Illinois State Poetry Society
Poems by ISPS Members
November, 2023
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Poems on this Page:

The Anatomy of a Teardrop

by Jim Wilkerson
Encased in dreamy,
Liquid shelter.

Pain, aching to get out.
Joy, yearning to stay in.

Time slows inside,
And the mind gets controlled for once.

The outpouring,
reflection of what's further in.

Wiped away eventually,
but leaving a trace.

The taste of pain or joy
Still lingers.

Last Leaf

by Donna Pucciani
with apologies to O'Henry
She will be the last leaf,
pasted on a neighbor's house,
a blue sky, or wherever he draws
his final breath.

If he breathes just once more
from his bed of pain,
she could be a seagull circling
above the grocery store in town,
a throwaway toy in the shape
of a frisbee gathering the wind.

If he can hang on a little longer,
she'll be for him an airplane, her arms
outstretched in silver, plotting
their journey skyward.

It's not wrong to want to die. But
perhaps a dragonfly will hover,
silent and iridescent, in the morning air.
Its glistening hum will be hers to give him,
putting off his final feathered blink.

There, now: Stars are falling like leaves,
painted across the incandescent moon
that is her crescent-white body.

(First published in Meniscus)

Behind Irish Scenes

by Marie Samuel
What was possible thence
Those uphill treks and hikes
Not now, scenic luring views  
Must be imagined or recalled

And yet there was a time of old
Remembered friends who climbed
And paused to see the vistas far
While my hand drew a lot of vines 

And rocky  bluffs that seemed so near
Extending though they went on afar
Somehow I know treks on cliffs are 
No more yet memories live on and on.

(from Armchair Traveler Series)

My Cat

by Irfanulla Shariff
My cat, Shameem
Loved to hop
On my lap
Whenever I sat
On my cozy chair
And rocked
I felt her paws
It was kind
Of a mystic feeling
She was very soft
And fluffy
She had sparkling eyes
Her ears
Very sensitive velvet
She used to observe
Everything and purr
When she sighted a bird
She chuckled
Sometimes she played
Hide and seek
She crawled and paused
Then ran swiftly
She adored her milk every day
She was my best friend
When I was a kid
I still remember her
And miss her very much

Puffy Jacket

by Elizabeth Felts Olmsted
A woman is crossing the street
wearing a puffy jacket.
She is very cold and wishes she wore
a down-filled jacket because down is
a better insulator than polyester.
She passes a store window
in the cold chill dusk
and spies a down-filled jacket,
bright red, that looks like body warmth
would be guaranteed in such a beacon.
She wonders if she could afford it.
She asks the universe if stripping
down feathers off of many ducks
is an insult to nature. Although
she is naturally cold, should man
steal the warmth of another creature?
Or would that be an insult to God?
She shivers unconsciously,
goes into the store and
emerges in bright red warmth,
asking forgiveness while feeling blessed
by the dichotomy,
anchored in paradox. 

Winter in Chicago

by Margery Parsons
Chicago winter blends
Dickens with Frank Lloyd Wright on meth:
knife-edged angles, 
cascades of ice and glass,
flashing, blinking, twinkling lights
to gladden your heart
if the streets weren't deathly cold.
The city of big shoulders
doesn't extend its arms to the poor.
Beautiful architecture loses its allure
when everywhere are people forced to beg
outside extravagantly sculpted doors.

The lake is always near,
cousin to magnificent oceans.
Its winters can be fierce,
summer's kitten lapping the shore
becomes the slouching beast,
howling with lightning hair.
Along the horizon glimmer
gales of seismic power
threatening the immoral calm.
I imagine waves of a future
where humanity could flower and soar
if in the cresting hour we dare wrestle the storms.

Sweet Lady of December

by Rick Sadler
The Handmaid
One simple word created Christmas
As told by the Mystical Rose in witness,
A word yes came from the virgin's lips
To change a world of many lost ships,
The greatest miracle that was ever spoken
The Lady of Christmas was so chosen,
A Lady of the Snows in a rural scene
Caroling for peace by the Holly green,
The Queen of Peace echoed through time
Reached the Ears of this painted rhyme
That the many falling leaves of Autumn
To find salvation in Noel so awesome,
Mirror the Lady of December and say yes
To Christmas around the corner to express
Mary Christmas just as the Red Bird flies
Shows the power of the Christmas skies,
Because the Lady of the Red Bird had said
Yes- on Christmas Eve prays beside our bed,

Mixed- up mind

by Rita Yager
First I take a breath
relax, settle down 
count to 10
close my eyes
let the ideas
and the images come.
I then grasp my favorite
fine tipped marker 
with brows knit tight
I am now ready to  compose
but now, can't find paper
I now have forgotten
the thought that was just 
on the tip of my tongue
how did it slip
my mind so soon?
oh well, I'll go take
a bathroom break
no wait, maybe
a shower will help
while standing under
calm warm water
I finally feel my
writers block break
rhymes roll 
down my back
quickly I dry off
search for my clothes
run downstairs
snuggle up into
my favorite chair
my brain still
remains a jumble
trying so hard
to remember 
that great topic
that was just there
and yet again, I've 
misplaced my pen

More ISPS Poems | Haiga Gallery

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