch
It with her gratitude—said, "very much."

A Name

by Goldie Ann Farkonas
A name is given to each one,
To use, to keep, throughout life's run.
Its purpose is identity, 
For everyone, and you, and me.
Some treat it well, and keep it clean,
While others stage it, in between.
"It matters not", they seem to think,
With what or whom, they choose to link.
There are the ones that do degrade,
The finest name, which parents made.
But still, so many, quite carefree,
When  from their youth, they let it be.
A name that's stained with mud and dirt,
A name that relatives, does hurt!
The average multitudes, it seems,
When passing from this Earth, by teams,
Leave quietly, just as they came,
Forever gone — both man and name.
There are a handful of the lot,
Whose name lives on, forgotten not.
And as the years go by, this name,
With dignity, lives on, in fame.
Upon its mention, to feel teared,
Forever honored and revered!
This name esteemed, by one, by all,
As teachers, books, its fame — recall!
Great names, respected through all times.
Were once a child, with nursery rhymes.
A child, small, with simple joys,
Whose only thoughts were, playing toys.
But soon, this child, simple being,
Would make an impact that would sing!
Each child is born as one and all,
This act of God, Angels stand tall!
And as this infant grew each day,
T'was soon developed, in own way.
Soon, certain traits began to show,
When from this babe, great thoughts did flow.
As time did pass, this gifted mind,
These chosen ones became defined!

Some are so blessed with inner gift,
That from the average, soul does lift.
This spirit, different, and so high,
A name that money, cannot buy.
And soon, respect is earned from all,
By following, souls inner call.
Ben Franklin, Gounod, and Churchill,
Puccini, Lincoln, linger still.
Roosevelt, George Washington,
Whitman, Bronte, our God's Son.
Homer, and then, Joan of Arc,
Charlemagne, Dvorak.
All these beings have passed away,
Their works and names — remain to stay!
A name is given to each one,
To use, to keep, throughout life's run.
Its purpose is identity,
For everyone, and you and me.
All people die, all good and bad,
When dying, wise men do feel sad.
In sparkling fame, or average life,
Too meek or filled with unkind strife.
One looks upon one's death as such,
That life brings death by God's own Touch.
One's body gone, and soul departs,
One's name remains in living hearts.
A person dies, but name lives on,
With multitudes, or just with one.
Soft breezes whisper through the air,
The names of all - God's Earth — did share.
For God made daughter and each son,
He gave each "WILL" , and Loves each one.
Regardless of the name one made,
Our Father's Love will never fade.
He loves the meek, He loves the great,
He loves the fallen, bad in fate,
There's but one name, revered — does count,
God's Son, who sprang us from His Fount.
It's up to each, to follow Him,
And He'll light up our minds, from dim.
The breezes whisper through the air,
The names of all, God's Earth, did share!

Looking Beyond the Imperfections

by Mark Hammerschick
Rattled skin
mottled molted
that familiar scar
cradled in an ancient
inner thigh
how once those thighs
rattled the night
raining waves of wonder
on that sturdy sloop
off Martha's Vineyard
the sails fore-and-aft rigged
full moons everywhere
I can still remember that smell
salted sea air glinting and gloaming
off the water
your laugh cutting the night
like a rising comet
how we have known the
the eternity of the event horizon
balanced on thin gravity
galaxies red shifting
how we moved from violet
wavelengths to red
nanometers rising
plasma pulses
waves raving
radio, infrared, X ray
and our favorite
ultraviolet ionization
breaking the chemical bonds
our atoms exploding
at the edge of the stern
my hand on the rigging
your arms clamped on me
like a chock-a-block
windward and leeward
we rode those waves
tacking our bodies
hugging the shore
like I hug you now
deep in the fathoms of night
knowing love
has no depth

Dead Ahead

by Jim Hanson
You have aged in your 
old and tattered clothes 
once tight and new
now shreds of loose ends
to trim and wear well
for those you once loved 

but did not heed 
until too late.

So do it still now
do what can be sown 
with lives torn and worn 
wanting to be whole
in time soon to end

after yesterday has been gone
and tomorrow soon to follow.

You cannot stop what is ahead
and nothings matters when you're dead.

Intrepid Petals

by Kate Hutchinson
    - inspired by Cherie Denton, "New Beginnings"
I see them through the window
in the snow-dappled air —
those early Midwest bloomers.

As if wired to some invisible scaffold
or clutched by an immortal hand,
they strive and open into thin sunlight,

pink and violet, their tender petals
reminding me that this chill will pass —
that I, too, can reach out from the darkness.

You Can Live Again

by Teresa Harris
You can live again and reclaim a happier life
Take home the big win and forget about the strife

You can go on that vacation and get away from it all
Start new relations and have yourself a ball

You can throw out the old and bring in the new
Learn to be more bold and let your cares be few

You can overcome stifling flaws and find joy in the moment too
Take some time for a good long pause and do what you really want to do

Going to the Bakery

by Marilyn Huntman Giese
I think I'll buy a gooey goodie,
The bakery is not far,
I'll munch and crunch that sweet confection,
Yes, eat it in the car.

The custard creme will taste so yummy,
A super Sunday treat,
I'll spend some money, fill my tummy,
Make my week complete.

The skinny neighbors need not know
I'm such a soft tomato,
I'll hide the crumbs and let them think
I'm just a couch potato. 

May Nocturne

by Alan Harris
Half a cool moon
peekaboos along through leafing trees
over a suburban sea of haunting sounds.

I follow the dim white sidewalk,
hearing rhythmic whispers
from my hush puppies,
when suddenly a vigilant Pekinese
barks out its puny protest and retreats,
chain dragging against wood.

Evening's sonic ambiance
flows intravenously through me,
every outer sound seeming to well up
from some ghostly inner depth.
As I move along, a faraway car honks
a velvet chord into my core.
Now a strobing jetliner
thunders overhead
and reverberates in my belly,
the after-rumblings in its wake
fading away into a silence
too immense and profound
for human thought to fathom.

I stop beside a fragrant lilac bush
and stare at the sky's endless upness.
The waning moon seems content
to be quietly lunar,
lopsidedly smiling from its effortless perch.

Aloud I ask the moon,
"Where am I?"
A startled bird flutters in the lilacs
to let me know I am right here.

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