Illinois State Poetry Society
Poems by ISPS Members
June 2001
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Poems on this Page:

Niagara Falls

by William Marr
splashing black ink
onto the sky
of memory

always triggers
a downpour
of deafening

Spring Thaw

by Larry Turner
The crocuses blaze in color above the flat and faded grass.
But in Victoria BC the daffodils have been out since February.
    It's time to move on.

The red robin, back from the south, sings his greetings.
But in a Florida park, flamingoes gather by the hundreds.
    It's time to move on.

Grassy lawns are turning green.
But on Dartmoor, in season, you see mile after mile of red vegetation.
    It's time to move on.

Trees bud with leaves, and soon forsythia and crabapple will bloom.
But in the California Desert, the joshua tree holds his arms aloft.
    It's time to move on.

With winter chill gone, folks with dogs stroll on the riverwalk.
But in Capri, you can sit in solitude amid rocky cliffs and breaking waves.
    It's time to move on.

Among the faithful, we sing familiar hymns to our risen Lord.
But in Hangzhou, there are festivals to gods I've never even heard of.
Grateful for comfort and friendship, we have stayed too long
in this winter camp, growing fat and prosperous.
Spring is the time of new life, at any age.
    It's time to move on.


by Bob McCarthy
wonderful golf
wonderful golf

blue skies
white clouds
green grass

not a care in the world
no pressure
no stress

sometimes it's like this


by Tom Roby

Big raft holds everybody.
Little raft holds me.

Little raft shoves big raft.
Big raft tugs little raft.

No raft goes anywhere.
There is always here.


Where to go with big raft
Makes all fight with all.

Where to go with little raft
Makes me fight with me.

No raft goes anywhere.
There is always here.

Strangler Fig from the Canopy

by Maureen Tolman Flannery
Political hangers on,
eventual rise to sunlight glistening in their eyes,
wrap themselves around his uprightness,
send roots down beside his solid stance
like the vines of a strangler fig,
entwine into each other around his circumference
till he has no surface that touches air
and not their ubiquitous being there.

They grow full, productive, verdant,
shield him from other jungle parasites
as they slowly smother the upward thrust
of his honorable intentions
while his former strength dissipates
from the center out.

After a time vines have grown into each other,
hold themselves in place, usurp sun.
And the former cedar
that formed their framework has nearly disappeared,
gone hollow as a misdirected heart.

Whoever Built Chopin

by Alan Harris
Who so deftly astounds
our roots by means of

How the Preludes
fly and dip and
pause and squeeze
orange harmonies
lasting for days
within the heart's

Whoever built Chopin
and voiced his hands
can hardly mean us
any harm.

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