Sunday, June 07, 2015


vienna postman,
forty miles ‘f country roads, but,
th’fourth’s his fav’rite day


spits ‘n th’flower boxes
no respect f’r daley’s legacy,
cost him years of pain

kingshighway shoulder,
flat stone stuck in his sandal -
cahokia fossil?

porsche convertible,
zero-t’hundred ‘n th’eisenhow’r
pork belly futures?

sore from detassling,
knox county roads shimmering,
drive home first, then sleep

a fourth of crackers -
ancient farmhouse, acid rock,
washington county

porsche convertible,
lakeshore drive sparkle in sun -
let me off at king

porsche convertible
veers on th’skyway – hiker wants
any road to eighty

dead stop on th’eden’s –
th’convertible driver’s angst –
single minute’s passed

locusts ‘t th’bald knob cross
once you hear th’klan tale,
never see it th’same again

kentucky side's just
as steamy, says pilot of
cave-in-rock ferry

commuter scorns th’sox
traffic – th’radio mentions
strangler and the loop 

in skokie, th’debate –
consid’ring th’lakeshore ‘n’ th’sox game,
whether t’take th’tollway

in the kickapoo,
lazy waters, shallow breeze
mud on nettled legs

cahokia mound's
shadow - east saint louis fries;
bones rest one more year


shadow ‘f cahokia,
th’racetrack pulls th’economy –
it, too, ‘s temp’rary

blazing heat, cornfield,
ten silos here, small town there,
train stretches t'champaign

north ‘f champaign, th’train’s stopped –
he peers through th’cars ‘t th’tiny town,
th’locusts hit their stride

sox traffic ties up
th'dan ryan - locals grateful
to have their streets back


screened porch in buckley
city’s card claims he ran th’light,
what card, th’guy says ‘n’ laughs

danville exit sign,
no shade from sun's reflection
skin reddens and dries

fragrant hay on truck
old blue hills, sunset, dirt road
lincoln's gaze on plate

weeds have overgrown
th’old foundation ‘t grand tower
where she’d watch th’river

corn tassels for miles
august breeze, shimmering fields
near use exit sign

threw its gov’nors ‘n jail
‘nother year ‘n’ no budget, but
he’s waiting f’r th’blues fest

ready for th’eclipse
stayed in herrin when th’mines closed,
nothing better t’do

rockland lass points out
th’jewelweed – it’s brightest when
th’poison ivy’s bloomed

back ‘f th’station wagon
saw th’tornado, north ‘f eighty
even dad was ‘fraid

carlinville clerk says
not much to see here except
labor day cyclists

bridgeport hiker’s sweat
get on the wrong side ‘f this bridge,
they throw you on th’road

off thunderstorm road,
civil war graveyard's secrets
rest in a cool shade

orange cones and sox game
add minutes to the commute -
strangler to the loop

drummers ‘t thirty fifth –
like th’cubs suck signs, make bronzeville
a highly charged place

outside new baden,
drivers in traffic gaze at
harvest beans, flooded

giant city stars,
falling leaf - he made it to
another campfire

giant city tale –
when th’bright leaves’ve dropped ‘t’s easier t’see
th’caves ‘f th’ancient people

th’view from navy pier
autumn sky in th’angled glass,
reflected ‘n th’water

anger ‘f th’olney lass –
throws acorns ‘n th’park, sees th’ghostly
face of th’white squirrel

seventy miles ‘n hour
bumper t’bumper – th’leaves reflect
‘n th’windows ‘f lakeshore drive

civil war graveyard,
near th’lake, clear fall day, catches
th’sun – thunderstorm road

murph dormer to roof,
to tree and down to bushes,
to apple-fest jam

the heron circles
at evergreen reservoir -
might stay for winter

in the shawnee caves
nomads barter for hemp socks -
october drizzle

under th’long branch porch,
some coins, lost and forgotten –
but now, th’rainbow’re back

raining in th’shawnee
they’ve come from th’world ‘f stress ‘n’ pain,
welcome home brother!

walmart pumpkin sale
drivers become impatient
trail of tears junction

chief illiniwek,
blanket with indian corn -
image, illusion

alone at th’longbranch,
th’kid stares into th’capp’cino –
she left with th’rainbows

well into vets' day
mums keep their yellows, dragons
guard the castle park

layover ‘n o’hare
so far yet from th’fam’ly farm
she still smells th’turkey

or’nge cones, endless night –
dixon-bound, in th’cold, won’t stop,
on edge for th’danger

old couch ‘n th’parking spot –
even th’rogers park snowplows
shoveled around it

what money he had,
spent ‘t th’casino – now ‘t snows ‘t th’base
‘f th’superman statue


el platform drudg’ry –
six lanes ‘f dan ryan, both sides,
long winter ‘f potholes

potholes ‘n th’dan ryan
long winter’s made’m big enough
t’take a whole muffler

ribbon of traffic
soars down brown icy hillside
about to cross th'spoon

perry county teens
making plans behind manger -
snow on courthouse stone

not knowing grand tow'r
tales, we stop at th'river's edge -
in comes the new year

doorman warns her ‘f th’ice,
glad they plow as well ‘s they do –
mir’cle mile’s th’driveway

th’world comes t’chicago,
no need t’ever leave th’city –
from th’kitchen, th’lake’s ice

grew up in th’hancock,
whenever it’s icy, they’d
just go t’ th’roof f’r dinner


shadow ‘f cahokia,
styrofoam in th’icy wind –
it too lasts f’rever

illinois central
‘n th’snowy silence – th’graffiti,
from another world

machine capp'cino
warms hand, feet slip on ice at
effingham rest stop

gray january -
salt stains shoulders near king bridge,
sun sets behind arch

from dempster, bagels
so warm ‘n’ fresh, last only
t’th’indiana line

off th’road at dempster,
she knows th’tastiest bagels
for th’cold trip up north

old man, winter coat,
th’john a logan museum
whispers th’word ‘traitor’

deisel fuel chapel
where gravel lot fades to weeds -
icy carlyle sign

ice ‘n th’western suburbs -
traffic report will tell th’time
from strangler to th’loop

one eighty degrees,
th’icy interstate ‘n dixon
god knows ‘bout th’children

depot's crackling snow -
train man statue's gaze falls on
town I abandoned

from b’hind his thick coat
‘t th’ john a logan museum,
mumbles ‘bout “traitors”

tollway ‘r th’dan ryan
aversion to th’or’nge cones ‘n’ ice
‘n’ th’feeling ‘f mortal’ty

glazed ice on bean fields -
blue hue deepens, sun sets on
okawville exit

unyielding winter -
working man's song, a hard brake,
pekin road off ramp

the toll collector,
on frigid night near o'hare -
smile of the buddha

tollway or dan ryan
or'nge cones on slick deadly ice
fatal drudgery

worked thirty-three years,
ford plant, chicago heights - now,
it's cold, 'n' i'm leavin'

ry'n and ninety fifth -
warm change on icy platform -
first train to the loop

on snowy o'hare
tarmac, pilot says it's all
physics - but i pray

plane circles o'hare,
march hail sweeps city beneath -
above clouds, sun sets

stresses ‘f river north
highway signs ‘r east-west, northbound
they cross th’green river

the green-colored beer
green streamers, bulls game background
outside, spring on rush

shamrocks ‘t th’post office –
t’th’cobden peach farmer, th’late freeze
is th’worst kind of luck

off th’road ‘n joliet
th’march sun hits th’prison, ‘n’ somehow
it looks familiar

frost on th’daffodils
th’carbondale lass, drying th’sheets
out in th’morning sun

six lane ninety four
lake cook traffic hides spring - then,
japanese garden

energy twister
hit th’school that stiffed th’gay couple –
now, th’weeds grow ‘n th’ruins

rain pounds river road,
piasa cliffs - high water,
frogs jump in darkness

grew up in th’hancock
has th’stunning views ‘n’ th’fine dining,
come spring, dreams ‘f freedom

memphis wood river
sign - low wet mud, fresh new corn,
ghosts of cahokia

she points out th’trillium,
‘n’ giant city romance - tale
thousands of years old

picasso ‘n th’spring breeze –
he likes t’eat th’unsold mangoes
‘n’ watch th’women of th’loop

loop flower boxes
th’stunningly pretty city,
totally bankrupt

murdale laundromat
may rains, dust and lint, a nap
dryer calmly waits

"th'judges 'r all on th'take,"
she says and shrugs - flowers bloom 'n
loop buildings' boxes

big muddy's
standing water in the fields -
long plantin' season

picasso statue,
flow’ring trees – see chicago
from all perspectives

pigeons ‘t th’picasso –
chicago’s blooming, ought t’be
‘nough food f’r ev’ryone

in th’shawnee, th’trillium
th’eastern forests’re so gentle,
th’songbirds, too, entranced

she knows th’wild garlic
jumped off th’chicago-bound train
‘cause she missed it so

knows ev’ry detail
‘n th’lincoln museum – he’s shown
th’schoolkids f’r twenty years


lincoln museum
kids rush in from th’class picnic,
reb tourist holds th’door

inside loop taxi
blossoms reflect off glass walls
open the window!


th’cairo floods recede –
years ‘f hardship ‘n’ christian hucksters,
‘n’ they’ve become jewish

off th’el ‘t addison
th’kids’re rowdy ‘n’ wild – they cut school
for opening day

- more illinois haiku (carbondale and local- some repeated)


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