Illinois State Poetry Society
Poems by ISPS Members
December, 2023
Home Page
Poetry Competition
ISPS Member Poems
Poem Index by Poet
Poem Index by Title
Poet Bios
ISPS Member Books
Submitting Poems
About ISPS
To Join ISPS
Other Sites

Search only ISPS site
More ISPS Poems | Haiga Gallery

Poems on this Page:

They Said It Wouldn't Last But Rap Music Has Had a Very Long Past...
Celebrating Fifty Years Of Rap Music

by Doreen Ambrose-Van Lee
They said it wouldn't last,

But rap music has had a very long past,

Kurtis Blow, Sequence and the Sugar Hill Gang,

Were party rappers who did their thang!

Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five,

& Run DMC kept the party alive.

Then  came Roxanne Shante' and The Real Roxanne,

Who are two very different women but who were probably rapping

About the same man!

Were you there when Blondie

Immortalized Fab Five Freddy in her mega hit Rapture

She said Flash is Fast

Flash is cool like...

LL Cool J, Heavy D may he rest well & Da Boyz rest well Trouble T Roy, Queen Latifah, Monie Love

& Salt and Pepa along with cute Spinderella,

Came along to add some flava,

Then came NWA, Ice T, Warren G, and

Snoop Dogg their west coast neighbors.

Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick & The Get Fresh Crew gave us The Show to keep us afloat

& UTFO rest well Kangol Kid & The Educated Rapper along with Dr.

Ice was on the same note.

There was Kool G Rap and DJ Polo.

Members of the Juice Crew, Kurious, KMD and Mobb Deep.

There was Sweet Tee, Kool Moe Dee, Eric Sermon and EPMD and Naughty by Nature,

Big Daddy Kane and Eric B. and Rakim,

Always talkin' 'bout gettin' that paper!

There's Miss Melodie The Born Again Rebel & BDP & KRS One,

and The One Who Rules The World Nas the Talented Son!

Back in da day Whodini rest well Ecstasy and the Fat Boys rest well Prince Markie Dee were a force to

Be reckoned with,

Groups like Public Enemy set out to destroy myths,

Then there was the Beastie Boys and Onyx,

Whose lyrics were filled with pure sonics!

There was a Del Da Funky Homosapien a Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul,

Whose beats were always fresh and funky and never old!

There was Special Ed and Count Cool Out,

& the Rapping Duke and Biz Markie who went the funny route,

Then everyone started feeling Rob Base and Third Bass

Then the south rose up with Andre3000 and Big Boi of OutKast,

The Midwest rang out with Da Brat, Common and Twista, you

know the one who raps really fast!

There was Cash Money & Marvelous talking 'bout Finding & Ugly Woman and Making Her Your Wife
and that would make you happy for the rest of your life.

There was Positive K and with I Got A Man and Joeski Love promoting
the Pee Wee Herman Dance & Rapper Dana Dane With Game abruptly

Leaving the party with one shoe at his earliest chance.

Now on the West Coast scene we have Kendrick Lamar

AKA 'A-Benz-is-to-me-just-a-car!'

Rapping along with Drake and Two Chainz!

There was Tone Loc with the very deep voice,

& Too Short who was the ladies choice!

Then there was Young MC with Bust A Move and Vanilla Ice who some say paid

The ultimate price for trying to build up street cred,

Then there are the two rappers who turned up dead!

Tupac and Biggie!

There's Record Executive and Rapper

Puff Daddy or presently P. Diddy and Rapper Mase,

There was singer who had a song I think his name was Case.

Who sang a song called Touch Me Tease Me which included

A rap by the beautiful and talented Foxy Brown.

not playing dead

by Amelia Cotter
not playing dead—
a possum trapped on ice
disappears into the lake

(Previously published in dawn returns: Haiku Society
of America Members' Anthology 2022)


by Charlotte Degregorio
Wistful this morning, I walk
to unravel writer's block.

Visualizing light breaking
through skies of pencil gray,

I follow a red-tailed hawk
tilting its wings in cold air

and wave my arms high
as if to erase cumulous clouds.

I dream of gliding into May,
meadows beaming with buttercups, 

blue and purple irises
threading my mind with color.

The Borrower

by Marie Asner
Wind was ice against our cheeks,
raw day to look for a Christmas tree.
Dad pulled the sled with an axe tied on it.
Easy to get lost here, behind the falling sun.
White-tailed deer leap over snow and we follow
singing, "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing."

Go further and further into the woods
embracing tallness of trees,
snow past knee-deep
door behind, almost closing
and just in time, we find one.
When the tree was tied to our sled,
Poppa took a red ribbon from his pocket,
"I'll come back in the spring
and plant another one here,"
as he tied the ribbon nearby.
Poppa always returned what he borrowed.

In the world I live in now,
holiday trees are polyvinyl chloride,
snow comes from a spray can
with fluorocarbons
and ornaments are made in Hong Kong.
I stare from my steel and concrete balcony
longing for a piece of earth
in which to find my tree...plant my seed.

Visit from Ridiculous

by Paul Buchheit
'Twas the night before Christmas, the Senate and House
were avoiding disputes with the will of a mouse.
The districts were all gerrymandered with care,
since the Justices ruled that it's perfectly fair.
The citizens all were awake in their beds,
as sounds of assault rifles boomed in their heads.
While mom in her nightie and I in cold sweat
had just settled down for review of our debt.
When out in the hallway arose such a clatter,
a figure like Santa, though just a bit fatter.
Away to the doorway I flew like a flash,
and I saw him unloading his holiday stash.
Then what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a lobbying party, all men of good cheer.
More rapid than hawks his contributors came,
and he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"On Pharma, on Finance, Big Tech, and Big Oil,
on burners of earth and polluters of soil.
From Capitol Hill to the billionaire's Wall,
now slink away! slink away! slink away all!"
To the top of the porch where they all came to settle
was a sleighful of cash for a Congressman's kettle.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard someone stir
with the look of a surly old entrepreneur.
He was chubby and plump, a right lusty old elf,
and I cringed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
filling stockings with tax cuts, the billionaire's perk.
And food budgets worthy of Machiavelli,
that shrunk as he laughed, like a poor person's belly.
All the kids would delight in the ribbons and bows,
but their presents came bundled with strict quid pro quos.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
he seemed to exhibit an x-rated pose.
Then he sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
they were gone like an IRS workforce dismissal.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"I don't know if I'll turn to the Left or the Right!"

Early Morning Training1

by Jennifer Dotson
Dance smartly, said our coach.
She was a ruthless ruffian
Urging us on our dawn run.
No easy goer, she was a
Champion, believed in fair play.
Regret nothing, she would thunder.
Make that spectacular bid for
The ribbon, the prize. We followed
Her lead, our spirits unbreakable.

1 Prompt was to write a poem
using the names of famous race horses

Lottery Parlor

by Tom Chockley
(a split-haiku sequence)
	phosphene fog
	the view
	of my night
of a dream dissolved
	next day
	after pizza
	the bathroom scales
in sunshine
	roulette spins
	chance encounters
	for a two-dollar bill

Leaf Fever

by Carole R. Bolinski
I don't know if leaves have emotions
	but I think they're heartless, selfish little demons
flying through the air, caring not where they land—
	any ground will do. Mulching their way 
into grasslands, forests and river basins. 

I watch them drop. Like vampires 
	they hug the air at night 
and dampen their veiny blades without a sound.
	They smell of earth and rot 
and become a welcome mat for ticks.

After their descents, they seem to say, 
	"Too bad. We're here to stay."
They mock me, don't care for my silliness 
	in thinking this little bit of yard belongs to me,
and then treat me like a renter. 
It's war. Me and the leaves.
	I take out my 20 Volt Extreme LX Leaf Blower.
Carry it like a sniper's gun and begin combat.
	Blowing the little thugs into fence, 
kicking up dust and grass and twigs.
	Watching the pile get bigger and bigger until 
there's Mount Leaf Everest, waiting for termination.
	I rake and put shovelfuls into bags. 
Now. It's the city's problem.

All that exercise, all those burnt calories, 
	all those bags of leaves. 
Until, another wind blows through and like vultures 
	they come and sweep down, 
floating through airs of my hostility 
	and again, another battle begins. 

Didn't I tell you, 
I don't even have trees on the property. 


by Hanh Chau
 In a foreign land 
I am a person 
known as a stranger 
with unfamiliar name 
At the lonesome place 
Resilience is the only key 
maintain through the stay 
at the isolation place 
where emotion resides 
to convey message 
Without the form of a word
with a language barrier 
of confusion embrace 
A sense of lost 
In the hope of searching 
for a place that it holds 
dearly to the heart like
home where it builds with 
the seed of love and joy 
that brings peace and console
to uplift the weary soul 

The Risk Is Great

by Gail Denham
...Minute form
Traffic zooms by, yet you're besot   
That text is not
worth splat in road
squashed like a toad

In future, watch the path you trod
You tempt our God
when texts you read
but do not heed

a pothole, bricks, cars in the way
Your life will pay
And if you fall
that could be all

Aligned with the Sky

by Kathy Cotton
Hands flung wide, I whirl and twirl, 
a six-year-old toppling into
the green margin between
our Lithuanian neighbor's fence
and Audubon Avenue. Dizzy drunk 
on school-vacation freedom, 
I lie sprawled face-up in wild grass,
aligned with a wide blue expanse
crowded with cumulus clouds.
I don't yet know cumulus 
from cirrus or stratus, 
but find shifting face-shapes
in the billowy clouds,
give them sky-people names,
and compose little rhymes 
metered like Sunday School songs.
Such is the beginning
of my life as a poet.

(From Aligned with the Sky)

A moment in time

by Sherri Baker
to stop the train that rolls through my head. 
The voices of long-gone loved ones
scream in my ears. I stare ahead,
telling myself they aren't real.
Thinking the voices gone, I relax—
a mistake made by a novice because 
the noise in my head does not compare
to the movie loop that plays continually 
in my brain until I cry or scream. 
I need an interruption, a momentary
cessation of life as I know it. Maybe put
my grief and realistic pictures of death
in a box, only to open when I need
to remind myself it wasn't a dream,
the ones I loved were here, they were loved
and are still loved by many. They made
an impact in their shortened lives.
My eyes saw perfection die in my arms.
So much love lost.
In time my mind will rob me again,
take away my memories. I try to keep
all of you alive in my heart as long as I can.
I believe that is what makes up a person's soul,
the dreams and remembrances of time 
spent together with those you love. Some of you
come to me in dreams, giving me brief relief.
You tell me you're at peace, but I still visit 
you often, imagine you sitting with me,
enjoying the breeze, the quiet serenity,
the momentary cessation of life as I know it.

More ISPS Poems | Haiga Gallery

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.

Note to ISPS poets: Poetry posted on the Internet may be considered "published" by some publishers and agents.