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Poems On / About CHICAGO  7/12/2014 12:13:37 PM
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Best Poems About / On CHICAGO
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Chicago Sestina

I am surprised by the streets of Chicago
when the palm of winter grips them with snow
as if to forgive the city’s mistakes
and give it a canvas that’s new, white, and clean–
its fingers, the branches on all of the trees
kneading the air that blows in from the lake.

I’ve never lived next to the pulse of the lake
(until I set foot down the side of Chicago)
breathing in through the streets and out through the trees
welcoming the cool of the wet, numbing snow.
It lets my mind slip into thinking it’s clean
as if to personally forgive my mistakes.

“But what have you done to forgive your mistakes? ”
Did I ask this? Or is that the voice of the lake?
Some days, not even does it appear clean,
worn down from its tall standing neighbor, Chicago.
It scrapes at the sky, asking it for more snow
to stick to and freeze the trunks of the trees.

If I were a branch on one of these trees
incapable of making a single mistake,
I’d grab at the sky as it shook out the snow
and grow my roots thick till they tasted the lake.
But I wouldn’t bend to the force of Chicago
that’s constantly keeping me from being clean.

And what does it mean to try to be clean?
I don’t understand the stillness of the trees
when they’re being attacked by the size of Chicago
as if to glorify the city’s mistakes
that glisten like stars at night on the lake
before it all froze and was covered with snow.

Ah! To imagine how long there’s been snow.
How can something this old still feel so clean
and dance through the wind that swoops in from the lake?
Is it the kneading by the spiny branches on trees
trusting that there will be no more mistakes
that leaves these the only pure thing in Chicago?

Here comes the snow that seeks out the trees
Am I now clean? Where are my mistakes?
Chicago belongs where it lay with the lake.
Brian Maloney

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Sing the Chicago
Sing the Chigago
Chigago is the windy city
Aldo Kraas

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''The South Side of Chicago'' by David Hart

''The South Side of Chicago'' by David Hart

The South Side of Chicago
Whence those childhood years were spent
Skip-walking upon grimacing cracked sidewalks
Hastening through filth floored garbage canned
flanked alleyways to-

The forlorn house-windows weeping chrystalline shards-
cascading glass tears
'Property Condemned' blared in scarlet on the door.

'Someone lives there' it was said,
'the man who gathers things from the garbage cans'

The pebble strewn church yard, where, in prickly winter,
scarved boys coerce the bell to toll with swift flung
snowballs catapaulted to a shivering bell tower.

The South Side of Chicago,
The year of the big church fire
That day it did burn and claw
At the hot black night sky.

People gathered, assembled in solemnity
Aghast, huddled and shoving to see
That hallowed place whose torrents
Of Sunday's serenities and dressups
Now would no longer be.

The South Side of Chicago
There, the swill darkened tavern
That nightly gulped down shadow faced spectres
A lad cries out, 'the bar, someone stabbed in the
head, come and see'.
'Not I', I said, 'not a sight I'd care to see',
as an acidic sadness enveloped me.

The boys came together wearing their
jackets and coats-symbols affixed, emblems
proudly donned-so they knew who they were.
'Wanna join? ' 'No thanks', I said, 'Glad to be
just solitary me'.

I watched them, fighting their rivals
With chains, steel pipes and knives
Fearing their bloody deeds.
Content to be alone
Alone and free

The South Side of Chicago
In cramped classrooms scented in
soap and sawdust
Mostly attentive I would be
Amidst tatterly clothed children
-waiting for recess, lunch or
time to go home.

At recess, the garbage men came
And roused a battalion of rats
That scattered pell-mell
Amidst little girl shrieks
and screams
Little boys chortling
Chased those rats frightened
Far away
On the South Side of Chicago
David Hart

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Shall I Compare She to A Chicago Winter

Shall I compare she to a Chicago winter?
For she is as unpredictable as a winter storm
Yet as beautiful as every snowflake that fall.
When she's angry she can be as cold as a breeze off Lake Michigan.
And when she loves me it is as warm as the fireplace at Starbucks.
Just like a Chicago winter she's as different as each winter season that comes.
But those differences are what make me love her even more.
Lore Me34

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Poems On / About CHICAGO