Tag Archives: Windy City

Chicago Writers and Poets – A poem by Ilze Vitands

         IMG Randolph 2 

 Chicago Stories is introducing a new feature: Chicago Writers & Poets with new works by Chicagoans who bring their personal perspectives to the Chicago experience. I’ve been involved in writing groups and classes for a number of years and continue to meet and read the work of those who are capturing in words their unique take on Chicago life. I’ve been having so much fun I just want to share some of that with all of you. And I’ll be sneaking in some of my stuff, too.

A poem by Ilze Vitands.


 By Ilze Vitands                                      

                   Once inside a kitchen cluttered,

                        at the counter there I uttered

                        over many a sauce and condiment bottle

                        and knives with vinyl grips.

                        Here I paused in reverence, asking,

                        my body’s wisdom thus unmasking, 

                        after so much multi-tasking,

                        What refreshment here equips?

                        Of the best and healthy choices?

                        What food here shall pass my lips?”

                     Quoth my body, “Eat some chips.”


                 Ah, distinctly I remember

                        my reaction, this dissembler!

                        How my wise and knowing body could retort and be so flip?

                        So I spake, “I am mishearing.

                        Surely you would not be steering

                        me to such unworthy leering

                        at that yellow plastic clip

                        holding closed this bag of Ruffles?

                        “Truly, this food I should skip!”

                     Quoth my body, “Onion dip.”


              Presently, with virtue stronger,

                        hesitating then no longer,

                        “Sir,” said I, “No, wait..Madam, you must see

                        this weakness has to stop.

                        Do you not have resolution?

                        Stand against your own pollution!

                        Respect the eons of evolution

                        that will crumble from this slop!

                        Imbibe some purest mineral water!

                        Eat the green and leafy crop!”

                   Quoth my body, “Drink some pop.”


            “Be that then our words of parting!

                        Exercise I will be starting.

                        Hoist me hence from my apartment! 

                       To the vast Lake Michigan Sea!

                        There I’ll run along the paving,

                        End this self-destructive craving!

                        My own soul I will be saving!

                        Breathe the air so deep and free!

                        I’ll  run until my sweat

                        doth fill my eyes so I can’t see!

                   Quoth my body, “Watch TV.”


            So my body, glad in quitting,

                        still is sitting, still is sitting.

                        Watching reruns of Green Acres,

                        sharing pork rinds with the cat.

                        But in the dark before each dawning,

                        I plot afresh against each scorning

                        Repeating every doctor’s warning,

                        Every warning falling flat.

                        “Won’t you heed my wisdom, body?

                        Make some effort? Lose some fat?”

                   Quoth my body, “Screw all that.”

Inspired by The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Quoth My Body was pulished previously in the Journal of Ordinary Thought. Ms Vitands writes as a member of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance.

The Bluebird – a poem

The Bluebird

Hours transporting dreams never-before-dreamed

and hopes for the maybe-possible,

end in clouds of steam and coal smoke as the Wabash Bluebird

chugs to a stop,

returning the 10 year-old child from the City of Big Shoulders

to his home in the Corn Belt.

His mind swims with the big city memory of the real league-of-their-own girls,

staying with his aunt Agnes in the back of her antique shop,


drifting off to the rumble of Cottage Grove Green Hornets.

He brings home the awe of a big world

to his little town,

the big world of traffic, sirens, paddy wagons

and their wonderful, lethal exhaust,

of neighborliness painted by the denizens

of a next-door bar,

who tell him stories of the city,

with a sandwich and a coke,

just because he’s a kid,

and mesmerized.

The Bluebird grows ghostly as he watches it depart for the South.

Could perhaps the world be an immense, never-ending


Then for the first time the child sees his home town

as a different place,

through new eyes.

And he sees the metropolis as a place

of excitement,  curiosity, creativity.

Where the heart cares about more than its next beat.

Ripples of heat radiate from the crops

for another ten summers,

and ten more winters shroud the remains in snow.

An ever-stronger force draws the boy toward

the city where he needs to be.

As departure looms real,

the brave boy is brave only until the leaving.

The brave are always afraid when first they awake.

At the final leaving,

the golden harvest of that final  season

sets the wedding car aglow

with its luminous halo

on the grand highway to the Windy City.

And all else fades to gray.

– – Written by Larry Ambrose

The January Puzzler

The Great Fire

The Chicago Fire of October 8, 1871 destroyed much of the City. Energetic civic leaders vowed to rebuild the city immediately. However, before rebuilding could begin a massive amount of rubble and ash from the fire had to be dealt with.

What became of all that debris?

Enter your answer as a comment below.

I’ll publish the solution next month.

Good Luck!