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Thursday, May 15, 2003 02:20 pm

Bards of the Sangamo 5-15-03

Phineas Fletcher

The first tornado or the last hard freeze --
I mark the dates in records that I keep,
No wind too cold, no drifted snow too deep
To calculate in inches or degrees.
I'm partial to a good storm, one where trees
Are tossed and barns leveled by winds that sweep
The prairie clean, howling while churchmen sleep --
Better the Real than dreams that slyly tease.

For years my wife's indulged my private bent
While she devours detective mysteries.
Though clues bestrew her lurid fantasies,
She never wonders what the author meant.
How strange these things that keep a marriage warm --
The blood-bespattered ax, the perfect storm!

--Kit Stokes

Local poets were writing about contemporary events in the Sangamo Journal as early as the 1830s. People's Poetry wants you to share your thoughts on what's happening in Springfield today--in poetic form. Poems on any subject will be considered, but ones that deal with issues of local interest are encouraged. Send yours to poetry editor Lee Gurga, P.O. Box 662, Lincoln, IL 62656, or to gurga@ccaonline.com with "Bards of the Sangamo" in the subject line. (Please limit your submissions to poems of 14 lines or less.)