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

Rimbaud's Paper Boat

by Jenene Ravesloot
A paper boat, a perfect day for a little boy to sail a paper boat in a pond. But the paper boat flounders, losing its imaginary sailors only Rimbaud can see. Then the paper boat beaches in the mud. Years later, Rimbaud will recall that paper boat, each imaginary sailor's muffled cry in dreams; each mouth that seemed stuffed with one white lotus; each pale face lopped off at the stem and set adrift, just out of reach.

The Eidolon

Rick Sadler
There are Spirits all around us
Some good and some bad, plus,
It's a spiritual battle Field all day
A voice levitated to the ears of
A being so troubled and confused,
The voice from the Grave did save
Of the adopted Matron that gave
From a demented person's mental
Spoil of a heart that didn't care about
Any one but themselves so tainted

Themselves like a scavenger's greed

A voice of warning rang out from the
Whippoorwill in the night brought a
light that saved a life from a female
Terror that is either their way or the
Highway who doesn't deserve a thought

Bridge Through Tough Times

by Marie Samuel
In these tough  times 
Hold the line for Rosa
Fight for right as Malala 
Reach safety with Harriet 

Seek adventure as Amelia 
Consider truth with Ruth 
Lead others like Sacagawea
Defend nature for Jane

Nurse the sick as Florence
Sing and dance for Maya
Paint and inspire with Frida 
Represent all like Kamala

(From New Year Bridges Poems)


by Undra' Ware Sr.
Violence lingers in the air, the people lives in despair. 

When will peace exist in the land, when will God reveal his plan?

Can we love instead of hate or is anger our only fate?

Embrace love and forgive in order to live.

Dancing on Democracy's Grave

by Patty Dickson Pieczka
Dance the pulse of this burning hour.
Let crackling music writhe through your bones.

Dance the color of the sky on fire,
of justice crumbling,
mouths full of echoes.

Hunger growls
beneath flame-shot clouds cracking
into blood-rubies.

A shard falls,
carves the day in half.

Dance in singed clothes
on this ragged ridge of earth. 

(Published in Ann Arbor Review)

Pleiades, Suburban Chicago

by Donna Pucciani
Two couples drink beer in the garden at 1 a.m.
Their necks form question marks in the low maples,
their faces earthbound moons 
pale against a mottled sky. 

Lori reaches for her boyfriend's hand. She asks
if stars are the same in Madrid, and when 
the dance will begin. No-one replies,
but they all move closer together as if their small
constellation will answer her question with 
their momentary nearness.

Jorge points, sees a flash, northeast to southwest.
The others have missed it, but Peter's aging eyes 
apprehend another. They all spot a third. 
Needing sleep, but feeling like Magi,
illusory wisdom circling their heads,
they allow themselves be led by the hope 
of things to come—the big house of death 
for the elders, the happy rustlings of life for the young.

They reminisce about when they each fell to earth,
and what they did in their moment's dark blazing,
marked by tonight's brief dazzle,
catching each other in little trails of light.

This happy quartet will have disappeared
a hundred years from now, one by one,
with no clamor of wings or great rushing sound
from the fiery arc of the dive. Silent, 
they think about the goneness of things.

An hour later they trade their skysearch
for the blanketed comfort of cool linens,
leaving crickets behind to rub wings
against the night sky. The stillness of summer 
is louder than breath.

Valued Moments

by Arthur Vollinger
 If you were with me
recently at a Major
League baseball game
And observed
a father and son
in nearby seats,   
You'd also cast shame
on concerns about
the length of games
No need for less
when nine innings 
offer options galore
Like learning the
rules and knowing
how to score
Even if player skills
earn cheers, nothing 
compares to a souvenir
Bouncing in the
stands and into a
youngster's hands

Blue Tina

by Rita Yager
You heard her before she came into sight
ahhh-uuuuuu-gahhhhhhh horn blasting
blue of course, a 1985 Jeep CJ Renegade
hard and soft tops, total man magnet
because of her I always had a date
as long as I drove
Talking Heads blaring on her CD player
Psycho Killer and Burning Down the House
women riders
with skirts blowing over their heads
laughing wildly traveling down the Edens 
most expensive car I ever owned
by far the most fun car I ever had
I was the most 
popular mother in the neighborhood
10 year old boys begged for rides 
even if it was just to the grocery store
traveling into the city down Clark st. to Armitage
girlfriends often jumped onto the running boards
needing to escape strange men they met in bars
"What's Love Got to do With It?"
 being sung by Ms. Turner
Tina came into my life when I needed her most
encouraged me to tell my men 
You Better Be Good To Me
I kept Tina for 10 years put 69,000 miles on her
sold her to a young man
who had lost his leg to cancer
and proudly wore a prosthetic leg
he was thrilled she was an automatic 
instead of a stick shift
he fell madly in love with her 
I smiled when he drove her away
knew in my heart that for him 
she would be Simply The Best

feeding alfalfa

by Jennifer Thiermann
feeding alfalfa
the pasture's perfume
as a bale breaks open

She Stood Apart

by Court Williams
The oak's bark was rough
on her skin as she leaned
against the ancient tree,
fatigued in mind, body, and soul,
she stood apart.

She looked out from her shaded rest
at the mourners present this sad day.
They stood separate, each with a headstone close by,
as people waiting in a queue for their turn,

The mask muffled rite intoned by the priest,
standing in all black, victimized by the hot
sun, sweating, was background music
to the gathered, a death-mantra meant to

A cicada-song soon drowned out the
priest's monologue, leaving those assembled
to their private thoughts, to their grief.
The distant snarl of the groundskeeper's
lawn mower left them all further isolated,

She watched the priest cast dirt in
the hole and walk away, standing at a
distance, yet toward his car.
The gathered looked uncomfortable,

Slowly, one or two at a time, little
knots of humanity, clumps of love
and memory and dread, they come
to glance in the hole, to ponder a life
ended, to anticipate an inevitable future,

The vanguard of memory, of mourning,
of grief, slowly left the monument farm.
The groundskeepers, made uncomfortable
by her continued presence, filled in the hole,
folded back the flap of turf and left,

She considered the life now ended,
love, hate, work, play, sex, laughter, tears, relationships,
a patch of grass,
a stone.
As the world continued its journey,
she stood apart.

The Song Poems: KISS THE RAIN

by Ron Villejo
After watching a video of the piano piece by Yiruma, "Kiss the Rain"
How gentle and how long the rain sustains and fluctuates — once heavy, light —
Such quality of science telling us the 'how' and 'why' it does
And whispered poetry confiding simply that it does.
Infinity of earthbound angel kisses on
Our faces, it invites us to look up
As heavenward does prayer calm
Our spirits, 'til it stops,
And gentle, warm


by Michael Nickels-Wisdom
on the way to the library, 
the sidewalk sparkling 

More ISPS Poems | Haiga Gallery

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