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Poems On / About CHICAGO  9/19/2014 12:48:04 AM
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The Skinny On Fatty's Cafe

Here's the skinny on Fatty's Cafe,
a grubby diner on a snaky street
under the El in dark Chicago
where street lights flicker
and the hungry descend from
the flophouse above the store.

If you have a yen for a BLT
and Fatty is workin' the grill,
the hungry say don't go in,
be patient and wait outside
for Fatty's brother, Skinny,
to wield the spatula.

Skinny has a way with BLTs,
piling bacon and tomato high
on a triple decker, with a hint
of lettuce and a swipe of mayo
on all three slices of bread.
No extra charge to toast it
when Skinny's workin' the grill.

Ignore the rain, sleet or snow
and wait outside with the hungry
till Skinny starts flippin' the bacon.
He takes over at midnight when
Fatty flops into his Lincoln
and heads for his castle.
Then Skinny lays out the bacon
and the hungry outside march in.
Donal Mahoney

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Ash Wednesday

I stood inside
a majestic cathedral
in the heart of Chicago.
The sun broke away
from the clouds
and the stain glass windows
of saints and martyrs gleamed.
The place was pack
with office workers,
mothers with children,
old people, young people
the homeless, the lost,
the dignitaries and hypocrites.
I stood among them,
the choir sang Ave Maria
before silence
greeted the Cardinal
as he limped towards
the marble podium,
he stretched his arms out
and we listened
to the Cardinal
proclaim without hesitation
what we wanted to forget
but he said it anyway,
'We will all be dead
in the next 70 years, '
A small child about four
turned to his mother
and said, 'not me '
still ashes to ashes
we will become
if not within 70 years
than maybe in 71…
Charles Lara

Read more poems from Charles Lara >>>
Read more: people poems, silence poems, children poems, child poems, mother poems, lost poems, sun poems



Snowy Owl - Lincoln Park Zoo

Call me one happy snowy owl,
Outside at the Lincoln Park Zoo,
As arctic sub zero winds howl,
Freezing Chicago through and through.
Perched on high in my habitat,
Warm in my snowy feathered cloak.
The lack of humans, I muse that
'Tis time for how cold is it joke.
'Too cold, too cold, ' humans complain.
'It is so cold, ' humans do shout.
And these words form an icy chain.
Each such complaint must be thawed out.

Come visit me when super cold.
Stop complaining - be super bold.
Ima Ryma

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In Search Of Americans

In search of Americans!

There was a new comer in our town, a noisy suburb of Chicago,
With planes above, and four wheels below,
Not mentioning railroad tracks and
The trains passing by day and night, too fast or too slow!

The newcomer moved next door, to 1434 Main street, to the old lady's,
Mrs. Fodyle's place, an old red brick bungalow from the thirties.
I guess he must have seen the 'Rooms for Rent' sign in the front window!

First time, when I laid eyes on him, I got a strange feeling, a bittersweet feeling,
As if I knew him, had seen him before..., a long time ago...
A thirtyish, rather tall and thin young fellow,
Wearing an old farmer's hat, odd to see nowadays
And his jacket which had seen better days!
Just the way he was dressed,
The way he walked...,
And his beat up dusty
GMC filled up with his worldly possessions blocking the car's windows...

It took me a while..., I was sure, I had seen him before..., but where...?
Yes! Indeed: 'Tom Joad' from the Grapes of Wrath...!
He did bare an uncanny resemblance to him! Just like an apple cut in half
Who was he? What was he doing in our neck of the woods? !

His name was Ivan, an émigré from the Eastern Europe
Had lived a couple of years in Philadelphia,
Had been conned by the scam artists there
It seemed he was running away from them, or from something,
Maybe looking for a place to settle down?

One day, early in the morning of a warm July day,
I noticed the newcomer, Ivan, after a few weeks, was leaving Mrs. Fodyl's place for good.
He approached me and asked me (in his thick accent) like a confused little kid:
'Mr. Joe! Where are Americans? !
At work, in the factory, it seems everyone speaks Spanish, I guess they are Mexicans.
At school, it seems they are all Asians, Indians, koreans, Pakistanis, ..., even the only movie house
in town is owned by them, they are playing Asian movies...
Mr. Joe! where do you suppose Americans are! ? '

I hadn't quite come up with an answer, Ivan, the newcomer, hastily added:
'I am on my way to Minnesota, then to Oregon...,
I am sure I am going to meet Americans there...
Goodbye Mr. Joe! '

Then, he got in his old beat up GMC and drove away...
I yelled: 'Ivan! Wait a minute! You asked me a question!
I have to answer you! Ivan! '

Then, again! I really didn't have an answer...
Ivan had to find out for himself!
Joe Sadeghloo

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Poems On / About CHICAGO