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Poems On / About CHICAGO  12/1/2015 5:04:02 AM
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Picnic Boat

Sunday night and the park policemen tell each other it
is dark as a stack of black cats on Lake Michigan.
A big picnic boat comes home to Chicago from the peach
farms of Saugatuck.
Hundreds of electric bulbs break the night's darkness, a
flock of red and yellow birds with wings at a standstill.
Running along the deck railings are festoons and leaping
in curves are loops of light from prow and stern
to the tall smokestacks.
Over the hoarse crunch of waves at my pier comes a
hoarse answer in the rhythmic oompa of the brasses
playing a Polish folk-song for the home-comers.
Carl Sandburg

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Read more: running poems, home poems, song poems, red poems, dark poems, night poems, light poems, cat poems




I AM a hoodlum, you are a hoodlum, we and all of us are a world of hoodlums-maybe so.
I hate and kill better men than I am, so do you, so do all of us-maybe-maybe so.
In the ends of my fingers the itch for another man's neck, I want to see him hanging, one of dusk's cartoons against the sunset.
This is the hate my father gave me, this was in my mother's milk, this is you and me and all of us in a world of hoodlums-maybe so.
Let us go on, brother hoodlums, let us kill and kill, it has always been so, it will always be so, there is nothing more to it.
Let us go on, sister hoodlums, kill, kill, and kill, the torsoes of the world's mother's are tireless and the loins of the world's fathers are strong-so go on-kill, kill, kill.
Lay them deep in the dirt, the stiffs we fixed, the cadavers bumped off, lay them deep and let the night winds of winter blizzards howl their burial service.
The night winds and the winter, the great white sheets of northern blizzards, who can sing better for the lost hoodlums the old requiem, 'Kill him! kill him!...'
Today my son, to-morrow yours, the day after your next door neighbor's-it is all in the wrists of the gods who shoot craps-it is anybody's guess whose eyes shut next.
Being a hoodlum now, you and I, being all of us a world of hoodlums, let us take up the cry when the mob sluffs by on a thousand shoe soles, let us too yammer, 'Kill him! kill him!...'
Let us do this now ... for our mothers ... for our sisters and wives ... let us kill, kill, kill-for the torsoes of the women are tireless and the loins of the men are strong.Chicago, July 29, 1919.
Carl Sandburg

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Catullus Poem 58, An Original Adaptation Of An Ancient Roman Love Poem

Johnny! It's Lesbia*, our Lesbia,
The Lesbia, that girl Stanley loved,
Loved more than self and all he calls his own,
Now at the Great Hall, Chicago, Union Station,
Up and down the polished marble floors,
She goes high-heeled, black boots,
Sports a short skirt, and an open blouse.
Corn, she husks corn,
For every last one of them,
For any spoiled son of Lincoln with a dollar in his pocket.

Carmen 58 (in Latin by CATULLUS)

Caeli, Lesbia nostra, Lesbia illa.
illa Lesbia, quam Catullus unam
plus quam se atque suos amavit omnes,
nunc in quadriviis et angiportis
glubit magnanimi Remi nepotes.

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Storms Of November

Every Spring I look forward to the storms
of November that roll down from up north

Green trees and warm sun adumbrates
the cold and fog that envelop the Lakes

From Superior to South Chicago
beginning the first of November

As monster ore freighters like the fabled
Edmund Fitzgerald are broken and go down

With all hands aboard lost to the storm's fury
in a matter of hours on the raging lake

Now I think fondly of those ships at rest
that once carried the ore for industry

Like other survivors of disaster I am blessed
that I forget the hardship and grueling work
and the sacrifice of family life for a job!
Michael Pruchnicki

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Poems On / About CHICAGO