Illinois State Poetry Society
Poems by ISPS Members
October 2000
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Poems on this Page:

Lost and Found

by Tom Roby
the school hallway
for late students
I find
one hopeful

a bit tipsy
tear-streaked face
his stolen car
his factory lay off
his life stopped
but voice steady
standing straight
clutching pride

so I listen
give directions
to Admissions
watch him
back to the street

then rejoin
my class
how to explain

at life's first slap
we cry
we are

We R Touched

by Bob McCarthy
u r determined that good will bee dun

u r sew sensitive
and compassionate

u r a total zealot 4 purity

u r all sew beeēuētaēfull

Ode to See Snow

by Steven Michael Kellogg
To America for study where few foreigners go
No desire for cultured surroundings, none to behold
From Southeast Asia you came, only to see snow.

In Spring we met, as lovers often do,
Our passions to love when the North winds blew,
In America we loved where few foreigners go.

Visa to expire, any reason to stay?
Graduate on Saturday; a bride by Monday,
From Southeast Asia you came, only to see snow.

Budding career, restless husband a hold,
All gone away but not to your home,
America we left, where few foreigners go.

Paris and castles, then hearth and stone,
With children in succession, never to Rome,
From Southeast Asia you came, only to see snow.

To the States we returned, Manhattan to view,
But trips to the City never to do.
America only heard of, where all foreigners go.

Back "Home" on the Plains, unknown to all,
Thoughts of career the way of mother's call,
Clipping of coupons, mundane wherewithal,
America for life, where few foreigners go,
From Southeast Asia you came, only to see snow.

Grief Is a Thief

by Alan Harris
Grief is a thief
you have urged
to take you away
but with your own
key locks you,
wet with tears,
inside your musty
woolen closet and
turns out the light.

Dark in your trap
shared with moths
you cry long past dry
and choke on all why.

When you know itís
time (and you will):

the closet open
into a room,
the room open
into a sky,
settle for no moons,
pray past all suns,
inhale from Cosmos.

Not earth are you
but the damp wick
of a future shining.

Strike your match
and light the way.

Unfinished Song

by William Marr
sitting around the campfire
we listened to him singing
of the old country
one beautiful song after another

suddenly the singing stopped

without saying a word
he got up and left
to lie down and listen
to the unending note
reverberating in the air
and in our hearts
the lullaby he had just sung
for himself

Itís My Life, but Youíre Welcome to Hang Around

by Larry Turner
You bring me food, clean my box, stroke my fur
as well you should. You appear to recognize
how it is between us. But sometimes
you seem to want something more, some self-to-self
relationship, almost as if you cannot see the obvious--
You have no tail!

I wouldnít be so cruel as to mention it. I accept you
as you are: your extraordinary lack of grace,
your useless activity in this room or that,
your running--as bells have trained you--
to front door and telephone.
(Oh, yes, I notice those things,
when I donít have anything better to do, like
feeling sunlight caress my body or
observing birds on the porch rail or
watching a faucet drip.) So please, letís just
keep things as Nature intended. Itís not your fault, but--
You have no tail!

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