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

The Feet

by William Marr
remembering the cracked land
of a rice-field
the feet
long pampered by shoes
suddenly feel
an unbearable


by Bob McCarthy
ride an Amtrak train to Stratford, Ontario
stay at a nice hotel
see 4 plays

walk around town during the day
look at the sky at night

drink coffee
smoke cigarettes

ride an Amtrak train home

Symphony of the Rain

by Pat Petros
Trees have turned their green leaves inside-out
to show a whitish side, and mourning doves
call from afar--a haunting, lonely cry--
foretelling of the rain that's soon to come.

All thirsty plants cup up expectant leaves,
and every dusty blade of grass awaits
the gift of nature's serenade, the rain,
reviving melody of life renewed.

Welcome is the music of summer rain:
staccato notes are tapping out the beat
as timpani of thunder rolls on high,
lightning batons direct this symphony.

The warm rain caresses lilac blooms
releasing perfume on the evening breeze.
Listen to the concert of summer rain,
gentle on the land and on those who dream.

One Silky Thread

by Tom Roby

Appropriate Suburban Bumper Stickers

by Richard Oberbruner
United We Stand. Divided We Drive.

Driver Makes Frequent Long-Winded Phone Calls.

Please Steal These Beanie Babies From The Rear Window.

My Car Passed The Emissions Test. My Mouth Didn't.

I Use My Mirrors To See Me, Not You!

When I'm On The Phone You Cease To Exist.

Step Right Up! See The "Amazing Commuting Woman"!
She Eats, She Drinks, She Smokes, She Talks On The Phone.
She Even Puts On Make-Up. All At An Incredible 100 MPH!

And On The 8th Day, Man Created Automobiles.
God Said: "You People Are Driving Me Crazy!"

Never Ask A Woman Her Age. Just Read Her Vanity Plate.

Does My Tie Go With This SUV?

My Path In Life Is Leased.

Bad Drivers Aren't Born. They Practice Every Day.

My Highly Sophisticated, On-Board Navigation System Tells Me I'M LOST!

Red Means Stop. Green Means Go. Yellow Means FLOOR IT!

Suburban Evolution: Survivial Of The Trendiest

It's So Crowded & Noisey & Expensive In The Suburbs.
Remind Me Why I Moved Here In The First Place.

People Don't Cause Accidents, Cell Phones Do.

Practice Random Acts Of Anti-Terrorism.

So Many Cars, So Little Courtesy.

I'm Already Paying Through The Nose. I Can Pick It Anytime I Want!

Traffic Jam Is So Negative. Call It A Collective Driving Experience.

I Moved to the Suburbs to Get Away From
Gangbangers But Then a Coyote Ate My Poodle.


by Larry Turner
As you sleep the full moon
shining through slats of the blind
dresses you in stripes.
I reach over, grasp your hand,
waiting for the moon to draw us
into enchanted travel.

Winter Twilight

by Sally Calhoun
As evening nears, the sky is almost white,
and stark against its light there stand the trees,
black guardians, still, beside the growing night.
At noon they stood quite brown, beneath the winter freeze,
with green moss spread like dripping sap or dew
passionless against each sturdy base. I see the few
beyond my window motionless, as though in awe
and reverence before the coming of a thaw.

The night is almost here. The trees, like scrawls of charcoal drawn,
thrust up toward heaven, where white meets black,
and I have a sense of ages past and gone,
like runners pacing round a cinder track.

So it is with age. The early years are yellow, green, and brown,
with sunlight casting warmth and light
as though it were a gallant cloak,
and later, as though enraptured by the starkness
of the tall black oak,
the gamboling shadows faint and fade
upon the stillness of the ground.

Then we are left alone with black and white.
The vibrant arc of merriment is gone and done,
and, silhouetted from within, through an awestruck hour
before a winter night,
we count our sins and blessings one by one.

Lyra Angelica for Michelle Kwan

by Mardelle Fortier
For wings that glisten, mystery
To others' stumbling feet.
We wait and watch, so clumsily.

Oh, wings that open worlds, wings light,
That spread in waking joy,
That fly across the ice in liquid flight.

One with the music, lost in timeless grace,
The skater spins our dreams
Of wings, glides weightless, bodiless.

We forget her strength, her skates are steel--
As on these deathless, breath-light wings
Our souls fly freed; this dream made real.

(Published in DuPage Arts/Life, Spring 2002)


by Dr. S. V. Rama Rao
Contemplation is a medium to transmigrate me from
conscious to the subconscious state of mind.
My half-closed eyes in a meditative stance
looking through the distant spaces of emptiness
trespassing into the far far away
outer edges of time,
the timeless abodes of Gods.
Hidden memories from the
inner core of the subconscious state
are projecting on the mind screen
the bygone life of my
childhood, youth and middle age.

        At the outer edges of time
        in the distant spaces of emptiness
        I had the glimpses of Shiva
        in the contemplative stance
        sitting with crossed legs
        and half-closed eyes
        looking into himself.

What was Shiva contemplating?
He might have glanced at this mortal
traversing the outskirts of Heaven.
Shiva, the Lord of "Laya," the last of the
tri-part creation--
dealing with the demise of the universal creation.
Probably he is checking out
the strayed soul of mine.
Shiva is Bhola Shankar--ever compassionate God
I pray thee.

Our First Warm Day

by Alan Harris
If I were to write about our first warm day of spring,

I would write about the stuttering
burglar-alarm honks of a car
two blocks away.

I would write about our waving neighbor
who slowly rides his motorcycle
out into the breeze, seeming to think
nothing of his vulnerability.

I would write about the silent force
that brings the daffodils to bloom
and emboldens secret romances.

I would write about children loudly vying
for token goals and supremacies
in outdoor made-up games.

I would write about the lush air
playing inside my chest in C-major.

I would write about Celestial Light
beaming upon all and within all
while taken for granted by most.

I would watch the setting sun,

listen to the dusk birds,

watch for the first star,

pray my drop into the Beneficent Stream
that flows within every personís heart
and every starís,

then drop into the heights
to write without a pen
upon the folds of Infinityís Cloak
about our first warm day of spring.

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