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


by William Marr
Walking in the streets
he suddenly realizes
last night's masquerade
is still going on

Everywhere he turns
he sees a mask
glued to a face
like a second skin

Heidi Klum

by Bob McCarthy
write a pretty poem

write about the sun
and the sky

write about the moon
and the stars

write about the butterflies
and kittens

write about love
and loyalty

write a pretty poem

White Wonderland of Tennessee

by Barbara Lauderdale Hearn
The white snow sparkles in the afternoon sunlight,
Soon to be melted.
The barren ground is brown and cold to the touch.
The trees are empty,
Waiting for new green leaves.
It won't be long
Until spring
Breathes new life
Unto the earth.
Black birds
in the slender trees.
The fat brown squirrels scurry
From branch to branch,
looking for food.
Hoping to locate a tasty morsel,
They retreat back home
to wait it out.

Fresh Coffee

by Judy Galati
"A Poem is not a direct revealing of a person."
Writing the Australian Crawl by William Stafford

He said,
In his half-sleep
"I'm not makin' coffee."

His eyes
Remained closed.
"There is coffee
Over from yesterday."

She said,
In her half-slip
"You are asleep.
Wake up!"

Stale aroma . . .
Used years. Now she's
"I'm makin' fresh."

(Published in the 2001 Senior
Arts Publication in conjunction
with Quad Cities Senior Olympics)

Summer Motif

by Pat Petros
Heat held us hostage, but when the sun set,
a northern breeze swept in with the night.
A misty moon-masking cloud
drifted down to cover the town.
Damp fog fingers reached
through open windows
to touch sleepers who stirred,
and dreamed of autumn and rain.

Forever Never Lasts

by Carlos Bellamy
Forever never lasts.
It never does.
Three, four years
Isn't that forever, to us?
After all, we're not guaranteed
that many days.
Forever never lasts.
Besides, if it did
it wouldn't be
As a species we change.
We evolve.
Ask that Darwin guy.
Forever never lasts.
We use the word, figuratively.
I guess.
Forever never lasts.
Together, you said,
we'd be forever.

These Words

by Richard Oberbruner
Take a look at these words.
Tell me what you see other than the things

that you have avoided most of your life:
One dive off a Caribbean cliff

into the emptiness of clean water
forces your skin to accept its earthliness.

Be dirt at your core and growth will come.
Be life in the dark and the sun will shine forever.

Most of us are blinded by too much jungle--
too much luggage piling in the corner carousel.

Ants carry ten times their weight and don't know
when they will be smashed by a new pair of Bally shoes.

Half-way down the cliff jagged rocks speed by.
Flying in time rearranges the symphony of movements.

Clouds are equally jagged and gather for spontaneous terror.
Your eyes collect images distant from your fingers.

Your fingers strain to touch what they cannot see.

Pine Koan

by Tom Roby

















Serilian at the Elbo Room

by Wilda Morris
she rests her pounding head
on the palm
of her left hand,
stares through haze
and black Formica table top

across the room
drumsticks pound out rhythms
fingers with picks fly
across guitar strings

the mustached tenor
pours out words
of lost love, demons,
a toll booth operator
on Interstate 355
and Sarah

she takes a sip
from her glass
realizes her foot
is tapping

The Harrowing Harassment of Huge Hair Hanging
Over the Seat in Front of Me
On An Airplane at Night

by Mardelle Fortier
I swear that this long hair had teeth
while skulking out of dark.
It crackled and entangled; wild
thick fur threw burning sparks.

It climbed up over the plane seat
and threatened me with size.
'Twas frizzled, sizzled, fried and dried
and gleamed like lupine eyes.

It howled & prowled & curled & swirled
& snarled at my outcry.
Red shone in it like the blood of wolves--
"Don't snip me or you die."

And I remembered Riding Hood
& stayed all deaf & dumb.
But when the hair had gone to sleep
I poked it with my thumb.

(Published in Prairie Light Review)


by Alan Harris
Remembering tells me
I was never not, nor
were you nor anyone.

Arteries in the Cosmos
are pulsing with light
and life and love

in a flow never ceasing
yet constantly changing
in form and expression.

Peace it is to remember
these arteries that feed
from out of the Unseen,

their pulsings uncountable,
their inner motions subtler
than any evening breeze.

Remembering upward
and inward, how not feel
vitality from the One?

I remember (donít you?)
the beauty within trust,
the safety of community,

the triumph of cooperation,
the brave sureness of joy,
love as easy to find as air.

Remembering as I do
and perhaps as you do,
how could one not return?

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Copyright Notice: Copyrights for all of the above poems remain with the individual authors. No work here is to be reused without permission from its author. To request permission, contact a member of the ISPS Web Committee.