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Poems by ISPS Members
September, 2022
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Poems on this Page:

Wish List

by jacob erin-cilberto
I want to be the global warming
to your glacier heart
so we can float with fluent
access to a current of love
I want to be the investment
you make that curbs
the spending of your tears
an account of fluid funds
with a happy balance
besetting the inflation of sorrow
I want to be the trigger
for a mass shooting of tenders
keeping your heart safe
against the perils of invasive torment
the bullet proof vest protecting
you from return fire
I want to be the sunshine in your coffee
when cream clouds configure
to disarray your proud manner
and incite uncertain fervor
when the fever breaks the back of temerity
I want to be the teachings
of a philosophy of acceptance
and trust
that you might garner
if you allow me
to stand next to you
into future fitful bliss.

Ichabod Crane

Mark Hudson
Washington Irving was an author to follow,
he wrote the Legend of Sleeping Hollow.
The Headless Horsemen is obviously not real,
but there was an Ichabod Crane that had a name to steal.

Ichabod Crane was based on a man,
who once existed before the story began.
Ichabod Crane was once a Marine,
not just a story reserved for Halloween.

He served under a legendary Commodore;
and was also army captain in the 1812 war.
Not like the cowardly Crane in the book,
the real one was a brave soldier mistook!

Washington Irving might've met Mr. Crane,
and that is where he came up with the name.
The real Ichabod and the soldier were not alike,
the soldier oversaw defenses at Fort Pike.

In Hosedale, Pennsylvania, there is an Irving Cliff,
where wild flowers grow, come take a whiff.
The cliff is named after Washington Irving,
the honorary cliff is most deserving!

Irving blessed the East Coast and its states,
a New England author that is one of the greats!

But there were infinite variations . . .

by Michael Escoubas
within the eye's long stretch
taking in the ocean's blue-green waves
their caresses along the shore 
the meanderings of oyster foam
and the variations
of light and shadows
as the sun receded
in the arms of gray clouds
the whole complicated plot
of colors and how
there seemed to be no conflict
between orange and yellow
and white ribbons
above the horizon
all of this, somehow, striking
an harmonious balance . . .
like it all needed to be there
this luminous art
that captured her heart
that made her genuflect
that made her heart slip up
into her throat . . . and stay there.


by Karen Fullett-Christensen
I want to believe in the possible:
infinite rebirth
not just recycling
but continuous and continual
remaining open,
paying attention -
all the cliches that are only cliches
because they are true
melding the pieces of who I am
with who and what I might become
if only I dance with the universe
singing to stars
shedding dead skin
worshipping all possibility

Who You Were

by Jim Hanson
I loved who you were and still do
but we went our separate ways
and now you've gone for good
your life to be remembered
here at your service by
those of us who know you well
and stand to tell our stories
of who you were and 
what you said and did, yet
standing at the rostrum to speak
I wonder what we really know:

What kept you up at night
worrying about the next day,
worse yet in the night
that woke you.

What you sought as home 
to return to where wanted and loved,
living in a freehold condo in the city
as home away from home.

Who you were to your father and mother
(and who they were to you)
and who loved you for life,
who you left behind.

Who you were to your first love
coming to you in your dreams, or
running from you in your nightmares
as ceaseless longing.

How you strove to achieve
ten thousand hours practicing perfection
dreaming of your debut in Carnegie Hall,
then worked as a bookkeeper.

How you wanted others
by giving yourself to true friends
and thinking about likely lovers,
alone at night.

Why you believed
in a permanent world and heaven
and church to save from sin and hell,
yet ignored God.

Why you worked
evenings and weekends to save
and past retirement for still more,
but knowing not to take with you.

Now too late I ask:

Who were you?

A Better Place

by Idella Pearl Edwards
God has prepared a "Better Place,"
And our hearts yearn for the time
When all our troubles and worries are past,
And we'll leave this old world behind.
This "Better Place" is filled with beauty,
And our wondering eyes shall behold
The gates of pearl and each precious stone
In the city of purest gold.
There is no need for the sun or moon
Or starry hosts to shine.
For the glory of God gives the city its light
To illumine our souls for all time.
The Alpha and Omega King
Is seated on His throne.
He invites us come and receive the reward
He has prepared for His own.
He offers the water of life without cost
To quench our life-long thirst.
We will eat freely from the tree of life.
No longer shall there be any curse.
He wipes away all tears from our eyes
And fills our hearts with peace.
He banishes forever our pain and our guilt.
All death and mourning shall cease.
We fall on our knees and cry, "Holy! Holy!"
As we see Him face to face.
We praise Him for His mercy and love
And the splendor of this "Better Place."

Before the Moon fell in love

by M. E. Hope
Before the Moon fell in love
with the Ocean's mirror, 
she looked only toward the stars.
She cherished their disdain and cool
distance, their clever shimmer.
The occasional touch of a meteor
grazing her skin, a caress
in this freezing void was thrill enough.

There was the constant tug of Earth's song,
a tune that won't leave your mind.
She turned and saw her own face,
that brilliant glow, and like a vain
man walking past plate glass 
she's never looked away.

Defining One

by Goldie Ann Farkonas
Just how is one defined?  Is it by bragging, showing off, or is it by one trying to
	impress - by pseudo acts?
The above do merely bring one down, and may be brought about by hurtful
	feelings - low esteem, and complex facts.

When one decides to brag and boast of self's accomplishments and worth,
	and even lie of doings, matters, - that and this,
Then, it would simply be a matter of short time before that one
	is recognized - just what that person is!

Perhaps, if one should shout, be loud, and laughing, telling tales -
	just for attention - doing this for notice - to out-do,
Or seeking sympathy, portraying self as sad and melancholy - so
	depressed, with tears and sobs - so very blue!

Then, there are those who might appear - so tough - who try to
	"get away" by seeking hurt to others, and diverse of wrong,
This thinking could be, that perhaps, if one outsmarts another -
	this, will make one's feats, so smart, and also, utmost strong!

Just how is one defined by other folks? Is it by mannerisms, or
	of one's frequent daily deeds, or more?
It is by deeds and disposition, all good choices and trustworthiness,
	plus honesty and kindness - by the score!

It has been said by those so wise - I quote: "Still Waters Run
	So Deep" in reference of describing person, quiet one.
In many cases - one emerges, talented  and spreading gifts of
	love and beauty - sharing  knowledge, forgetting none!

From near and far - respect appears, along with adoration for
	this talent, character - portraying "Gift" - God Led,
It is not needed to have talent for the earning of respect,
	as other factors do exist and count instead!

If one could realize that all of "simpleness" is "class", then
	one wouldn't try to rival  friends and neighbors, others, too,
If only, world-wide people shared their cultures and ideas, works
	of bettering humanity - God's Greatest Crew!

When prejudice occurs, and folks do fight for this and that, and
	call each other names, then "hate" comes forth with strife and rage,
The human race is one - beliefs of all - respect and honor, ne'er
	to hurt, nor to offend, nor try to harm, upstage

It is within each one of us, as human folks, to spread gentility
	and let "Still Waters" flow for each and all,
Forget the concept - Being better than another - for we humans 
	are all brethren - 'tis the time to hear God's Call!

All people and all countries, and performances will be, by future
	generations - studied, judged, and then - defined!
How will they look upon our world - with great disgust, or world
	of change, from prejudice, to all acceptance, all refined!

This change of attitudes, all start at home, for all the folks,
	so helpless, mean, and for the ones who make a noisy fuss!
Humanity is but a garden - a variety of God's own flowers,
	living all together - Beauty, plus!

Now at this time of writing verse, the Human Garden of God's
	Blossoms is in state of trouble 'tis in ways of drought!
There's dehydration happening each day, and human gardens need
	essentials made of Care and Loving Ways - to sprout!

Tragedy Refined

by William R. Harshbarger
Tragedy breaks the heart
of the community.
It's too hard to confine.
It marks our days and nights
like annoying notches
on the smooth belt of time.

Yet we hold fast to dreams
and mysteries of life
that few will ever know:
Why the magnolias in Spring,
inspire cardinals to sing
to daffodils below. 

Tranquility Lake

by Lucia Haase
Deep down within the looking glass
where shadows loom and shadows pass,
I see between each stone's crevasse
reflections here today.

Surrounding trees and mountains fill
cool water where the clouds lie still
as sunlight lends a golden spill,
enlightening the way.

A delve from din to quick caprice
surrenders me to find increase
in mirroring of utmost peace-
a calming meant to stay.

Timeless Grace

by Barbara Funke
(Spenserian Sonnet)
I'd rather not live in The Good Old Days—
as if the past excelled what I have now.
Light laughter in late-living years repays			
tough challenges—once memory, now how	
	to love the moment.  Should I condemn the brow
	no longer youthful, smooth or moist and pink
	or waste the fruit to mourn the blossomed bough?
	Well, there's no magic fountain I can drink.
Though I lose height, my spirit needn't shrink.
My eyes might blur, but knowledge can expand.
Nostalgia must not take me to the brink
of deep despair.  How could I ever stand?
	I'm grown into this skin, poised in this place,
	and ripened into happiness through grace.

O, Carbondale

by Leo Gher
Coal hauler of the olden Midwest,
	Giant late of ancient glaciers,
	Lewis & Clark as the Big Muddy's guest,
	Grower of grapes, apples, and peaches divine,
	Land between the grand rivers,
	Of scholars and students sublime.
Some say you are impious and nefarious: drug runners' haven,
	Hobos call, bootleggers of old, murder on Ho Chi Minh Trail,
	Tornado alley, fire & flash flood, riots on the strip all craven,
	Razzle-dazzle over the road go snakes to their winter home,
	Troublemaker of the Civil War — which way do we go? Boom!
But some say you are of good spirit and repute: in ancient times
	A famine's refuge, Little Egypt, pleas at Bald Knob Cross,
	Land of Tecumseh and Shawnee, river-to-river ride, ride, and
	Bucky dome, where peacemakers howl & wail. Kaboom boom!
City of New Orleans, clickety-clack, clickety-clack to Louisiana and
	Back; the Sandburg to Quincy, The Hiawatha to Milwaukee,
Across the fallow fields, dozing, then dust rising as a cloud,
At Woodlawn Cemetery, hummers hover above the afternoon,
	Watching for others on whispers of winter now in the air.
City of gentle dreams and limitless hope, we wait for your next act,	
	Next story and tune. Boom shackalacka, boom shackalacka,
		Boom! Boom! Boom!


by Barbara Eaton
I know why
emaciated young girls refuse to eat.

I know why
psychiatric patients cut themselves.

I know why
Emily Dickinson
published only seven poems
in her lifetime.

I know why
J.D. Salinger
never published another book
after Catcher in the Rye.

I know why
Sylvia Plath
put her head in the oven.

I know why
my father's workbench
was left in a complete mess
when he passed away.

I know why
my mother
made four little pairs
of brown suede Indian moccasins
when she was in the hospital.

And I understand.

Frigid Hearts

by Teresa Harris
We grow cold and start to sway
Likes chunks of a glacier that fade away
We lose the longing and burning desire
No longer willing to rekindle the fire
Long silences put a chill in the air
As we cease to be that adorable pair
Those melting memories that ever thaw
Chillingly pointing out each other's flaws 
We let the flame in our hearts die out
Now our conversations turn quickly into shouts
Brittle feelings that cause us to dispel
As we continue making ashes of ourselves
This bleak prospect causes us to cry
Frigid hearts do eventually die

Big Smile

by Alan Harris
Big Bang
is a fashion
of imposter

If true,
where did it
happen and
where were
all the other
wheres where it
didn't happen?

Simple theory,
it is,
reminiscent of
how each body
of us is a
big bang
out of
our mother.

Four questions:

Is all that exists
and all that insists

What universe
did our universe
outbang from?

Was there love

Was there wine
at a quarter till time?

Observers delight
to tinker with
hunks big and tiny,
but couldn't folks ask if
a grand benevolence
flowing beneath
and between
all hunkness
smiled atoms
into every allness,
big bang or no?

Could that Big Smile
be lightlessly glowing
through all times of time
as ungenesised Watcher,
bemused by
its cosmic clothing
behind screens
of stars?

The Big Bang's surmise
makes a neat stitch in time,
but the Big Smile
feels more like eternity.

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